Making use of apples & getting ready for Xmas

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Apples in slow cooker

Ok so its a bit early in the day to think about Xmas in the MWM house. But against my better judgement I have started to plan for it. We are having our kitchen done in a few weeks so trying to be make a few things before havoc breaks loose.

We have an apple tree in our garden so have decided to make use of the apples too. The apples are Bramley cooking apples and have made two lots of apple butter in my slow cooker with the help of My Baking Addiction (http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/crock-pot-slow-cooker-apple-butter-recipe/). I also made apple curd thanks to BBC Good Food (http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3077691/gbs-apple-curd). I didn’t add the ginger to mine but its still lovely.

My son loves both of these and has them in his porridge, yoghurt and on his toast. I now have enough apple butter to last me until…. maybe the end of the month.

Last year I made Xmas pudding at the last minute based on this recipe (http://britishfood.about.com/od/christmas/r/xmaspud.htm) and it was still yummy. I am going to try and make it in the next week or so. In order that it is done

So we have mincemeat all made and sat in jars to make even more scrummy. I “borrowed” and adapted the recipe from a friend but adjusted it slightly.

1 lb finely chopped suet (I used vegetable so anyone can eat it)

1 lb currants

1 lb raisins

1 lb chopped apples

1 lb sugar (I used a mix of light brown and dark brown)

1/2 lb sultanas

1/2 lb shredded mixed candied peel (I didn’t have that much so used half of that)

2 lemons

Brandy or Rum (I used Brandy)

Cinnamon, Allspice, Ground Ginger, Nutmeg, Ground Cloves

I also added some dried cherries and (chopped) up flaked almonds I had in my cupboard.

1) Soak the dried fruit in brandy, ideally overnight. I didn’t but was doing it in a rush and thought it would be marinating for quite a while

2) Mix in finely shredded lemon zest and the juice of the lemons.

3) Mix in spices to taste – My friend uses about 1tbspn ginger and half a tbspn of the others, with just a small hint of nutmeg, but likes hers really well spiced. Other recipes recommend teaspoons rather than my tablespoon. I used about two thirds of what my friend uses. Fingers crossed it tastes yummy.

4) Chop the apples finely, into small cubes (I chop mine to about 0.5cm cubes)

5) Mix all the ingredients together until well mixed and the sugar has started to dissolve slightly into the liquid. Pack firmly into clean jars. Make sure you push it down well. Cover with brandy so the top doesn’t dry out. Mix all the ingredients together, pack into jars, cover and keep in a cool, dry place. (Best if left for at least a month but can be used after a couple of days as long as it look well mixed and the sugar doesn’t look too undissolved)

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Homemade mincemeat

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