The fabulous scent of fresh baked Christmas mince pies and fruity Christmas cakes fill our homes during Christmas. This lovely inviting aroma comes from the spiced minced dried fruit, which is all too easy to make, and once you make your own, you will never go back to “store bought”. Fruit mince is customarily made using dried fruit, apple, warm spices and almonds, all soaked in alcohol (ideally brandy). These delightful ingredients are then mixed and placed in a jar which is stored for at least a week to allow the flavours to infuse.
But we like to use fruit mince when we need it, and we need it now. By cooking the fruit mince, it allows the flavours to “melt” together to create one rich, delicious, gooey ready-to-eat Christmas mince. Use this addictive mince when creating fruit mince muffins, mix it in with ice-cream, spread on scones, or even use is as a filling for your home made Christmas mince pies.
When adding dried fruit to the recipe, feel free to add the fruit in variable proportions – starting with what you like best, or make creative additions like pineapple, dried mango and or cranberries.
- 70ml balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ground mixed spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, coriander)
- 2 apples. peeled and diced
- 70g raisins
- 70g sultanas
- 70g currants
- 70g dates
- 35g candied, mixed citrus peel
- 100g treacle sugar
- 250ml white wine
- 250ml water
- 70ml brandy
- 1 heaped Tbs. slivered almonds
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 tsp. orange zest
In a pot, heat the balsamic vinegar and spices till boiling, add in all the ingredients (keep back 30ml of brandy for the end). Simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on, and mix often to avoid the fruit mince sticking to the bottom of your pot. Uncover for the last 10 minutes and let some of the juices reduce, if the mince is too dry, add more water. The mince is done when the dried fruit is plump and juicy, and the apples have gone dark. Take your fruit mince off the stove and stir in the remaining brandy.
Sterilise a glass jar and lid by filling it with boiling water and allowing it to stand for a few minutes. Fill the jar with the hot mince and tightly seal the lid.
This recipe will be enough to fill a 750ml large jar, or 2 medium size jars – which make great Christmas gifts! The mince in a sealed jar may last up to one year in the fridge, but I doubt that any will be left over after this Christmas season…