Brandy + Ginger Christmas Fruit Mince


 Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! Just one recipe this week while I recover from my germs and catch up on my other jobs. It’s a good one though. At Christmas you are either on team dried fruit or you’re not. I am clearly on team fruit. I do understand that it’s a polarising food group. But I also think a lot of people have been abused by unimaginative, raisin heavy offerings. Today we are going to make a major improvement on the pre-prepared options for making my beloved Christmas mince pies. They’re pretty ubiquitous here and in the UK. It’s a British colony thing. You should get on board America. No real mince to be seen these days. Just dried fruits and lashings of brandy. So long as you have 650 grams of dried fruits altogether feel free to riff as you see fit. But I totally recommend this version with a generous helping of candied ginger and brandy.

Heat the oven to 120C (250F). Wash and rinse 4 or 5 one cup preserving jars. Pop them in the oven on their sides to heat through. Pop the lids in a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over them.

Grate the apples into a large bowl. make sure you catch the juice.

Add the dried fruits and mix it about.

In a large saucepan melt the butter, orange juice, sugar and spices together.

Simmer gently until the sugar has dissolved. Keep stirring so it doesn’t catch.

Add the fruits. Scrape in all the juices. A lot of liquid will come out of the apples. That’s fine.

Turn up the heat and simmer the mixture for 10 to 20 minutes. Everything should come together in a heady goo. Most of the liquid will have cooked off and the mixture should be thick and sticky like a chutney. Whether the apples break down will depend on the variety. Don’t worry about it.

Remove from the heat and add the orange zest and brandy. Stir to thoroughly combine.

Retrieve the hot jars from the oven and place on a folded towel. Spoon the mixture into the jars making sure not to leave air pockets. When you’re spooning it it give it a jiggle to help it settle.

Cover with the lids and seal. The flavour will develop over time so if you can, you should leave it for up to two weeks before using. Perfect timing for Christmas. Even if you can’t wait it’s still delicious.

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Brandy + Ginger Christmas Fruit Mince


Prep Time : 15 mins | Cook Time : 20 mins | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy | Makes : approx. 4 cups

Rich aromatic fruit mince full of more than just raisins! Perfect for Christmas mince pies.

Ingredients:

  • 375 grams grated apple
  • 150 grams raisins
  • 100 grams crystallised ginger, diced
  • 150 grams currants
  • 50 grams candied peel
  • 100 grams dried cranberries
  • 100 grams dried figs, diced
  • 5 + 1/2 tablespoons (75 grams) butter
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 + 1/4 cups (250 grams) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • zest of one orange
  • 1/4 cup (60 mls) brandy

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • 4 to 5 one cup preserving jars
  • Large heavy bottomed saucepan
  • kitchen scale

Directions:

Heat the oven to 120C (250F). Wash and rinse 4 or 5 one cup preserving jars. Pop them in the oven on their sides to heat through. Pop the lids in a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over them.

Grate the apples into a large bowl. make sure you catch the juice.

Add the dried fruits and mix it about.

In a large saucepan melt the butter, water, sugar and spices together.

Simmer gently until the sugar has dissolved. Keep stirring so it doesn’t catch.

Add the fruits. Scrape in all the juices. A lot of liquid will come out of the apples. That’s fine.

Turn up the heat and simmer the mixture for 10 to 20 minutes. Everything should come together in a heady goo. Most of the liquid will have cooked off and the mixture should be thick and sticky like a chutney. Whether the apples break down will depend on the variety. Don’t worry about it.

Remove from the heat and add the orange zest and brandy. Stir to thoroughly combine.

Retrieve the hot jars from the oven and place on a folded towel. Spoon the mixture into the jars making sure not to leave air pockets. When you’re spooning it it give it a jiggle to help it settle.

Cover with the lids and seal. The flavour will develop over time so if you can, you should leave it for up to two weeks before using. Perfect timing for Christmas. Even if you can’t wait it’s still delicious.

Cook’s Notes:

  • If you don’t need this to be shelf stable you can pop it all in a big jar in the fridge and use this holiday season.
  • If you want to double or halve this recipe, scale it by weight to be sure the proportions are still correct.

 – If packed into properly sterilised jars this fruit mince will keep for several months. Refrigerate after opening – 

Adapted from a recipe my mother cut out of a magazine a zillion years ago.

© 2017 The Winsome Baker. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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8 thoughts on “Brandy + Ginger Christmas Fruit Mince

  1. morning , morning
    in my house … we all like Christmas fruit mince… but are divided between the pastry … . i like short sweet for this type of filling … but my Mum who has always made her pastry is a flaky , flaky pastry girl …
    Question :
    I going to make some for a shared work lunch … so needs to be alcohol free for various reason … of course will impact taste & maybe texture?… would I add more orange juice … or no need …
    (gosh and to ask after you spend all this time and energy try/testing recipes … some bugger wants to change it , bloody cheeky ) ..

    • Morning Becks! I am totally on team short-pastry – I like the more crumbly sweet type here and my mum likes a plainer pie dough type (like for an apple pie). Obviously we are the ones who are right…

      I recommend putting the brandy in before cooking it and the cooking will drive off what little alcohol is in that amount of brandy – just don’t cook it until it’s quite as dry since you won’t be adding more liquid after 🙂

  2. this a bit random … cookbook “Bourke Street Bakery” – the ultimate baking companion .. Paul Allam & David Mcguinness ….. i have a spare/extra brand new copy .. is it on your list of good books looking for .. .. ( i brought for a niece .. and she had just got one when I brought this on special) …
    all good if not… I was thinking about GBB team ( but i can not get past the name bit of a Nana like that ) .. i also have some paper eclair case ( like cupcake case but shaped for eclairs I have no use for ) .
    I don’t do facebook .. but reckon you have my email contact from here? if you need more details

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