This is a lovely way to use some of the gorgeous red cranberries that are on sale right now - in a delicious Christmassy, spicy, jammy relish. The original recipe for a cranberry mincemeat was posted on my old blog a couple of years ago, but I have tweaked it a wee bit since then. Here is my latest version - very yummy, if I say so myself.
2 lb 8 oz cranberries (fresh or frozen)
2 large cooking apples (I used bramleys)
2 teaspoons mixed spice
8 oz butter
6 or 7 fl oz maple syrup
Cook together until the butter has melted and the fruit is beginning to soften (don't let it get too soft at this stage)
About 1 lb 4 oz of sugar (brown preferably, but I had a mixture of soft brown and golden caster sugar
to make up the weight)
6 oz of chopped candied peel
4 fl oz cointreau (my preference as I think the orange flavour goes well with here, but brandy or rum
would work too)
Mix in until sugar is dissolved, then simmer until the fruit is nice and soft, but still whole. Ladle into hot sterilised jars and cover with a waxed disc, just as you would for other preserves. The butter will coat the fruit as it cools, stopping the fermentation you sometimes get with other mincemeat recipes.
We made some cranberry mincemeat pies - just roll out some shortcrust pastry, stamp into rounds and spoon some of the cranberry mincemeat into each pastry shell. Add a little pastry star, brush with beaten egg, and bake at 350 deg (180 c) until -
- golden brown and delicious. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy.
But don't let you children wander through to your carpeted front room with them though. Make them sit at the kitchen table.
Pop a festive fabric hat on some of the jars to give as presents.
But keep plenty for your own kitchen too, as it is very versatile as well as delicious. It can be used in traditional mince pies, as a compote with ice cream, or any number of dessert ideas. You could even use it as a cranberry sauce with the turkey, or later with cold cuts and sandwiches - lovely with the Christmas ham. And it keeps well too - an all round winner. xxx
Once opened, keep in the fridge and use up within 2 weeks.