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.