One request my family always makes when food shopping for Christmas, is get Mince Pies: with little or no candied Orange, REALLY! My frustration over the years, has now made me make my own Mince Pies.
Making the Mince Meat Filler from scratch may sound daunting, I can assure you, it is not. I enjoyed chopping the fruit (you could also add nuts to the mix) by hand, but can be put in a food processor and hit the pulse button a few times.
Currants and Raisins is a must, but the rest of the ingredients is all taste dependent.
Brandy in the mince pies is not favourable by the family, so I have substituted it with Marsala Wine. It is a fortified wine from Sicily, good to cook with, and a perfect substitute for Brandy; not too sweet and a good alcohol volume, to help preserve the fruit over the next few weeks. For longer preservation Brandy (or Armagnac or Cognac with a higher alcohol volume) would be required.
100g Raisins ; 100g Currants 100g Dried Figs;
100g Cranberries ; 50g Apricots;
50g Peeled and Grated Bramley Apple; 1 tablespoon Candied Orange Peel
20ml Marsala; 150ml of fresh Orange juice
Coarsely chop all dried fruit and add to a non reactive bowl with the grated Apple, Orange Juice and Marsala Wine. Allow to soak for at the least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
70g Dark Muscovado Sugar; 2 tablespoons grated Suet (Veg or Beef);
1 teaspoon Cinnamon powder; 1/2 teaspoon ground All Spice; 1/4 teaspoon grated Nutmeg; and 2 heap tablespoon of grated preserved Ginger with a little of the preserving syrup.
Add all these ingredients into the fruit mix and stir well for a few minutes. Take a clean cooled sterilised Jar and add the fruit mincemeat and press into the jar to expel any air trapped in the fruit mince. Shut the jar with a tight fitting lid and store in a cool dark cupboard for 48 hours at the least (and will keep up to 4 weeks), before using to make the Mince Pies or even a Mincemeat Strudel.