The ridiculousness of eating heavy and rich Christmas food in the midst of a *fingers crossed* balmy New Zealand summer is just one of the those odd little incongruities that we have grown to love as Kiwis. Though we’ve adopted our own approach to Christmas, lightening and freshening things up by using our plentiful summer produce, there are some traditional parts of Christmas that are still essential and Christmas mince tarts are one of those.
My recipe for fruity Christmas mince freshens up the typically rich and heavy classic with grated Granny Smith apple and a deliciously-retro can of crushed pineapple. Some things stay the same however: the whole thing is still doused in a good amount of brandy. Boozy baking: it’s the true spirit of Christmas.
Fruity Christmas mince
Based on a rough recollection of my mum’s lost Christmas mince recipe and this one.
1 cup dates, chopped
1 cup sultanas
1 cup currants
1/2 cup glace ginger
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 x 440g crushed pineapple in juice (make sure it’s in juice not syrup!)
a Granny Smith apple grated (leave the skin on)
zest & juice of a lemon or lime
Place all ingredients except for brandy into a medium-sized saucepan and slowly bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Once it’s boiling, lower heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add brandy. Allow the mince to cool to room temperature before spooning into pastry cases and baking, or put into a clean and sterilised jar and keep in the fridge.