Today my kitchen is filled with the aroma of Christmas. I finally made the fruit mince for my mince pies, and although I have many recipes that remind me of my mother, this one is probably one of the most important along with her Christmas Cake recipe. Her Christmas baking included the Christmas Pudding too, and although I actually don’t have her recipe…. I’m just not sure where I’d buy calico here, or more importantly, where I’d hang it! My mother’s recipe states to make this fruit mince at least one month before Christmas. I’m already running late, but I am actually going to make some mince pies in a coupe of days. I have so much fruit mince though, so I will give a jar to my sister. I was thinking that a jar of homemade fruit mince is actually a very special gift, much more meaningful too. Mine is rather decadent because it’s soaking in Armagnac. I didn’t have any brandy or rum in the house, but I did have a beautiful bottle of Armagnac that my father had gifted us a couple of years ago. (He may be mortified to know I used such an expensive liqueur for my fruit mince). I asked a girlfriend who just happens to be visiting Rome at the moment if she thought it would work well. She told me it was a rather expensive choice for the fruit mince, but hey… Christmas comes but once a year!
ROSLYN’S CHRISTMAS FRUIT MINCE
- 500g raisins
- 500g sultanas
- 500g currants
- 125g mixed peel
- 250g suet (grated or finely chopped)
- 500g granny smith apples
- 500g brown sugar
- grated rind of 1 lemon + 1 orange
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 250ml Brandy or Rum (this year I used Armagnac)
- Chop raisins & sultanas finely and mix with currants, suet & mixed peel.
- Peel, core and chop apples finely (you can grate them or use a food processor) and add to the mixture with orange + lemon rins, spices, sugar and brandy.
- Cover and let stand for at least 24 hours.
- Recommended to be made at least a month before using.
- I halved raisin quantity and added 250g dried blueberries, but you could also add cranberries too.
- Although my mother would grate the suet into the mixture, I used ‘strutto’ here in Italy, and there was no way I could grate it. You can melt it and pour it over mixture, or put the fruit mince on a very low heat until it is melted, stirring frequently. Remove as soon as suet has melted through. There are many recipes that don’t use suet, and when I decided to look at other recipes, no two were the same. I am definitely sticking to this recipe though for nostalgic and sentimental reasons obviously!