I borrowed from the library a copy of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's Fruit everyday a week or so ago. Lots of lovely, fruity recipes, some savoury, some sweet.
When we went to London last weekend, I took it with me to browse in the car. At the back there is a recipe for quite a luxury fruit mince.
I had very nearly all the ingredients sitting at home. I didn't have any dried sour cherries, but I did have a big bag of morello cherries from our tree in the freezer. I didn't have any lemons or oranges, but one of Freyja's local shops did. Everything else I had. So when we got home I dug the cherries out of the freezer and began my preparations.
The fruits and spices and sugar macerated happily while I was at work on Monday. On Monday evening, I baked the mix, gently, for a couple of hours.
When it was all nicely baked and cold, I mixed in the brandy. Funny. It's not mixing in very well. Stir, stir, stir, stir. No. It's definitely not stirring in very well. Double check the recipe.
Oops :-S The recipe calls for 50 ml of brandy and I've put in 150 :-s No wonder it's not mixing in very well!!
I put the whole lot in a box and put it in the fridge and pondered.
I decided to bulk up the fruit and juice. So I took loads more cherries out of the freezer, macerated them in orange and lemon juice with some more spice and a bit more sugar and 12 hours later simmered it all for half an hour or so. Then I mixed in the brandied fruit mince and very gently simmered that for half an hour. Then I made some small mince pies and a fruit mince roulade style pastry.
I have to say it was very, very tasty. But it was also very, very heady. We definitely couldn't count that as an alcohol free evening. And I absolutely can't bring them in to work. Wouldn't do at all to make my colleagues slightly tipsy before they go up on the desk or into a classroom!!!
I shall keep the mince pies and roulade for our delectation. And I'll make some more fruit mince at the weekend. Without the brandy!
And I can take the Fruit everyday book back to the library. The Builder has bought me a copy as a non-birthday present