Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Aimee's Canadian Mincemeat

Mincemeat has been on my list of Christmas goodies to make from scratch for, oh, about three years now. Funny, if I had known it was going to be as easy as tipping ingredients into a pot, stirring every so often, and then transferring them to a jar, I wouldn't have waited so long.

Like most great recipes, this one sort of evolved with each discovery in my pantry. I call it Canadian mincemeat because the majority of the stellar ingredients are produced locally. The grated apples, cranberries -fresh & dried-, maple syrup, honey, apple cider... even the all-important-to-proper-mincemeat-booze-factor is a Québec maple whisky called Sortilège.
Oh yeah, it's pretty awesome.

I'd have to say it all came together marvelously and took a total of about 30 minutes. Between unpacking and playing house with the kids, that's about all the time I have for playing in my kitchen these days.

I wish I had stockpiled dried cranberries and currants earlier in the month so that I could make vats and vats of the stuff, because little jars of my mincemeat would make THE most delightful homemade edible Christmas gifts. Instead I have just enough to turn out a hundred or so tartelettes, which, I can assure you, won't even make it to see Santa come down the chimney.

Aimée's Canadian Mincemeat

This would also be a marvelous do-ahead holiday treat, but I'm not nearly that organized.

2/3 cup apple cider (may substitute cranberry juice)
2 cups whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (or 1 tsp dried)
1 cup currants
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried cranberries
2 medium apples, quartered, cored and grated with the peel on
50 ml Sortilège (Canadian maple whisky) or brandy
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tablespoons honey

In a large saucepan, warm the apple cider and dissolve the brown sugar in it over low heat.

Add the whole cranberries to the pot (I used frozen) and stir.

Add cinnamon, cloves and ginger, along with the currants, raisins, dried cranberries and grated apple.

Stir and simmer over medium low heat until it starts to darken and the mixture has absorbed most of the liquid. About 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Take off the heat and add the whisky, extracts, maple syrup and honey. Beat well to incorporate everything and crush the cranberries slightly.

Spoon into sterilized jars (a run through the dishwasher will do the trick), cover with lids and store in the refrigerator for several weeks.

May also be frozen for up to three months.


Madeline said...

Ahhhhhh, look at that little hand!!! So precious. If this recipe doesn't scream Christmas I don't know what does. It looks delicious!

Cheryl Arkison said...

The mincemeat looks good, but the light in your new place has me smiling. It seems perfect.

Dodie said...

sOne question. Doesn't Mincemeat have meat as an ingredient? My mother made this way back in the 30's and 40's when I was a kid and I know it was made when we butchered a steer. I want to think she used meat the same as she used for head cheese, which is whole different recipe. We live in Kansas

Melissa said...

I see you had a little helper. I've never had mincemeat-I'm going to have to try it.

Maria said...

My dad loves loves loves mincemeat! I must try this for him! Thanks!

Elizabeth said...

I love Sortilège!! That stuff is killer...too bad I can't have any this year. Boo hoo. This looks so Christmas-y Aimee. I'm sure the little ones loved it by the looks of that picture!

Oh and to answer one of your commentators questions (can't help myself!), "Real" mincemeat does indeed contain suet AND meat, although I have yet to see the "real" deal in any store, ever. I think mincemeat has become what Aimee has made for us today, rather than a way to use up leftover meat when butchering a steer.

Aimée said...

Hi Madeline- Don't worry, I didn't let him eat any, with all that whisky, it's not really a treat for the kids!

Hi Cheryl- You said it, the light is wonderful--at all times of the day.

Hi Dodie- Suet isn't used in mincemeat much anymore. Most mincemeat that you purchase at the grocery store certainly has never come close to anything bovine!

I'm sure there are still mothers & grandmothers who make the old-school version but I think now, pretty much anything goes!

Hi Melissa- hope you try it! My dad's British, so we always had it around over the holidays.

Hi Maria- How cool of a daughter are you?! Reminds me, I should ship some to my dad..

Hi Elizabeth- Ah yes, I remember those holidays of abstinence, not so fun. At least it's for a good cause, right?

Melanie said...

I can't wait to try your recipe - it looks wonderful! I've never made mincemeat from scratch, maybe because my mom's recipe calls for suet, which makes me cringe.

Unplanned Cooking said...

Impressed to see your little helper's adorable hand reaching for a spoon. Mine would have just stuck his hand in the jar :).

Half Baked said...

yum yum yum! that looks terrific!

Abby said...

I'm a big fan of food for gifts ANY time of the year, but this is such a gorgeous holiday treat.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I must confess that I've never had mincemeat. I always thought it had meat in it and that put me off it. It didn't help that some adults in my life called it mousemeat. Your version sounds delicious.

CookiePie said...

Delicious!! Hope you're loving your new home!

Aimée said...

Hi Melanie- I avoided mincemeat for years--until I realized no one makes it with suet anymore! Now I have to have it around for Christmas.

Hi Jennifer- Hah! Yeah, the fingers came a little later...

Hi Lynn- Eww. That's totally gross. I hope you try it someday, not that you know it's not that scary..

HI Beth- We ARE! Thanks!

Jamoo said...

I came across this recipe via Smitten Kitchen. I'm thrilled. My grandmother and mom - Nova Scotians - always made traditional mincemeat: lots of raisins, apples, suet, and venison. It's delicious. However, it's a pain to stir, and stir, and stir, and stir, so Mom would only make it if her two sons were around to relieve her. Now that we've moved away, we don't get it any more. And now that I don't eat meat, I couldn't have it anyway. This is a long winded way of saying thanks for an easy, veg-friendly mincemeat recipe.

Merry Christmas!!

Julie said...

I so wanted to make mincemeat this year! I managed stollen and that was it. I'm so bookmarking this for next year!

Haidi said...

mmm... mincemeat tarts. How delicious that sounds! I'd take that over fudge any day!!!

muggins said...

Happy Holidays,

This looks delicious. How many jars will I need for this recipe?



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