Making Spiced Apple and Pear Mincemeat really brings an Autumnal feel to the kitchen. The dark, rich colours of the dried fruit as it steeps together and the wonderful wafts of brandy and spices give you a lovely little sneak preview of Christmas. It’s also a really great way to use up any apples and pears you may have at this time of year, and any other odds and ends of dried fruit and nuts for that matter. I particularly like that this recipe uses coconut oil, both to add an extra richness to the mixture and for it’s preserving qualities. This to me seems far more appealing than the usual vegetable suet that is often called for.
I always put my Autumn made mincemeat at the back of the fridge until nearer Christmas, when it will be used for mince pies, tarts and fruit cakes. It can also be added to ice cream to make a homemade tutti frutti or stuffed into Bramley apples and baked in the oven. If left unopened it will keep for up to 6 months, and is a great way to enjoy your harvest fruit right through winter.
- 500g peeled and finely chopped pears
- 500g peeled and finely chopped apples
- 500g good quality raisins
- 250g dried cranberries
- 250g of other dried fruit or nuts of your choice, figs, apricots, chopped almonds
- Juice and zest of one large orange
- Juice and zest of one large lemon
- 100g of coconut oil
- 175g dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 6 tablespoons of Brandy (you could use a different spirit of your choice)
- In a large pan, melt together the coconut oil, sugar, juices and zest over a gentle heat.
- Add the dried fruit and chopped apples, pears and spices, stirring well to give it a good coating, simmer gently for 30 mins with the lid on.
- Allow the mixture to cool completely before adding the brandy and stirring well.
- Spoon into sterilised jars and top the mixture with waxed paper discs to help keep an airtight seal.