If you want luxury mince pies with ingredients easily found in France, here’s the recipe for mincemeat for you. Dried cranberries can be found in most large markets, normally the olive and dried fruit stalls have them. The mixed peel can be found in the same place, generally sold separately, for example candied grapefruit and candied orange works really well.
175g dried cranberries
100g mixed peel
1 small hard apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
125g butter, cut into cubes
50g whole blanched almonds, roughly chopped
225g brown sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice *
finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
200ml brandy, rum or sherry
* If you want to make your own mixed spice, blend the following together.
1 tbs ground allspice (also known as piment de jamaique in France)
1 tbs ground cinnamon
1 tbs ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground mace.
1 tsp ground cloves.
1 tsp ground coriander.
1 tsp ground Ginger.
Makes 4 jars
Measure all of the ingredients except the alcohol into a large pan. Heat gently, allowing the butter to melt, then simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
Allow the mixture to cool completely then stir in the brandy, rum or sherry.
Spoon the mincemeat into sterilised jam jars, seal tightly, label and store in a cool place.