Thursday, 17 December 2009

Still baking...not that we were quite ready for the mince pies yet, there are still four slices of Baklava left. But after C brought the peanut butter cookies into the print room in work, one of the guys there wondered would they be getting mince pies this year. As it happened, today is my first day of holidays, and as well as buying the tree, I had been contemplating making mince pies. I need to make some fresh mincemeat, but still had enough left from last year to make a couple of batches.
This is the recipe I use:
2 cups suet
3 cups coarsely grated cooking apples
1 cup apple jelly
2 pts grape juice or cider
1 pt peach jam
3 cups brown sugar
2 lb raisins
1 lb currants
1 tsp salt
1 tblsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg and ½ tsp cloves
Grated rind and juice of 2 oranges & 2 lemons
To be honest, I use any jellies and jams that need using up. When we first got married, C told me he loved apple jelly jam. My parents were still living in the house I grew up in, with plenty of apple trees, so I made jars and jars of apple jelly. Turned out it was actually crabapple jelly that C loved so much, so I had apple jelly in my mincemeat for years. The recipe comes from a Canadian Heritage collection published by Chatelaine Institute. I add brandy, and it will keep for at least a year in an airtight jar.
Disclaimer - my mince pies are not things of beauty, because I think there should be lots of mincemeat in them, but then it overflows. I vary the pastry I use according to mood. Rarely is it flaky, though - because it puffs up too much and you can't use a lot of filling.

This photo is more or less the same view as the one I took last week for the SCS sparkle, shimmer and shine challenge. Same time of day, a week later. Not an ounce of sparkle or shine, just cloud and rain...but lots of great reflections in the river.

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