i’ve decided that this year we’re having a full-on, balls to the wall english christmas with all the trimmings. (although a chicken will be playing the role of turkey in this production of english christmas because a) there’s only two of us and b) do you know how much a turkey costs in sweden?!?! it’s painted with the brush of all things glamorous and american and thus commands $$$$). i haven’t finalized the menu quite yet, but right now i have a thousand tabs open for things like bread sauce and “how to wrap & tie a pudding.” the sweets are obviously the most important things, so they’re getting made first.
i made the fruit cake on stir-up sunday. it lives in my cupboard and i feed it a little whisky every few days. tonight we’re making figgy pudding and now the mincemeat is done, so i’ll soon be all caught up on my grande tour of victorian dried fruit delicacies and ready to start planning the actual meal.
i kind of made this recipe up, based on the proportions of traditional recipes like these. i switched out dried figs and apricots for some of the raisins and used whisky instead of brandy. i won’t know how it turned out until closer to christmas since it has to sit and mature for at least two weeks. if you’re feeling daring and would also like to risk upsetting tradition, here’s the instructions:
dawn’s extra fruity mincemeat
(this makes a half recipe, two 500 ml jars. feel free to double it if you have a lot of mince lovers to feed, or a lot of dried fruit in your pantry.)
100 g currants
100 g raisins
50 g candied peel
50 g dried apricots, chopped
50 g dried figs, stems removed and chopped
150 g shredded beef or vegetarian suet, or cold shredded butter
125 g sugar
1/3 of a nutmeg, grated
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
zest and juice from half a lemon
1 small-ish sour cooking apple
50 ml whisky, whiskey or rye whisky
stir together the ingredients except for the apple and whisky, mix very well. grate the apple and stir it in, then add the whisky. pack into sterilised jars. (i sterilise mine by washing in hot soapy water and then heating them in the oven for 10-15 minutes. those in the know say it’s even easier to just run them through the dishwasher, if you have one).
allow to mature for at least two weeks. will keep 6 months unopened or in the refrigerator once opened.