The colder temperatures make getting out of my warm bed and into a freezing kitchen that little bit less appealing, but once the ovens are on, the coffee is brewed and the aroma of bread baking fills the room, I’m ready for the busy day ahead.
The days are passing so quickly I could do with getting up earlier to fit everything in.
I’m having difficulty trying to get everything ready for Christmas Day but I managed to persuade Julia’s mum to make the Christmas pudding and I’ve ordered the beef from Jane at Woodlands Jersey Beef.
We always have smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for breakfast on the day so there is no need for a starter before the roast.
As it’s a big family day, my sister’s partner is bringing the wine which leaves just the mince pies and a present for my wife to sort out.
At least I can get the mincemeat made this week and leave it for a while for the flavours to come together.
You have to have at least one mince pie over the festive period and this recipe for mincemeat is not as complicated as some I’ve seen. The added cranberries and port make it that little bit more special than the mass-produced stuff you can buy at the supermarket.
I also like the fact that the suet content is lower than normal so you should be fine when indulging in a second helping. All I have to do now is get shopping for that present.
To find out more about Lawrence’s restaurant Fat Olives, visit fatolives.co.uk or call 01243 377914.
225g Bramley apple (peeled and diced).
120g mixed peel.
175g brown sugar.
Zest and juice of two clementines.
Zest and juice of one lemon.
2 teaspoons mixed spice.
1 stick cinnamon.
Half teaspoon ground nutmeg.
50 ml brandy.
1. Mix all the ingredients together except the brandy.
2. Put into a large saucepan and cook over a very low heat, occasionally stirring with a spoon, for about 30 minutes until sticky.
3. Allow to cool and mix in the brandy.
4. Put into sterilised jars and leave for at least one week before using.
5. Fill your pies with this lovely mincemeat and serve with brandy butter.