................ is not always a good idea!
When I found a recipe for Cranberry and Apricot mincemeat I thought it would be really nice to make for hamper gifts and to use for mince-pies - as a change from the usual Delia recipe. Especially as I planned to make a Cranberry and Apple Christmas Chutney so would be buying dried and/or frozen cranberries anyway.
This is the Delia recipe that I've used for several years - I usually just do half the recipe as it makes a lot
DELIA SMITHS' MINCEMEAT RECIPE
1lb cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped small.
8oz Shredded suet - I always use Vegetarian Suet
12oz Raisins - chopped
8oz Chopped candied peel
12oz Soft dark Brown Sugar
Grated zest and juice of 2 Oranges
Grated zest and juice of 2 Lemons
2oz whole almonds, cut into slivers ( I just use flaked)
4 teaspoons mixed ground spice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 Tablespoons Brandy
Mix everything together EXCEPT the brandy in a large ovenproof bowl.
Cover with a clean cloth and leave for 12 hours or overnight.
Next day cover the bowl loosely with foil and put in a cool oven Gas ¼, 225F (120C). For 3 hours.
The reason for this is to melt the suet so it coats all the fruit with
fat, sealing in the juices and this will stop the apple fermenting which
can be a problem.
Remove the bowl from the oven and it will be swimming with fat - don't worry.
As it cools, stir from time to time. When it is completely cold stir in the brandy.
Pack in clean dry jars and seal.
Keep it in a cool dark cupboard and it will keep for a year.
This is the CRANBERRY AND APRICOT MINCEMEAT recipe found somewhere online
500g Mixed Raisins, Sultanas and Currants
140g Dried Apricots
85g Dried Cranberries
85g Mixed Peel
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Zest and juice of 1 orange
100g fresh or frozen cranberries
200g soft brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
Put all dried fruit and peel into a bowl, pour over brandy, zest and juices.
Stir cover and leave for 24 hours.
Tip everything into a saucepan and add remaining ingredients.
Warm gently over medium heat until suet is melted.
Turn up heat and bubble for a few minutes.
Pack into sterilised jars,
I rarely follow a recipe exactly so.................
What I did................
The half a tub of mixed peel that I had in the cupboard turned out to be nearly a year out of date and looked very pale and nasty so I used double the cranberries instead. I used 200g of (vegetable) suet as that's how much there is in a packet and otherwise I would have been left with a box with a tablespoonful left in the bottom which would never get used.
I then followed the Delia method and mixed everything together EXCEPT the brandy, covering and leaving for 24 hours. Next day I warmed the bowl in the oven until the suet melted and left it to cool before stirring in brandy and putting into sterilised jars.
It looked lovely BUT I realised that the reason the second recipe cooks everything is to make sure the cranberries are cooked. After using some to make mince-pies and doing a taste test I found the new mincemeat is delicious but the apricots ought to have been soaked and maybe cooked a bit too as they were a bit chewy. I don't think I can give it away so will use it up quick and make a big supply of mince-pies...and when I offer them around I'll need to explain that the chewy bit are apricots and not something worse!
Here's some pages from another book from my shelves........ "The Ladybird Book of Christmas Customs"