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SARAH RANKIN: Love it or hate it, mincemeat can be in more than pies

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By Sarah Rankin

Mincemeat can be versatile.
Mincemeat can be versatile.

Unless you shop and plan with a spreadsheet and have a minute understanding of the appetites of everyone who steps over your threshold during the festive period, you will undoubtedly be lumbered with some Christmas leftovers – some that you might still have!

Mincemeat is a bit of a Marmite ingredient in our house.

Mince pies will simply not be tolerated in any form, but the flavours of a good mincemeat are so rich and complex, it seems a great shame to ignore it all together. So I got my thinking cap on and came up with an idea or two, including a no-churn ice cream that is ridiculously simple, and a flavoured brandy that won’t last till next Christmas, but will help warm the cockles for the rest of the winter.

Mincemeat Brandy: 1 large jar mincemeat; 70cl bottle of brandy – a supermarket own brand is fine.

Mix them together in a large, sealable container like a kilner jar which you have sterilised first. Leave in a cool, dark place for 7-10 days, giving it a shake every day.

Strain through a very fine sieve, lined with muslin or cheesecloth, into another sterilised jar and you’re done!

It will keep for around six months.

It’s delicious as it is, but also makes a pretty special Brandy Alexander by adding equal parts of the flavoured brandy, crème de cacao and fresh cream to a cocktail shaker and then straining into a chilled coupe. Crème de cacao is a chocolate liqueur like Bicerin or Giffard, but Baileys, Aldi and good old M&S have their own versions too.

Then, in the spirit of zero waste, use the strained, boozy mincemeat to make this easy-as-you-like ice cream.

Mincemeat ice cream: 1 large jar mincemeat – or the leftovers from the brandy you’ve just made; 600ml double cream; 1 tin condensed milk; 3 tbsp chopped cherries – I used Amarena but Luxardo would do, or glacé at a push; 3 tbsp chopped pistachios; 3 tbsp whisky liqueur – I use Bruadar which has single malt, Scottish honey and sloe berries.

Whip the cream to soft peaks and stir in the condensed milk.

Mix all the remaining ingredients together and fold into the cream mixture. Pour into a freezer-safe plastic container with a clip-top lid.

Freeze for at least six hours, or overnight if you can. Leave out for at least 10 minutes before serving. It goes brilliantly as an affogato with an espresso and a shot of the mincemeat brandy.

Sarah Rankin hosts regular Supper Clubs, Cookery Classes and cooking demonstrations all over Scotland. Her cookbook, ‘Kith – food for family and friends’ will be available from early April. You can find out more about Sarah’s events and news by visiting www.sarahrankincooks.com or @Sarahrankincooks on Instagram or Facebook.

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