I know it’s a little late to be making your own mincemeat – I’m sure it would be perfectly delicious but it really needs time to mature. However, having shared a receipt from Eliza Acton not quite to modern taste – mincemeat made with actual meat (unsalted ox-tongue or the inside of a roast sirloin which would ‘answer quite as well as the tongue‘) here is Eliza’s other recipe for ‘superlative mincemeat‘:
take four large lemons, with their weight of golden pippins pared and cored, of jar-raisins, currants, candied citron and orange-rind and the finest suet, and a fourth part more of pounded sugar. Boil the lemons tender, chop them small, but be careful first to extract the pips; add them to the other ingredients, after all have been prepared with great nicety, and mix the whole well with from three to four glasses of good brandy. We think that the weight of one lemon in meat improves the mixture; pr, in lieu of it, a small quantity of macaroons added just before it is baked.
Eliza omits to give any ‘baking’ instructions – unless she means before the mincemeat is baked in mincepies… not very clear, Eliza!
A large lemon seems to weigh 4-5 ounces, so here are the ingredients again:
- 4 large lemons, unwaxed and washed
- 1 lb pared, cored and presumably chopped golden pippin or any other dessert apple
- 1 lb raisins
- 1 lb currants
- 1 lb candied peel – orange and lemon (presumably not 1 lb of each)
- 1 lb suet
- 4 oz sugar
- 3-4 glasses of good brandy – a wineglass as a cooking measure seems to be 2 fl oz, so this would be 6-8 fl oz of brandy
- 4 oz meat (optional) no mention of whether it should be cooked or uncooked, but judging by the previous receipt it should be cooked – or a small quantity of crushed macaroons added before baking