This is unashamedly an Anglo-French recipe. Taking all that’s wonderful, and quite impossible to give up, from an English Christmas whilst using classic Quercy ingredients.
You may already have made your precious jars of mincemeat of course, it’s getting a little late now, but if you haven’t do try this.
Makes about one and a half kilos or 30 – 36 mince pies.
150 grams shredded suet (several of the smaller supermarkets have a shelf or two with English products, you will find suet amongst them)
150 grams currants
150 grams raisins
150 grams golden raisins
150 grams Agen prunes, stoned and chopped
150 grams shelled, broken walnuts
150 grams peeled, chopped apples (any variety)
150 grams soft dark brown sugar
The grated zest and juice of two oranges
2 level teaspoons Quatre Epices
A good slosh of Armagnac
It really couldn’t be simpler. Mix all the dried ingredients together in a large bowl; add the apples and orange zest and finally the juice and the Armagnac. The exact quantity is up to you, it really isn’t necessary to puddle about with measurements, but if you insist, I would suggest a sherry glassful!
Now pack your mincemeat into clean, sterilized jars and keep for as long as you can bear it.
Mincemeat should really have a good ten days to mature and I make mine a month before Christmas. Having said that, there have been times when the festive tidal wave has overcome me and I’ve found myself making mincemeat on Christmas Eve and Mince Pies on Boxing Day. They’re still delicious!
© Amanda Lawrence