The seasonal flavours of mincemeat, baked into soft, crumbly fudge.
1 x 400ml tin of condensed milk
125ml whole milk
450g demerara sugar
50ml golden spiced rum (optional)
1) Add the first 4 ingredients to a heavy-based pan on a medium-low hob and heat, stirring, until everything has melted. Increase the heat to medium, add the rum (if using) and bring to the boil, stirring. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until a blob of mixture dropped into a glass of iced water forms a soft ball that you can squeeze with your fingers – if the fudge ball sticks to your fingers, cook for a couple of minutes more until it doesn’t. (This is called the soft-ball stage; alternatively, if you have a sugar thermometer, heat the mixture until it reaches 112C.). Stir continuously, or the mixture will stick. And do take care – it will be very hot.
2) Remove from the heat and beat thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes, then beat it again, breaking up the crusty surface that will have developed. Add the mincemeat, along with a pinch or two of sea salt, and stir to combine, then leave again for 5 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, line a baking tray (something like 23cm x 23cm) with parchment. Beat the mixture again, then pour it into the prepared tin and transfer to the fridge. Cool for at least 3 hours, before cutting into squares.