If you struggle to buy gifts for people at Christmas, it is always a good idea to make something at home. You may choose to make Christmas decorations, preserves, biscuits, candles and the list goes on. I always enjoy giving a gift that I have made or grown in my garden. It gives me pleasure to add my personal touch. Now is a good time to begin my preparation for the fruit mince. It will have a few weeks to intensify and develop its beautiful flavours. Although it is warming up here in the Southern Hemisphere a traditional Mince Pie is always a delight to enjoy at Christmas.
1 cup raisins (coarsely chopped)
1 cup dried currants (leave whole)
1 cup sultanas (coarsely chopped)
1/4 cup sliced almonds (toasted & coarsely chopped)
1 large Granny Smith apple (peeled & coarsely grated)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
50 grams unsalted butter (melted)
1/2 tablespoon grated orange rind
1/2 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1/4 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed)
1/4 cup brandy
1 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 3 1/2 cups
Coarsely chop the dried fruit and nuts. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 days, stirring twice every day. The fruit mince will keep for about 6 months in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The longer it is left the better the flavours will become.
Fruit mince can be used in a variety of cakes, tarts and pies.
If you wish to preserve and use the fruit mince later on, spoon the mixture into sterilised jars, seal, label and date the jars. Ensure that you seal your jars well.
I have doubled the quantity to ensure that I have enough fruit mince mixture and whatever will be left over (if any) I will preserve.