I know you're probably thinking that it's easier to buy a jar & yes it is but making your own means that you can put whatever you like in it. Last year I showed you how to pimp up a jar of shop bought mincemeat but this year let's start from scratch!

First of all we need a base-I used a bag of Tesco Value mixed dried fruit at 95p for 500g. This includes currants, raisins, sultanas & mixed peel-everything we need to get started!

Place the fruit in a bowl & pour over 4tbsp brandy-this plumps up the fruit as well making it boozy! Cover the bowl with a tea towel & leave it for 24 hours. (One year I couldn't understand why it was taking so long for the brandy to get soaked up then I caught Mr W adding extra brandy “because you didn't put enough in”!!)

Now I like to add walnuts to mine but these can be expensive, however I recently discovered that Poundland stock nuts in little snack packs of 100g including walnuts. Bargain & just enough for what I needed! If you choose to use nuts toast them first either in a low oven (140 Fan/160C/Gas3) or dry fry them in a pan, then chop finely or use a pestle & mortar.

Here is what else I add:

1 grated apple

2tsp ground mixed spice

4 tbsp caster sugar

100g melted butter

Mix everything together well!

Pack the finished mincemeat into a sterilized jar (wash in hot, soapy water & dry in a low oven) screw the lid on tight & store it in the fridge until ready to use.

All these ingredients together make just over 1kg of mincemeat & cost approximately £3.25. This should be enough to make 48 mince pies, you could even make them & freeze half for Christmas emergencies!

So there you are delicious homemade mincemeat! Make it my way or make it your own, instead of brandy use orange liqueur or pecans instead of walnuts, add some dried cranberries if you like it really is up to you-enjoy!

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