I cannot wait to have my first mince pie of the season. Delicious little pies, filled with a mixture of fruits, spices, are a must-have food at Christmas. I must admit, I have had two already. That is because my favourite coffee shop has started selling ones that are vegan & gluten-free. Note to myself, I must stay away.
Because I make my own mince pies, I like to make my own mincemeat. Mainly because I then can make mine free from nuts, dairy & gluten. It makes it easier to cater to most visitors over the festive season regardless of allergies or diet choices. This is a simple recipe, that stores well. It does need to be made at least 6 weeks before needed. This gives it time to mature.
To sterilize the jars and lids, either place in an oven set at 180C for 20 minutes after washing in hot soapy water or place in the dishwasher on the highest setting. Run through the cycle and leave to dry.
Makes 4 x 370g jars
- 200g raisins
- 250g sultanas
- 100g glace cherries
- 100g chopped dates
- 50g mixed peel
- 100g dried cranberries
- 2 small apples diced
- 125g dairy-free butter
- 225g light muscadavo sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- zest and juice of 1 orange
- 200ml brandy, rum or whiskey
Plus 4 sterilized 370g jam jars
In a large pan add all the ingredients with the exception of the alcohol. Place on a gentle heat, allowing the butter to melt and the sugar to start to dissolve. Then simmer gently, making sure you stir occasionally for about 15 minutes.
Let the mixture cool completely and then stir in the alcohol.
Next, fill the sterilized jam jars to the top and screw on the lid.
I make anywhere between 8-16 weeks before Christmas. It stores very well and I have one jar left from last Christmas.