Delicious, spicy mince recipe
Spicy, sweet mincemeat has been around for a long time. A mixture of minced dried and fresh fruit combined with rum or brandy, spices, and chopped leftover meat such as venison or beef, it was used as a way to produce a delicious dish and preserve meat at the same time.
The earliest recipes for mincemeat date back to the 15th century, and it was originally prepared using wine and vinegar. Later recipes saw the substitution of distilled spirits such as rum and brandy. Early recipes also contained eggs along with with the other ingredients. Eggs were later dropped along with the meat and suet was substituted. By the 20th century, cooks discovered that the meat could be left out entirely and still produce a delicious ingredient for pies and other desserts.
Mince may be made in two ways. The first entails combining the ingredients and placing them in jars to sit for two weeks to allow it to age from the inclusion of alcohol. The other method is to simmer the ingredients on top of the stove. Simmering allows the fruit to plump and flavors to combine right away. It also allows the mixture to be used right away.
Homemade Mincemeat Recipe
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup apple juice or cider
2 apples,coarsely grated
1/2 cup sultana raisins
1/2 cup dark raisins
1/2 dried cherries or cranberries
1/2 cup dried currants
1 cup mixed candied fruit, chopped
1/2 cup dates, chopped (dried prunes or figs may be substituted)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon or orange
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 ounces dark brown sugar
3 – 4 tablespoons rum or brandy
Blend together fruits, apple juice, nuts and zest and set aside. Combine spices and salt in small bowl and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over low heat and add fruit mixture. Sprinkle the spice and salt mixture over the fruit in the skillet, stir the ingredients and bring the heat up to medium until the fruit mixture reaches a boil.
Once this is accomplished, lower the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid in the skillet is absorbed. This should take around 30 minutes. While it is simmering, blend in 2 or 3 tablespoons of brandy or rum if desired.
When the mixture has thickened, remove it from the stove and allow to cool.
Place the mincemeat in a sealed container and refrigerate until ready to use. This mincemeat should keep well under refrigeration for about a month.
You may wish to add a little more brandy or rum during this period to keep the mixture from becoming dry. This mince recipe can be used to prepare delicious spicy pies, cakes, muffins and cookies.