When I think of fruit mince, I think of the fruit mince pies we bought from Woolworths round Christmas time each year! They were delicious – warm or cold – as a snack, served after Christmas dinner or eaten any time in between when one felt like something to eat simply because of it being that time of year!
When we moved to America, I found that most of the fruit mince contains high fructose corn syrup and mince pies, if available, are not quite what I remember. The answer is to therefore to make ones own – as so many South Africans are doing by making biltong, boerewors, koeksisters, melktert and whatever else they may crave from back home.
In our book, South African Cooking in the USA, I have a recipe for fruit mince on page 189. This year I made it with a little less butter and decided to make fruit mince squares as well as the fruit mince pies, which are on page 161. If possible, keep the fruit mince for a week or two before using, so that the flavors can blend and mature.
I will add the Fruit mince square recipe next week!
Serves: 4 cups
- 1½ sticks (6ounces) butter
- 1 cup fine (packed) brown sugar
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- 3-4 peeled and diced Granny Smith apples, approximately 4 cups
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 cup seedless raisins
- ½ cup golden raisins (sultanas)
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup dried tart cherries, cut smaller
- ½ cup marmalade
- 1 tablespoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons brandy
- Mix all the ingredients in a large, heavy-based saucepan and heat to boiling point, while stirring.
- Lower the heat slightly and keep the mixture at a rolling boil, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.
- Spoon into suitable hot, sterilized jars and seal until needed.