Homemade Cranberry & Port Mincemeat and What to Make with It.

So, we are officially into 2015’s festive period and I’m going to join millions of you out there in saying that I LOVE IT!!

In all honesty, my countdown for Christmas begins the second that our barbeque is put away, as the more time I can spend drinking mulled wine, eating mince pies and gazing at glittery sparkly things the better (yes I genuinely believe that I was a magpie in past life!!).

With Christmas also comes an abundance of social activities; meeting up with long-lost friends, travelling around the country seeing family, hosting and attending drinks and dinners and all together being merry! Because of this, time just seems to fly like Rudolf himself and I never get to blog as much as I would like. I have so many good intentions, and then ending up sharing a post-Christmas pudding recipe, or a leftover (to the point it would be covered in mould) recipe for your Christmas Dinner.

This year I am therefore starting my festive blogging with a wee bit of a cop-out and posting some of my previous festive treats – but I promise they will taste just as awesome this time round!!

Merry Festivities Everyone!

Mince meat

For the Mincemeat

Makes 3 large kilner jars

  • 200g dried cranberries
  • 300g sultanas
  • 250g dried figs – roughly chopped
  • 130ml agave syrup
  • 2 Bramley apples – grated
  • Zest and juice of 4 clementine’s
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 4 tsp ground ginger
  • 150ml port
  • 1 sprig rosemary – leaves picked and very finely chopped

Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and give it all a good stir until it’s well combined

Spoon the mixture into sterilised jars, seal and store for 2 weeks before eating and storing for up to 2 months afterwards.

Mince Brownie

Mincemeat Brownies

  • 200g dark chocolate – broken into pieces
  • 175g butter
  • 325g caster sugar
  • 130g plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 jar mince meat

Grease and line a 33 x 23cm baking tray

Preheat the oven to 170’C

Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over simmering water and stir until melted

Remove from the heat and beat in the sugar until well combined

Fold in the flour and then finally add the eggs and stir until the mixture is thick and smooth

Pour the mixture into your prepared baking tray and then dollop tea spoons of the mincemeat onto the top.

Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until it is flaky on the top but still squidgy in the middle.

Leave to cool slightly before slicing into squares and then place the brownie pieces on a wire rack to cool completely.

Mince Pies

Mince Pies

Makes 12

  •           190g plain flour
  •           100g unsalted butter
  •           Icing Sugar
  •           400g jar mincemeat
  •           1 egg yolk – beaten
  •           2-4 tbsp chilled water

Rub the flour and butter together with your fingers until crumbly

Add the water a spoon at a time and start to bring together the mixture. When it is it well formed and no longer crumbly it is ready. Be careful to add too much water as it will become sticky.

Make into a ball, wrap with cling film and chill in the fridge for 20-30mins

Lightly butter a 12 hole pie tin and preheat the oven to 180’C

After the time is up on the pastry, remove from fridge and roll on a worktop dusted with the icing sugar to about 2mm thick

Cut out 12 pastry disks, large enough to fit the pie tin and press gently into the tin and smooth out.

Place a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat into each pastry hole

Cut out 12 stars/snowflakes and place over the mincemeat; you may need to re-roll the pastry

Brush the egg yolk over the top of the pastry and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and bubbling

Leave to cool in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely (or just a little bit and enjoy warm with some brandy cream)

Dust with icing sugar before serving

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