Mincemeat is so simple to make that it’s really a crime how often I leave it to others (thanks Mum and the good ladies of the local WI). However, this year I got back into the mincemeat saddle and started to think vegetables for my mince pies this year. Carrot? Maybe. Parsnip? Perhaps. Sprouts? No chance. Then, as I sat drinking a hot cup of spiced pumpkin cocktail (swoon), it dawned on me that pumpkin would be perfect with the dried fruit, spices and brandy. You can use tinned or fresh pumpkin (simply cook it and puree), or else substitute it for squash. Mincemeat makes a lovely gift at Christmas, so go wild with the pretty jars and ribbon.
You can let this nice drunken mincemeat mature for two weeks before wowing guests with the pumpkin surprise. But if you’re a bit last minute (who, me?) don’t worry if you need to use it right away – it’s still lovely.
- 200g raisins
- 200g currants
- 200g sultanas
- 200g vegetarian suet (or standard suet)
- 150g soft dark brown sugar
- 100g candied mixed peel
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- zest and juice ½ a lemon
- 1 cooking apple, peeled and grated
- 6 tablespoons pumpkin puree (steam fresh pumpkin or squash and then puree, or else use tinned)
- 100ml brandy
- Add all ingredients, except the brandy, to a bowl in the order listed and mix well between each addition. Stir in the brandy and mix well.
- Pour into sterilised jars (the easiest way is to run them through the dishwasher). Allow to mature for two weeks before using, stored in a cool dry place. Will keep for up to six months.