Stir up Sunday is the Sunday just before Advent, due to mincemeat and Christmas pudding recipes formerly requiring a long standing period. The reason Squeamish Bikini can smash this rule is because of the noble microwave.
I am offended to my Christmas core when offered a shop bought mince pie. They are too sweet and ridiculously massive which is why so many people think they don’t like mince pies. This is an expensive error when mincemeat is so very easy to make.
So, today I am going to share with you a family tradition that goes all the way back to the 1980s.
Squeamish Mincemeat (makes 6 Jars)
We have never been ones for following recipes to the letter, for years I was convinced we were abiding by Saint Delia, it was only recently I noticed come December we would get down the old stained Delia Smith’s Christmas book, lay it on the table and proceed to completely ignore the thing. Please feel free to bastardise the recipe I am about to impart to you, as we have done with Delia’s.
450g Bramley Apples, chopped into small pieces, don’t skin.
225g Suet (we use vegetarian)
1.4kg assorted dried fruit. This is where we first deviate from Delia, use whatever you fancy here, we favour; cranberries, dried apricots (cut these up with scissors), raisins, prunes, sultanas, whatever we fancied down the Happy Shopper.
350g Soft brown sugar
50g Pistachios (optional, I for one cannot be doing with chopping pistachios, if you can by all means add away)
4tsp Mixed Spice
½ tsp Cinnamon
Whole grated nutmeg
2 Oranges for zest and juice
2 Lemons, likewise.
Put ingredients in big bowl. Maybe give it a bit of a mix with your washed hands.
Ignore any Delia suggestion you put this in the oven for ages. Or that you leave it over night. This is ridiculous, it's Winterval Delia, a time for the famalam, I certainly will not make them wait for mincey goodness. Microwave for 2 minutes, stir, microwave for 2 minutes, or until all the suet has melted, whatever, zap that Christmas fusion of festive flavours. MMHMM evocative.
Put in the jars you have washed and been saving all year for no apparent reason until now.
Give as touching homemade gifts to friends if you suddenly remember you don’t even like mince pies.
Or keep if you do like mince pies and spoon into ready rolled pastry. It’s good in puff pastry too if you want to go all edgy for Christmas.
See? That’s taken up, like, an hour max of your day. Promise me you’ll never buy a mince pie or jar of mincemeat again.