A slow cooker is a great way to make Christmas mincemeat, it gives all the flavours time to develop while you get on with other things. This version is alcohol free so our kids can eat it, and I prefer to use vegetarian suet too.
My quantities always vary depending on what I have in, so please don't be bound by the weights I use. I use my large slow cooker for this recipe, and you may need to half it if you only have a small one. Fit it to your cupboard and the tastes you like most. Merry Christmas!
Slow cooker alcohol free, vegetarian Christmas mincemeat
Makes about 2kg, or enough for three or four large jars
Zest of one orange
Zest of one lemon
225g soft dark brown sugar
200ml orange and cranberry juice
150g seedless raisins
125g glace/candied cherries, roughly chopped
125g glace/candied peel, roughly chopped
125g chopped dried apricots, roughly chopped
125g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
125g dried cranberries
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp nutmeg
200g vegetarian suet
Four bramley cooking apples, peeled and chopped
Put all of the ingredients apart from the ground spices, sugar, suet and orange and cranberry juice in a large bowl, then add it to your slow cooker. You could add it all directly to the slow cooker, but I like to check it will fit first!
Once it's in the slow cooker, add the ground spices, sugar, suet and orange and cranberry juice and give it a really good stir.
Cook on low for three or four hours, stirring every now and again. Once it's thickened, the apples have reduced in size and it all feels sticky, switch off the slow cooker and let it cool for another three or four hours still stirring every now and again. Cooling and stirring slowly like this stops the suet lumping together.
Once it's cooled right down, add it in to sterilised jars. To sterilise the jars, I wash them on a hot dishwasher cycle and allow to air dry.
Sealed tightly, these should last longer than you'll need before you eat them (a few months I'd say but mine have never lasted that long). They're probably best left in a cool dark cupboard for a week or two for the flavours to develop, but it's not necessary. Yum!