Although the list of ingredients can seem rather daunting, making fruit mincemeat at home is not difficult. Instead of using the combinations of fruits given in the directions, the combined weight in mixed dried fruits containing peel and cherries can be used. The alcohol can also be substituted with fruit juice, especially apple juice, or grape juice, if desired. Once the soaking time for the fruits has passed, the pies are quick to assemble, and can easily be made by children. The ingredients for the pastry and the traditional fruit mincemeat are enough for twelve mince pies. The easiest way to chop the nuts is to place them in a plastic bag and beat them with a rolling pin.
Mixed spice is a sweet ground spice that usually contains cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cardamom, cloves, anise and star anise. Depending on where you live, it may contain other spices. It’s usually used for sweet and spicy cake mixes, and also some curries and chutneys.
Traditional Fruit Mince Pies
- 225 g plain flour
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 125 grammes butter, salted or unsalted, chilled
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of chilled water
- Put the flour, the icing sugar, and a pinch of salt into a bowl
- Add the butter an drub together until the mix resembles breadcrumbs
- Add one to two tablespoons of chilled water
- Mix together, knead briefly on a floured surface
- Wrap and chill for 30 minutes
Traditional Fruit Mince
- 175 grammes each currants, sultanas, and raisins
- 75 grammes candied peel, finely chopped
- 125 grammes chopped vegetable suet
- 50 grammes almonds, finely chopped
- 175 grammes sugar
- 60 grammes coloured glacé cherries
- 1 medium sized apples, peeled, pored, and grated
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice
- Juice and zest of half an orange
- Juice and zest of half a lemon
- 75 ml of brandy
- 60 ml Drambuie
Method for Mincemeat
- Place all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl
- Cover and leave to soak for 24 hours, stirring occasionally
- Either use at once or store in sterilized jars for up to three months
Assemble the Fruit Mince Pies
- Preheat the oven to 200 C.
- Line a 12 hole muffin tin with baking paper, lightly butter, use paper inserts, or use a silicone muffin baking tray
- Light flour a baking board and roll out half the pastry to 2 mm thick
- Use a 7.5 fluted pastry cutter to cut out twelve rounds
- Put the rounds in the muffin tin
- Place one tablespoon of the fruit mincemeat into each pie
- Roll out the remaining pastry with a 5 cm fluted cutter – you can also form the pastry into star shapes, lattice, holly leaves, etc.
- Place on top of the mincemeat, but don’t press down to join
- Brush the tops with sugar
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown
- Cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then turn onto a wire rack
Warm the little pies before serving with cream, custard, ice cream, or eating plain for afternoon or morning teas, or for dessert. They are also a lovely Christmasy treat in a lunch box.
The pies can be frozen before baking. Simply prepared the pies in the trays, cover and freeze for up to one month. The pies can be cooked from frozen directly from the freezer at 190 C for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Also try the other recipes using fruit mince.