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I have not used the product for some years but when I opened the jar just purchased I could not believe the quality of the contents, a jar full of a brown runny mess, nothing like the thick dark mince it used to be. I will never buy this product again.
Robertsons is a name I always associate with Xmas, but I was so disappointed to find that all the fruit in their Classic mincemeat had disappeared to be replaced with just a goo! I wonder if by Classic they mean that they have used a war time recipe which uses barely any fruit. I will be buying the cheap stuff from now on, that at least has some fruit in it!!
As someone who has recently returned to the UK after nearly 30 years in Australia, where I used Robertson's mincemeat (interestingly in jars labelled as shown above, although I'm not sure whether it was a local product prepared under licence, or an import) annually to make extremely successful mince pies in considerable quantities, for friends and relations as well as my own family, I have been most disappointed with a product sold in all supermarkets in my area as Robertson's Classic Mincemeat, with a different label. The obvious difference is that this latter has an apple content of 26%, with the result that the content oozes out of the pies when baking, making them extremely difficult to remove from the baking trays despite lashings of butter to ensure that they shouldn't stick. I believe that one of the major chains' own brands, with more berry and considerably less apple content, is a better approximation of what I used previously, and it is to that product to which I will be turning in future.
Despite being probably the most popular and widely used brand of mincemeat, Robertsons is quite possibly the one with the least flavour and texture. It is rather too sloppy for my liking and you will need quite thick pastry to compensate for this. Robertsons mincemeat has too much of a sickly sweet taste and not enough spices to give it any real festive flavour.
One jar does not go very far as there is a lot of juice and not a lot of filling so you have to use more of it. Personally I prefer to buy supermarket own brand mincemeat which is cheaper and usually comes in bigger jars. I then add a little more spice such as cinnamon or nutmeg and a dash of brandy as it tends to be a bit dry.
A good compromise would be to mix a jar of the Robertsons Mincemeat with a jar of own brand as that is usually drier in texture, this would give you a kind of happy medium.
Though really, nothing quite beats making your own.
Whatever has happened to the quality of Robertsons Mincemeat (or Fruit Mince as it is called here in Australia? ) I have used it for 57 years and was always congratulated on the lovely taste. It used to be so thick and full of fruit but this year I opened a jar to make my mincepies and was shocked at the awful runny mess which was inside. Needless to say the mincepies didn,t get made. It amazes me that the great name which you made for yourself throughout the years has gone down he drain. Come on Robertson's give us back the old type of Mincemeat we are used to.
Having said all that I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year.. Yours sinceely, Mary Read.. Perth..Australia
Christmas is nearly here, and for me thats an excuse to indulge in my favourite foodstuffs, before trying (and failing) to lose wait come January. Christmas for me is sugared almonds, sausage rolls, gingerbread, and of course the good old fashioned mince pie!
Random Interupption- Mince Pie Trivia!
It is considered lucky to eat 12 mince pies - one for each day of christmas. Its bad luck to refuse a mince pie!
The first recipe for mince pie dates from 1615, and includes amongst its ingredients two rabbits, two pigeons, two partridges, a hare, a pheasant, a capon, the livers of all these animals, as well as eggs, pickled mushrooms, dried fruit and spices - just a little bit different from what we eat today!
When stirring mincemeat, you should always stir it in a clockwise direction - to do it anti-clockwise brings bad luck until the next yuletide.
Interruption over- back to the review!
Now, you can make your own mincemeat, but its time consuming , so what I tend to do, is buy a prepared mincemeat - Robinsons- and add my own little ingredients for that super-luxury taste.
I'm not going to go into overly long descriptions of the packaging - theres a photo so you can see it for yourself. Suffice it to say its a simple glass jar with a black and white screw lid.
The mincemeat inside is a brown in colour, through which you can see raisins, chunks of various fruits, suet, and the aroma of it is just wonderful - Cinnamon, Cloves, Lemon Peel and loads of other scents assail your senses. Now, naturally, you dont want to be eating this uncooked - the suet would taste just disgusting raw!
So, In a mince pie (and I baked one plain one without all my usual added extras just for this review!) once cooked, it tastes amazing - rich, intensely flavoured with raisins, apple, lemon , cinnamon, and so man y other flavours all jumping about on your tongue . And if you eat it hot, its even nicer, although be careful not to burn your tongue.
However, (and this is why I add in my own ingredients) I don't find it course enough for my taste, it lacks a little texture. Sooo...I add in a few roughly chopped nuts and dates, and some rum soaked sultanas, mix it, and the larger lumps give a more luxurious taste, with the rum from the sultanas adding a kick!
A 411g jar, enough for 24 mince pies, costs 89p at my local supermarket, which is pretty decent value. On its own, I give Robertsons mincemeat 4 stars out of 5 for lack of texture, but with a little experimenting with adding ingredients, theres no reason why you can't make a 5 star pud!