California Raisin Ruby Mincemeat by Charlotte White

California Raisin Ruby Mincemeat by Charlotte White

I am not a huge fan of mincemeat. Scratch that, I really dislike mincemeat so the request for a mincemeat recipe made my heart sink a little. Why? When I love fruit and spice, why do I hate mincemeat so?

I considered this question and took everything that I disliked in traditional mincemeat out and replaced the currants and peel with the flavours that I enjoy. Join me in welcoming sweet cherries and pomegranate to my take on mincemeat which is every bit as blood red as its name suggests.

Ingredients:

350g chopped apples (two good sized Bramleys)
350g California raisins
200g frozen sweet pitted cherries
75g dried cranberries
zest and juice of an orange
juice and seeds of a pomegranate
175g light muscovado sugar
50g unsalted butter
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cloves
good grating of fresh nutmeg (around ½ tsp)
100ml ruby port

Makes a 1 litre jar, sufficient for 2x large tarts or 24x mince pies

  1. Peel, core, and chop the apples into small cubes, throwing them into a large heavy saucepan as you go.
  2. Tip the rest of your prepared fruit into the saucepan; sweet California raisins, dried cranberries, and the wonderfully convenient frozen cherries.
  3. Zest the orange into your saucepan and squeeze all of its juice in too.
  4. Halve the pomegranate and squeeze the juice from each half into the saucepan. The satisfying crunch as you squeeze is one of the joys of this procedure! Crumble the seeds from the squeezed pomegranate into the saucepan – you will need to pick out the white membrane of the fruit if it falls in as it is not very pleasant to eat.
  5. Add sugar, butter, and spice to the saucepan along with the port.
  6. Turn on the heat and get the contents to a gently bubbling simmer. Set a timer for 30 minutes and enjoy the smell as it fills your kitchen.
  7. After 30 minutes, turn the heat up and boil the contents more violently for a further 20 minutes, checking with a stir every now and then to make sure it is not burning.
  8. Spoon the hot mincemeat into a 1 litre glass jar and close the lid. Allow to cool completely before opening. The flavours will mature beautifully so I recommend making this a week or two before you plan to use it.