Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Improving Shop-Bought Mincemeat

Improved mincemeat, flavours mingling.
When baking mince pies in bulk - for an event or bake sale - even if you normally make your own mincemeat from scratch, there comes a point where you need more mincemeat, and need to buy some in.

Commercially made mincemeat can however be somewhat disappointing. Too often the producers go overboard on cheap spice-flavoured syrup or apple sauce and skimp on the more expensive dried fruit.

When faced with using a tub of commercial mincemeat that has been made overly-cheaply in this way, this is how I give it a bit more body.

  • 800g - 1000g tub of cheaply made commercial Mincemeat.
  • 500g bag of Raisins or Sultanas.
  • A shot or two of brandy, rum or whisky.
Coarsely chop the raisins or sultanas, to break the skins and increase the surface area so that the flavours of the mincemeat and the raisins will mingle faster.
Combine the chopped raisins and cheap mincemeat in a large glass bowl.
Pour over the alcohol and mix all together thoroughly until well combined.
Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to stand as long as you can. Preferably overnight, if you have time.
Use in pies as for normal mincemeat.
If you find you have any leftover improved mincemeat after the baking session, re-pot it into a clean jar and store in the fridge.