Making Mincemeat



My family loves mince pies and the starting point for all good mince pies is delicious, homemade mincemeat – dried fruit and spices soaked in orange juice, lemon juice and brandy – yum.

Homemade mincemeat in jars

Time for some Christmas baking

This week I started my Christmas baking. The list of what I planning to make is longer than ever this year. Some old family favourites – mince pies, marzipan and cherry cake and christmas cake. Some things I tried last year that didn’t go so well – I’m determined (although not that confident) that I can make great stollen. And lots that I’ve never tried before, some requested by family and some that I want to try just because I think it’ll be fun – truffles and mulled wine (not technically baking but I get to raid my spice drawer so I think it counts).

Have you started your Christmas baking yet? What are you making?

Making Mincemeat

Given the amount that I have on my list to cook, I thought I’d better start as early as possible. Mincemeat is a great one to start with as it can be made up to six months in advance and stored in the fridge.

For some reason I’d always assumed that making mincemeat was difficult, but it’s pretty much the easiest thing you can make. Chuck everything in a bowl and mix it up – it’s that simple.

Last year was the first time I’d attempted it (having always thought that it was difficult) and I used this recipe from BBC Good Food. It got such good feedback from all of my family, that I stuck to the same recipe again this year.

The one important lesson I learnt from my mincemeat making last year is that I’m incapable of grating nutmeg without catching my knuckles – ouch. If anyone knows the knack of grating nutmeg and not fingers I’d love to hear about it in the comments. This year I treated myself to a spice grinder, injury free and much quicker, I’d definitely recommend it.

NOTE – One important step to remember if you’re making your mincemeat in advance is to make sure you sterilise your jars. I use this method of sterilising in the oven. The kilner jars I use have a rubber seal so I sterilise the lids in a pan of boiling water.

Photographing mincemeat for my #Make30Photos Photography Challenge

Anyone following me on Instagram will know that I recently started a 30 day photography challenge with the aim of improving my photography.

My second challenge was “things in threes” and I decided to use the mincement I’d just made as my subject. It never occurred to me that all photographs on Instagram are square so I happily spent ages arranging the rectangular picture you see at the beginning of this post. I put it on Instagram anyway, but I wanted to share the original for anyone following my challenge to see what I’d actually intended (especially as for once this is a photo I’m pretty pleased with 🙂 )

I’d love to know what you all think of my progress in the photography challenge. You can follow me on Instagram here if you’d like to see how I do.


Making Mincemeat has been linked to…

#RecipeOfTheWeek | #TastyTuesdays#CookBlogShare | #FestiveFoodFriday

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13 Comments:

  1. You and I are definitely on the same wavelength… I have my mincemeat recipe coming up in the next few days 🙂 mine is really different because I really don’t like raisins! Lovely photo. Great idea to commit yourself to a photo challenge. I’ll have a look into that. X

    • Really interested to see what you’re doing to it. I wanted to try a twist but my husband loves mince pies and doesn’t always appreciate it when I mess about with his favourite recipes so I thought I’d better stick to what I know works.

      I’m really enjoying the photo challenge, I’d definitely recommend trying one.

      • Good point! Hubby is a big mince pie lover and he doesn’t moan about my recipe (have been making it for a couple of years). This year, we’ll make it a pressie for the kids’ teachers. I shall be posting it all very soon. x

  2. Mincemeat!? Who knew? I also always grate my fingers when I’m cooking. Let me know if you find a better way!

    Stopped by via SITSblogging!

    xx, Kelly
    http://asideofsweet.com

    • I’ve been surprised at how many non-Brits haven’t really heard of mincemeat. It’s everywhere here and I can’t imaging Christmas without it.

      I’ve not found anything better for grating yet, I’ll let you know if I do 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Oh wow, so pretty and perfect Christmas presents. Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays

    • Thanks, although I suspect it’ll all be long gone before we get to christmas and I’ll have to make another batch.

  4. Homemade mincemeat is certainly much better than store-bought. If you are photographing things in threes try staggering them so that the space between them forms a triangle.
    Thanks for linking up to #CookBlogShare

    • I agree, and homemade pastry for the mince pies is so much better too.

      Thanks for the photography feedback. I’m really keen to learn and improve, so any advice you can give is very much appreciated. I’ll definitely experiment with that next time I’ve got three things to photograph.

  5. Charlotte, I do that with photos ALL the time when I need them square for Instagram. Now I set my phone camera to square which does help a bit 😉 The mincemeat looks delicious. I use a Microplane Nutmeg grater/zester and it’s saved my knuckles lately. Thanks for linking up to #festivefoodfriday. Hope to see lots more lovely treats over the coming weeks 🙂

    • Glad to hear it’s not just me.

      I’ve not been very festive this week so I might not be linking up for a bit but I’ll definitely be back before Christmas as I’ve got lots more I want to make

  6. Hi,just found your site, and heaved a great sigh of relief.
    Finally some great recipes for homemade goodies.
    Living in France makes shopping for ingredients a challenge and your recipes show how to get around some of my problems so thankyou so much.
    katie.

    • Charlotte Oates

      Thanks Katie, I heard that a few times from people living in. France and Spain, I feel really lucky that we have such a great selection in the supermarkets here. If you ever have any questions that I’ve not answered in the post feel free to come and ask and I’ll do my best to help.

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