Making homemade mincemeat brings a warm Autumnal feel to the kitchen, it’s the perfect thing to welcome in the changing season. The dark, rich colours of the dried fruit as it steeps together and the wonderful wafts of brandy and spices give you a lovely little sneak preview of Christmas.
It’s also a great way to use up any apples and pears you may have at this time of year, and any other odds and ends of dried fruit and nuts for that matter. What I particularly like about this recipe, is that it uses coconut oil instead of suet. The extra virgin organic coconut oil brings a velvety richness to the mixture, and this is a far healthier option than the usual vegetable suet that is more often called for.
I keep my spiced harvest homemade mincemeat at the back of the fridge until nearer Christmas, when it will be used for mince pies, tarts and fruit cakes. But don’t feel that it’s only for christmas, it can also be added to ice cream to make a homemade tutti frutti, stuffed into bramley apples and baked in the oven or even added to spice up your porridge in the morning! If left unopened it keeps for up to 6 months, and it’s a great way to enjoy your harvest fruit right through winter.
- 500g peeled and finely chopped pears
- 500g peeled and finely chopped apples
- 500g good quality raisins
- 250g dried cranberries
- 250g of other dried fruit or nuts of your choice, figs, apricots, chopped almonds
- Juice and zest of one large orange
- Juice and zest of one large lemon
- 100g of coconut oil
- 175g dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 6 tablespoons of Brandy (you could use a different spirit of your choice)
- In a large pan, melt together the coconut oil, sugar, juices and zest over a gentle heat.
- Add the dried fruit and chopped apples, pears and spices, stirring well to give it a good coating, simmer gently for 30 mins with the lid on.
- Allow the mixture to cool completely before adding the brandy and stirring well.
- Spoon into sterilised jars and top the mixture with waxed paper discs to help keep an airtight seal.