You might think it is fairly late in the day to start making your own homemade mincemeat, but look carefully at the recipe details below…. cook time = 0 mins, prep time = 10 mins, (and even that is a generous estimate, I’m sure you could do it in 5 if you put your mind to it!).
This really is a cheat’s quick and easy way to make your own mincemeat, and couldn’t be easier. The addition of beetroot and hazelnuts are my little twists to make sure people definitely know it is homemade, (there’s no point replicating the ingredients of shop-bought mincemeat exactly or you might as well just go and buy some!), but also because they add in turn a sweet earthiness, a bright festive pink colour, and a lovely sweet crunch.
The reason this is so quick to make is a couple of shortcuts – the first being a jar of bramley apple sauce in place of making your own apple purée. I usually roast a couple of bramley apples in the oven then scoop out their flesh, but this makes it all a lot easier, and I’ve accounted for the extra sweetness by adding less sugar than usual.
The second is a bag of dried mixed fruit which I often avoid because I prefer to choose my own combo of dried fruits, but this contains sultanas, currants, raisins and candied orange and lemon peel all in one bag, so avoids a lot of weighing, (and storing lots of half-used bags of fruit in the cupboard for next year!).
Whilst mincemeat does improve with age, you can use it after just 24 hours of soaking so there really is still time to get these jars made before Christmas for the loveliest homemade mince pies you have ever tasted! It also makes such a pretty gift for anyone you know is likely to be making their own mince pies.
Mine are in the oven as I type, and I’ve been experimenting with a vegan version of my favourite Cream ‘Cheese’ Pastry so will try to get a recipe up in time for you to try over the next few days too, just in time to leave a mince pie out for Father Christmas! You can also make lovely mince pies with ready-made sweet shortcrust pastry – most shop-bought varieties are vegan, but check the labels just to make sure.
- 2 small pre-cooked beetroots
- 250 g jar bramley apple sauce
- 500 g dried mixed fruit
- 250 g vegetable suet
- 400 g light brown sugar
- zest and juice of 2 large oranges
- zest and juice of 2 lemons
- 70 g hazelnuts, chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 25 ml amaretto, brandy, sherry or orange juice, (check your choice is vegan)
Use a mini-chopper or food processor to blitz the beetroots to a smooth purée (or otherwise chop finely and mash with a fork), then tip into a large bowl.
Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave overnight.
Decant into sterilized jars until required - mincemeat can keep for a few years if jars are properly sterilized, it is covered with wax discs and properly sealed, and kept in a cool, dark place.
For more Christmas Gifts from the kitchen, take a look at:
- Figgy Christmas Chutney
- Red Onion & Merlot Marmalade
- Shortbread Sweethearts
- Beetroot & Chilli Ketchup
And don’t forget that my new book Vegan in 15 is out now, and available to order on Amazon, (whoop!). Many thanks for your support!