Fruit mince pies are an unbreakable Christmas tradition in our house, but although I make the pastry myself, I have always relied on very expensive jars of Robertsons Fruit Mince (imported from England!) for the filling. I always wanted to make my own, but somehow the thought of having to grate suet - beef fat - really turned me off. Enter Australian food-writer Matthew Evans, who, last Christmas, published this incredibly easy, suet-free recipe in The Sydney Morning Herald as one of his 'Any Fool Can Cook.....' series. It's so easy, and so delicious, I'm kicking myself for never having explored home-made fruit mince before. The flavour will improve with time, so I'm making the mince now and the tarts next week. On a cold winter's day there is nothing that feels more like Christmas than biting into a hot, fragrant fruit mince tart fresh from the oven.
Modern Fruit Mince
Recipe by Matthew Evans
- 100g currants
- 100g sultanas
- 100g brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons Grand Marnier or brandy
- 1 lemon
- 1 apple
- 100g walnuts, finely chopped
- 1-2 teaspoons mixed spice
- Wash and scrub the lemon. Squeeze, reserving the juice.
- Place the lemon skin in a saucepan of cold water, bring to the boil.
- Simmer until soft enough to puree, about 45-60 minutes, changing water twice.
- Drain well and puree in a blender/food processor until smooth.
- Toss the currants, sultanas and sugar with the Grand Marnier or brandy, then warm gently in a low oven to plump up the fruit. (or heat together in the microwave for 1-2 minutes covered with plastic wrap, and allow to sit for 20 minutes)
- Grate the apple coarsely into a bowl and add the reserved lemon juice.
- Combine all the ingredients and allow to sit overnight in the fridge.
- Add more Grand Marnier or brandy if it looks dry (especially if storing).
- Although not in the recipe, Matthew Evans advises adding a good lug of extra virgin olive oil at the end. I'm going to try half with, and half without.
- Can be stored in sterilised jars for several months.
Labels: christmas, recipes