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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Cranberry-Studded Mincemeat

    Hello. I have been watching Nigella make her Cranberry-Studded Mincemeat, it sounds lovely! I really dislike 'normal' mincemeat so this recipe sounds so much nicer. The thing is, neither myself or my husband drink and I was wondering what you could use instead of the port and brandy in the recipe? Many thanks in advance, Rosie

    From the nigella team:

    The Cranberry-Studded Mincemeat can be found in Nigella's book Christmas (p189). The recipe includes the old-fashioned combination of port and brandy but it is possible to make the mincemeat without alcohol. You can use some cranberry or pomegranate juice instead of the port but you will need to increase the brown sugar by 2 tablespoons as both of these juices lack the sweetness of the port. You could also stir in a tablespoon of redcurrant jelly with the juice to add an extra layer of flavour.

    The brandy adds a bit of extra flavour and you could either leave it out completely or use a couple of drops of brandy flavouring instead -  this is usually available from cake decorating specialists.

    If you make an alcohol-free version of the mincemeat then it will not store as well as the version with alcohol. Instead of transferring the mincemeat to sterilized jars you should transfer it to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 10 days, or freeze it for up to 3 months.

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