A happy June, courtesy of Denstone Hall Farm Shop, Staffordshire
The Auntie Anne household has a tradition at this time of the year of 'happy months'. We try to eat at least 12 mince pies over the holiday season to ensure that we have 12 'happy months' in the coming year. (I'm at six so far.. I have a way to go yet)
The mince pies are supposed to come from different places.
This year we've had a go at making our own mincemeat. This late in the season you don't have to worry too much about it going off. Most of what goes into it is already dried or otherwise preserved anyway. It'll keep for a couple of days in the fridge.
This is a truly Auntie Anne recipe and how I normally cook - there are no weights or measurements. Have a go and play it by ear.
Start with an apple and cut it in half and take out the core. Then grate it roughly into a bowl. Don't worry about peeling it - but give it a wash first. Chuck in a good helping of mixed dried fruit (sultanas, raisins and currants) and a handful of candied peel.
Very few of these ingredients are essential. I used dried apricots instead because I didn't have any peel.
I also added some bashed up walnuts but any old nuts would do and you can leave out the nuts completely if you want.
Spice it to taste. All or any of the following would do: ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground allspice, ground nutmeg.
Add some shredded suet or vegetable equivalent.
Now add a squidge of orange juice and a very hefty measure of brandy.
Stir well, cover and stick it in the fridge. Then use it however you fancy in mince pies. (Big ones, individual ones, lattice topped ones, star-shaped ones, anything you like!)