Used in a variety of recipes – though primarily Mince Pies – in December every house has at least one jar of mincemeat at any time. Usually a blend of poor quality brandy and mixed dried fruit, shop bought mincemeat is much of a muchness. This Pear and Fig Mincemeat is different, and is sure to give your mince pies an edge this Christmas.
Packed full of sweet pears, sticky dried figs and luxurious whisky, this homemade mincemeat brings new flavours to the Christmas table, while staying festive and spicy. The tiny seeds within the figs contribute too, bestowing a rather pleasing visual element and intriguing textural difference.
As with my previous recipe for mincemeat, this rendition contains no butter or suet, making for a light, pleasant and absolutely vegan preserve. Mincemeat can all too often weigh its casing down, laced with too much fat and calories already present in the pastry.
Obviously you’d like to eat more than one – Santa certainly would – and removing heavy, claggy element makes doing so more pleasant. There might even be room for three (and a glass of port).
Pear and Fig Mincemeat
Makes 6 Jars
- 2 pears
- 150g glace cherries
- 150g mixed peel
- 250g dried figs
- 200g sultanas
- 250g raisins
- 2 oranges
- 1 lemon
- 5 tbsp brown sugar
- 200ml blended whisky
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- Finely slice and dice the fruit, cherries and dried fruit. You can use a food processor to quickly chop the dried fruit if you’re short on time.
- Pop the prepared fruit into a large mixing bowl and tip in the zest of two oranges, juice of one orange, juice of the lemon, the sugar, whisky, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Combine everything thoroughly.
- Cover the top of the bowl and leave to stand for at least three days, but ideally as long as possible. Make sure that you give it a little mix each day – this will ensure that the fruit absorbs all of the alcohol.
Cost: Using 200ml of whisky in your mincemeat may seem like an extravagance, but we’re not talking about your 30 year old prize single malt here.
Using an off-the-shelf blended whisky, or similar, you could easily produce these 6 jars of delicious Pear and Fig Mincemeat for as little as £8, or little more than £1.30 per jar.