I know it’s scary to start thinking about Christmas in October but mincemeat benefits from a month or so resting period for the flavours to develop so it is best to get it done around about now to be ready to use in December.

This recipe is adapted from Delia Smith’s version, I’m not a big fan of currants and mixed peel so I’ve substituted dried apricots and cranberries which are more expensive but tastier in my opinion. In her recipe, Delia recommends warming the mixture (before adding the brandy) to melt the suet so that, as it cools, it coats the pieces of fruit and prevents excess juice leaking out, which can lead to fermentation if stored for a while.

Makes 3 x 1lb jars

225g Bramley apples, peeled and finely chopped/grated

110g suet

175g sultanas

110g raisins

110g dried apricots, chopped

110g dried cranberries

175g dark brown sugar

1 orange and 1 lemon, zest and juice

25g almonds, chopped

2 tsp mixed spice

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

3 tablespoons Somerset cider brandy

Mix all the ingredients (except the brandy) together in a bowl, cover loosely with foil and warm in the oven at about 120c for 2-3 hours to melt the suet. Stir from time to time while cooling. When cool, stir in the cider brandy and pot in sterilised jars. For best results, store for about a month before using. Will keep for about a year if kept unopened in a cool place.


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