When I pulled open my blind this morning I realised we’d had our first snow! Ok, so it wasn’t really much to write home about and wasn’t particularly photo worthy either…but it was still snow! Wohoo!
It now feels much more like winter, a little boost to the Christmassy spirit!
So far this year it’s been very mild outside, I’ve barely had to scrape my car at all in the mornings before heading off to work but in the last week or so there has definitely been a winter chill in the air and snowfall was only a matter of time.
Time, to cosy up indoors with snuggly slippers a dressing gown and maybe a glass of mulled wine? No… I’m saving that for Christmas! A mug of herbal tea with have to do.
It’s time like this I really wish I had a crackling fire to sit next to as I write…no such luck, although the glow of the tree lights is nice. Actually an open fire would probably be a bad thing…I’d fall asleep in no time!
In all the talk of warmth and spices, Christmas is not complete without mincemeat….. Oh no, I can see some of you pulling a face…stop and re-consider. I’ve never really liked mincemeat, it always seemed full of too many currants, mixed peel and things like that and for someone who previously disliked dried fruit it just wasn’t my thing.
I’d never even considered making my own and certainly not realised how simple it really can be! Now I'm brimming with ideas using this basic concept...for example a 'summer fruits' or 'tropical' version for summer time- who says mincemeat is for Christmas only?
It's simple…pick the dried fruits you like (ok so ideally there should be some sort raisin/sultana combo going on but you can add other things too) blitz together and you’re done. No cooking, no sugar, not fat and no mess. This will easily store in a jar for a few weeks and freezes well too….so make it now to see you through the holidays.
As noted above this recipe is fat free and sugar free….it’s just pure and simple and needs nothing more. The dates along with the other fruits give it all the sweetness it needs.
I have a couple of mincemeat recipes coming up. I had planned on including the first recipe as part of this post, however the daylight faded before I’d finished in the kitchen so the photoshoot will have to take place tomorrow with recipe to follow.
Makes approx. 2 ½ cup
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup dried cranberries (I used the sweetened variety since I could not find unsweetened at the time)
- 1 cup sultanas
- ½ cup coarsely ground dates
- ½ cup whole blanched almonds
- 2 small to medium apples
- grated rind of one orange
- grated rind of one lemon
- 1 tbs arrowroot/tapioca flour (or any fine flour) optional
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp mixed spice or nutmeg
- 1 tsp rum extract (optional- I did not include this as it tasted great without)
Peel and core the apples and chop into quarters. Chop the dates in a food processor to get a course meal. Add all the ingredients and process until you have a sticky chunky mixture. I added a tbs of arrowroot to absorb a little of the liquid and help bind the mix together but this is not a necessity.
When I tasted the mixture I felt it really didn’t need the rum extract but feel free to add some at the end before a final whizz if you fancy. You could also include actual rum or brandy but again I didn’t feel it needed it and it would also have changed the consistency of the mixture.