“Don’t save your shot for after dinner this Christmas, get a toddy in your tart instead!” says Raisthorpe Manor Fine Foods’ Julia Medforth as she shares her favourite four recipes for luxury, liqueur-filled mincemeat.
Raisthorpe Manor has found an ingenious way to use up some of the spent sloe berries from its gin, port and sherry production ““ they pop them in their pies!
Guests at the Raisthorpe Manor estate, based in North Yorkshire and famous for its luxury liqueurs and preserves, don’t just enjoy shoots on the range but shots in their pies too, with soaked sloes used in the mincemeat recipe to give a rich and warming flavour.
“When we make our sloe gin, port and sherry we always have a batch of boozy berries leftover so we’ve started putting them in our mince pies for guests to try at elevenses ““ and they’ve gone down rather well!” says Julia. “You can get the same effect at home by simply adding a shot of whisky or sloe gin to your pies ““ or even an orange liqueur!”
Raisthorpe’s Boozy Mincemeats
All these recipes are best stored in sterile jars for a few days or weeks prior to using so the flavours can mingle, and they can store for up to 12 months so you could make a batch for next year too!
GINGLE BELLS MINCEMEAT
Cook up 1kg (2lb 3oz) stoned plums with the juice and zest of 2 oranges, and simmer for 12 minutes before whizzing in a food processor. Add 500g (1lb) cored and chopped apples, 600g (1lb 5 oz) dried fruit, 250g (8oz) demerara sugar, 100g (3oz) chopped mixed nuts and some spices (ginger, nutmeg etc to taste), and leave to stand overnight. Pop in a baking dish and stir in 50ml Raisthorpe Manor Sloe Gin and bake on a low heat for two hours before using.
SHERRY BERRY MINCEMEAT
Slice 900g (2lb) cored and peeled apples and cook in a saucepan until bubbling with 500g (1lb) mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas and currants), juice and zest of a lemon, 600ml (1pt) Raisthorpe Manor Sloe Sherry and a pinch of nutmeg. Add 500h (1lb) sugar and bring back to the boil and cook for 15 minutes before adding a drop of almond essence.
PORT PIE MINCEMEAT
Peel and core 225g (7oz) dessert apples and mix with the juice and zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon, along with 675g (1lb 7oz) dried fruit, 115g (4oz) semi-dried cranberries, 50g (1oz) ground almonds, 225g (7oz) soft brown sugar, 225g (7oz) suet, a pinch of cinnamon and all spice and 200ml (7fl oz) Raisthorpe Manor Sloe Port. Bake at a low heat for 2-3 hours, before adding to jars and storing.
In a large baking dish, mix 250g (8oz) chopped candied peel, 1kg (2lb 3 oz) cored and grated apples, 500g (1lb) suet, 500g (1lb) each raisins, currants and sultanas, 500g (1lb) soft brown sugar, 1 grated nutmeg, 125g (4oz) slivered almonds, the juice and zest of 2 oranges, 3tbsp Raisthorpe Game Keepers Finest Whisky and 6tbsp Raisthorpe Midnight Chocolate Orange Vodka Liqueur. Bake at a low heat for 2-3 hours, before adding to jars and storing.