It’s been a hectic couple of weeks for me and I do apologize for my absence from my blog. I have been wrapping up my work for the year and catching up with Christmas cake orders and also trying to fill my own jars and tins with holiday treats. Stir two busy little boys into the mix as schools in South Africa are closed for the summer holidays and gran has to do her bit! The boys and I are looking forward to the culmination of my Christmas baking frenzy tomorrow…..gingerbread men!! We have so much fun doing those. And now that the last of the cake orders have been collected we have time for some fun!
A tradition in our home is to start Christmas Day with a steaming mug of coffee and a mince pie. Then we head off to church with the family and afterwards we all return home where Mommy Christmas (that would be me!) hands out all the Christmas gifts piled up under the tree. Of course more coffee and mince pies are on hand to enjoy amidst all the laughter and fun of ripping off colourful Christmas wrapping to expose the gifts hidden inside!
Of course you CAN buy fruit mince in jars…..and you CAN buy ready-made pre-packaged mince pies. But there are none to beat home baked mince pies or fruit bars.
A bottle of this delicious fruit mince, with a recipe card for pastry tied around its neck with some festive ribbon, makes a wonderful homemade gift for a loved one!
I will be giving the recipes for mince pies and fruit bars tomorrow hopefully! Or maybe even later today. Time is running out and there are just a couple more days to Christmas!
FESTIVE FRUIT MINCEMEAT
Makes about 2kgs
500g Apples (peeled cored cubed and cooked till soft)
100g Dried Apples – cut up finely
100g Dried Currants
100g Dried Sultanas
200g Dried Raisins
100g Candied Peel
100g Dried Dates Chopped
50g Dried Cranberries or Goji Berries
3 ClemenGold – Zest and Juice
1 Lemon – Zest and Juice
30g Almonds (Blanched and chopped)
30g Hazelnuts (Blanched and chopped)
30g Pistachios – peeled and chopped
One Cinnamon stick
2,5ml Mixed Spice
2,5ml Dried Ginger
1ml Grated Nutmeg
170g Soft Brown sugar
60g Unsalted Butter
60ml Brandy & Rum mixed
Mix all the Ingredients together except the Sugar and Brandy, soak overnight.
Remove the cinnamon stick. Preheat oven to 120deg Celcius.
Add the Sugar, butter and alcohol & pour all into a baking dish and bake in oven for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
Wash 4 to 6 x 500ml glass jars with lids in warm soapy water, rinse well then place on a baking tray and pop it into the oven with the fruit for the last ½ hour of baking.
Once the fruit is baked give it one last stir then spoon immediately into the hot sterilized jars.
Seal tightly with the lids.