Christmas & Other News

Christmas baking has taken over completely here.  I’ve made numerous large batches of my mother’s gorgeous fat-free, light mince meat (no suet, no butter, no mixed peel, no heaviness).  I’ve used it to make lots and lots of wheat and gluten-free mince pies for some new customers.  You’ll now find them in the Comfy Cosy Cafe, Roscommon and in other peoples homes this Christmas.

Guilt-free mince pies!

I’m not one for holding back recipes so I’m posting the mince meat here – it’s very special to us here so respect!

Mince Meat

2.2lb / 1kg  cooking apples peeled and diced (peeled & cored weight)

1L cider

1lb / 450g brown sugar

12oz /350g currants

12oz / 350g raisins

12oz / 350g sultanas

1 tsp mixed spice

½ tsp ground clove

½ tsp ground cinnamon

200ml dark rum

50ml brandy

7oz / 200g  glace cherries, halved


  1. Place the diced apple in a large saucepan with the cider and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until the apples are just softened.
  2. Add sugar and spices (mixed spice, clove and cinnamon) and stir until dissolved.  Add currants, raisins, and sultanas and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Allow the mixture to cool and stir in the cherries, brandy and rum.
  4. Store in sterilised jars for 1-2 months before Christmas.  Or less if you don’t have time – I use it straight away too!

And the puddings are steaming away in the oven – I’ve got 8 here in my small electric oven in bain maries of hot water – the temperature is 180 C.  Most recipes will tell you to steam your pudding for 8 hours or pressure cook it for 3 hours.  I have too many so doing all together in the oven.  I think I will leave them for 4-5 hours.  They should be fine then.

Steaming Puds

In other news:

Very exciting work is happening at my kitchen!  I am doing up my dining area and having a wooden floor laid by Anthony:

And…..we have created a “hatch” between the kitchen and the dining room to pass across food and other goodies more easily!  My granny Browne had one of these from her kitchen to sitting room and we just thought it was the best thing ever, as I still do.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Love the hatch! John’s mam has one as well and it’s brill. Only used at Christmas, but still useful!


  2. Posted by vickscakes on December 22, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Sarah, thats a great recipe for mincemeat,like the idea of not adding butter (even though i love butter). Happy Christmas Vicky x


  3. Posted by fellowfoodie on December 23, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Hi Sarah, my friend Vicky introduced me to your blog (thanks Vick!), loving it. What recipe did you use for the pastry on the mince pies? Assuming this too was gluten free? My Dad’s a Coeliac so always looking out for great recipes that are gluten free! Thanks a lot & Happy Christmas! Tracy


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