Are you wondering what to do with leftover mincemeat? Delicious, fragrant and fruity, it is a favourite part of my Christmas feasting. But now it’s January I’m just not in the mood to make mince pies again.
Mincemeat lasts quite a long time so I haven’t rushed to use mine up, but now all the Christmas cheese and turkey is eaten and only the last quarter of the cake remains, it’s come to my attention that the mincemeat is sitting there without a clear plan for it’s future.
There are lots of mincemeat cake recipes around and I often make one at other times of the year, but right after Christmas I personally can’t face another cake in the house. We’ve still got lots of Christmas cake to eat. Instead, here are my five favourite ideas for using mincemeat in January.
1. As a dessert sauce: Heat a tablespoonful of mincemeat gently in a saucepan with a tablespoon of water until hot, then pour over ice-cream or a lemon cheesecake.
2. For breakfast: Add a heaped dessertspoonful of mincemeat to porridge – add it before you begin cooking it so the flavours cook all the way through. Or stir some mincemeat into plain natural yoghurt.
3. As a dessert filling: Add some mincemeat to one of your favourite dessert recipes. Maybe fill a baked apple, stir it into your crumble filling or mix it into a bread and butter pudding.
4. Store it until next winter: If you’ve got a jar of mincemeat that has been opened already, it would be a good idea to re-boil it and put it in a freshly sterilized jar with a wax disc on top, like jam. Then store in a cool place. That sounds like hassle to me! Depending on the sugar content, it will keep for maybe 6 months or possibly 3 years. You could freeze it in bags or tubs. You may have to heat it up after you defrost it to dissolve the sugar crystals. Dried fruit can go a bit chewy when frozen so after defrosting add water, heat through and leave to cool so it re-absorbs some moisture.
5. If you’re on a health kick and you don’t really want to eat more mincemeat yourself in January, how about making bars for the kids packed lunches? I’ve developed an easy shortbread recipe, inspired by (but substantially altered from) a Mary Berry date shortcake recipe.
8oz (225g) plain flour
1 level teaspoon of baking powder
5 oz (100g) soft margarine
2 oz (50g) light soft brown sugar
5 oz (150g) mincemeat
Zest of half an orange (optional)
¼ tsp of dried ginger (optional)
Grease and flour a rectangular tin, 11 by 7 inches (27.5 x 17.5 cm) or a circular tin of 10 inches (25cm) diameter. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees F or gas mark 4)
Sieve the flour, baking powder and ginger into a bowl, then rub in the margarine until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Sieve in the sugar to remove lumps, add the orange zest and stir again. Add the mincemeat and mix with your hands until the mixture comes together to form a dough.
Press evenly into the tin. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden and firm. Sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar over the top whilst it’s hot, cut into 16 pieces and leave to cool in the tin.
Take a look at this great review of this shortbread recipe from one of my readers on Instagram, click here
If you make this please do come back and leave a comment!