I started making my own mincemeat donkey’s years ago; it’s so simple and so much nicer than shop-bought which is usually far too sweet and syrupy for me. I used to use Delia’s recipe but over the years I’ve sort of evolved my own recipe to suit our taste. I’ve found the addition of preserved ginger really peps up the flavour and I love the citrus tanginess of the extra lemon.
I used a mug for measuring all the ingredients one year because the bowl for my old-style kitchen scale was in the dishwasher; it worked out perfectly well and I’ve stuck with it ever since….if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
4 mugs of mixed dried fruit
4 balls of preserved ginger in syrup, finely chopped
½ mug dried apricots, chopped
1 mug veggie suet
1 mug dark Muscovado sugar
1 large Bramley apple, peeled, cored and grated
1 whole nutmeg, grated
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
½ mug of brandy
Mix everything except the brandy in a large ovenproof bowl. Cover with a cloth and leave to stand overnight. Next day put the uncovered bowl into the oven at 110C for an hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, stirring occasionally so that the melted suet gets mixed in throughout the mincemeat. Once cool, add the brandy and mix really well again then pot up into sterilised jars.
If you put some dinky little covers on the jars this is nice to give to friends as Christmas gifts.