I am not one to talk about Christmas (or even start thinking about it or pressie shopping) in September, except for one thing, the mincemeat for my mince pies. Now is the perfect time to start making this, especially as my recipe uses cooking apples, which are falling like the rain here at the moment. The flavour will be so much better if made now, bottled, and left to mature in a cool, dark cupboard for a few months.
700g (4 1/2 cups) mixed dry fruits; sultanas, raisins, cherries
150g (1 cup) glacé cherries
100g (1/4 cup) cut mixed peel
250g (1/2 lb) cooking apples, peeled and cored
100g (1/4 cup) shelled walnuts
250g (1.2 lb) shredded suet
450g (2 cups) demerara sugar
2 tsp mixed spice
Cognac to mix (or rum or sloe gin)
Coarsely mince or finely chop dried fruit, peel, apples and nuts. Add the suet, sugar, spice and enough Cognac to give a moist mixture. Stir well and leave to stand, covered, for 2 days. Stir well again and put into sterilised jars. Cover as for jam and leave to mature for at least two weeks (but longer if possible) before using.