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Fruit Mincemeat
from the kitchen of Sharmagne Leland-St. John

6 ounces  dark raisins
2 ounces sultanas
4 ounces  currants
1/2 ounce slivered almonds, blanched
6 ounces soft dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2  teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
4 ounces shredded  beef or vegetarian suet
1 lemon for zesting and juicing
1 orange for zesting and juicing
1/2 cup Granny Smith or Rome Beauty apple
4 ounces whole candied peel
1/2 pound fresh cranberries

To make three pounds mincemeat you might want to start the night before. Put the raisins, sultanas, currants, almonds, brown sugar, mixed spices and suet in a large ovenproof glass bowl.  Zest the lemon and orange, then squeeze the juice.  Add these to the bowl and mix.  Core the unpeeled apple and chop into tiny pieces, add this to the ingredients.  Cut  into pieces and add the whole candied peel. 

Mix and stir thoroughly.  Cover with a clean kitchen baking cloth and let sit in a cool place for at least 8-12 hours or overnight, to allow the flavours to mingle.

Next morning or later the same day, preheat the oven to 225 degrees (120c).  Put a piece of foil atop the bowl, loosely and cook for 2 hours.

Remove from the oven and cool stirring occasionally.  The suet which has been rendered down to a liquid fat will want to coagulate, which is good.  It will seal in the flavours.

When the mincemeat is thoroughly cooled off add 3-4 tablespoons good quality brandy.  It is now ready to be stored in steralised glass jars or put into cookies or refrigerated for ice cream pie


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