I was speaking to lovely Steven Wallis from Masterchef the other day and we were discussing how underrated Malibu is - neither of us had had it in ages but both confessed to liking it. It got me thinking about how to use it in cooking and so I dug the dusty bottle out of our cupboard and decided to make some "Tropical" mincemeat. The result was a very yummy (assuming you like coconut) pale mincemeat and it made lovely mince pies. I also added few heaped tablespoons of the mincemeat to a 4, 4, 4, 2 sponge mix for a lovely light coconutty fruit cake.
Makes 6 jars
200g shredded or dessicated coconut
1kilo dried mixed fruit (sultanas, peel, raisins, currants)
200g glace cherries, halved
Juice and zest of 2 oranges
Juice and zest of 2 limes
3 apples, grated
300g caster sugar
250g vegetable suet
100g pistachios, chopped
Toast the coconut in a dry frying pan until lightly golden. Depending on the size of your pan, you may find it easier to cook in batches. Place the toasted coconut in a large oven proof bowl and add all the other ingredients. Stir well with a large spoon to make sure everything is mixed. Leave to stand for 1 hour to allow the flavours to develop. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 1/2 / 120/250/Aga Simmering Oven and place the bowl in the oven for one hour to allow the suet to melt, stirring half way through and at the end of cooking. Decant into steralised jars.
Reaching the final of Masterchef 2007 was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge highs and lows, but I loved every minute and learnt a huge amount. I owe a great deal to John and Gregg who had faith in my ability when I did not believe in myself. Since competing on the programme my life has changed considerably. I now write cookery columns for two magazines, give cookery demonstrations and am just working on my 13th cook book - unlucky number for some but not for me!!! I love all forms of country cooking, using seasonal and locally sourced produce. This blog is to enable me to share with you a few of my recipes and baking ideas. Enjoy Hannah xxxx