On making the first mince pies of the season (or ever)

I don’t remember the last time I waited until this close to Christmas to start making mince pies…

Last night, a friend came over. She’s German and had never even heard of mince pies, let alone thought about making one. That obviously had to be rectified. Here’s the process of rectification:

Pre-rolled puff pastry. It was supposed to be specially amazing with extra butter, but it was sticky and soft and just generally hard to work with – next time I’ll stick to the usual stuff ๐Ÿ™‚
Normal sized tray – miniature moulds
6 rolls of puff pastry later there was still mince meat left in the first of 6 litre-tubs…
No way I’m going to faff about with a pastry brush – I dunk the lids in a mixture of milk and beaten egg, push one side into the top of a pile of sugar and hope they land sugar side up when I throw them towards the cases…
The first plateful (proper sized) – mostly straight out of the oven

๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ I think she done good ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚
(Photos feature my friend’s hands – I was wielding the camera :))

On breaking the spoon

It’s nearly my birthday, which means it’s mincemeat making month ๐Ÿ™‚

Originally I planned to spend Sunday afternoon chopping apples and peeling lemons and squeezing oranges in a yearly tradition of stickiness. Then a phone conversation happened and I ran out of afternoon before I ran out of things to say.

When I got home from work today, I discovered that the first of the lemons I washed on Sunday were peacefully going mouldy at the bottom of the fruit bowl.

Time to wash the rest, and get started on the mincemeat project.

Just when everything was in the saucepan and I thought I was almost finished, I broke my wooden spoon.

Luckily I have a second wooden spoon spare…

On making mincemeat of it – part 1

Every year, I make a load of mincemeat, for myself, my family, and anyone else who wants some.

Every year, I make it up as I go along, and no one’s complained yet.

This is part 1 of the recipe – insofar as it can be called a recipe – for 2015.

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A word of caution to anyone who wants to actually use this recipe:
Please wait until I’ve finished and got it into jars, BEFORE starting. I tweak recipes as I go, and that’s probably annoying for people who follow instructions… (or who live further away from shops than I do).

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Take one huge saucepan…

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…the rind and juice from 8 oranges (ca 2kg) and 8 lemons (ca. 1kg)…

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…16 grated apples (or half grated, half chopped) (ca.3kg). I took the cores out, but I suppose you could leave them in…

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…6-8 packets (ca.1,5kg) of raisins/sultanas, checking for bits of twig first…

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….a tub of chopped prunes/dried plums…

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…a tray of dried figs…

…4/3 cup of soft light brown sugar and 4/3 cup of soft dark brown sugar. (It probably doesn’t matter what kind of sugar, and I might add more tomorrow)…

…and a lot of allspice (2-3 tablespoons).

Stir well, and leave to sit overnight.
(A couple of pictures are missing – I’ll add them later)