It is the end of November, maybe a little early for mince pies but Anita (the Thermomix queen) wanted to make some and so did I. One thing I have never done, although every year I say I will, is make my own mincemeat from scratch. So with my French friend, it seemed only right if she was going to whip up some pastry dough, that I would bring ingredients to make our own mincemeat with a bit of inspiration from Mary Berry.
We rustled up a fair amount of mincemeat. It really didn’t take long at all. We made plenty of mince pies. But there is so much else you can do with the mincemeat. Anita whipped up a tarte aux pomme with a layer of mincemeat hiding under the layers of apple with some of the leftovers.
I bet it tasted amazing. Bread and butter pudding with a little mincemeat in amongst the layers of bread and butter would make a very festive and delicious pudding. Brioche makes particularly good bread and butter pudding!! Or look further down for a recipe for mincemeat muffins.
Here is the mincemeat recipe adapted from Mary Berry’s mincemeat streusal recipe on the BBC Good Food website:
- 300g mixed dried fruit
- 100g dried cranberries
- 1 large cooking apple peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- 75g butter, cubed
- 25g/1oz whole almonds, roughly chopped
- 125g brown sugar (light muscavado is good)
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground mixed spice
- 1 lemon, finely grated zest and juice of half a lemon
- 100ml/3½fl oz brandy, rum or sherry
The ingredients are put into a pan and heated on a moderate heat for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally (or pop them into the Thermomix). If you want your mincemeat more boozy then add your choice of booze after the mincemeat has cooled a little.
The mincemeat can be stored in sterilised jars for quite sometime or use it straight away in some mince pies. We used short crust pastry – it could be shop bought or make it yourself. You could use puff pastry or flaky pastry.
You can be as decorative as you like. We found a little star cutter that made perfect stars tops for our mince pies. The first batch had little holes in the pies tops instead. You could make lattice tops or top your pies with a little crumble mixture.
A quicker Christmassy offering is these Mincemeat Muffins, simply hide a bit of mincemeat in the middle of muffin mixture which makes a very Christmassy muffin. Served warm with a bit of brandy cream is particularly indulgent and festive. But they are so simple, you can throw them together in the time it takes for the oven to warm up. The muffin mixture is simply:
- 1¾ cups self raising flour
- ¾ cup castor sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup sour cream or creme fraiche (half fat works fine) or plain full fat yoghurt
- ½ milk
Heat the oven to 200C. Sift the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Then in another bowl, mix the wet ingredients together. Tip the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until the two are just mixed. Don’t mix any more.
In your muffin cases, put a spoonful of mixture, a little blob of mincemeat on top and then another spoonful to cover the mincemeat. When the mixture is finished, pop the muffins in the oven for about 12 minutes so they are golden and spring back when pressed.