Yes,I’m going there.
We’re gently past Hallowe’en, and unless you’ve been saving for the festivities all year, you’ll have just realised that you’ve had your next to last payday before the Christmas season.
It’s also one of my favourite times of year, so I’m already planning – from tasty treats to presents, and woolly knits, I really do love this time of year. So I figured we’d start with something tasty to get in the mood. Mince pies.
I’ve got two recipes for you this week. The first is perfect if you’re not the planning kind. Whereas traditional mincemeat takes around three weeks to mature, this recipe, based on one from the queen of cookery, Delia Smith, takes less than 2 days.
Add in some store bought shortcrust pastry, and you’ve got the homemade effect, with half the effort.
And because it’s me, I’ve adapted it even further, making it not only gin fuelled, but also by making it completely vegan, by removing the suet, and changing it from coconut oil, you get a deliciously nutty alternative, that’s still delicious.
The gin I’ve used in this particular recipe was Fireside Gin from Poetic License. It’s gentle rich spicy notes work beautifully in the mincemeat, but other gins such as Cuckoo’s new spiced gin, and Darnley’s View Spiced.
Later this week, I’ll post the more traditional version, with a three week maturation process taken from Mrs Beeton herself. But for now, let’s get a little festive!
- 250g Cooking apples peeled, cored and finely diced
- 50g Flaked toasted almonds, crushed
- 2 tsp Mixed ground spice
- 100ml Fireside Gin
- 110g Coconut oil
- 125g Raisins
- 100g Sultanas
- 100g Currants
- 150g Whole mixed candied peel, finely chopped
- 175g Soft light brown sugar
- 1 Orange (zest and juice)
- 1 Lemon (zest and juice)
- Put it all the ingredients in a large oven proof bowl.
- Mix, thoroughly, cover with cling film and leave overnight.
- The following day, preheat the oven to it's lowest setting.
- Remove the cling film stir it gently, then loosely cover the bowl with foil.
- Put bowl into the oven for 3 hours, checking and stirring occasionally.
- When finished let it cool and place it in prepared, sterlised jars. It will keep for up to 3 years.
- Then it's done and can be jarred, or used once cooled.
- Of course, if you'd rather it be a little bit more traditional, simply swap out the coconut oil for traditional suet.