Fruit mincemeat is a favourite preserve with a long history. It was originally made with minced meat (sometimes tongue) mixed with dried fruit and a lot of spice, together with apples and sugar, and a preservative spirit. Many of the old ingredients remain, but the meat has been replaced by shredded beef suet. The mincemeat looks best if it is composed of a mixture of minced, chopped and whole fruit, and it should be packed into clean, dry, cold jars. A thick covering of brown or greaseproof paper, or a plastic or screw top will prevent evaporation and drying-out, but if the mixture does become a little dry, extra spirits may be stirred in before use. The flavours mature after a week or two, so be sure to make mincemeat well ahead of the time it will be needed.
© 1978 Mary Norwak estate. All rights reserved.