I love mincemeat. Especially in a pie. Especially in my mom’s pies. But usually she just uses the canned mincemeat. So when Alberta gave me a mincemeat recipe to use my pears in, I knew I was destined to make it. A lot of people get nervous when I mention “mincemeat” and are horrified when I tell them it’s my favorite kind of pie. It’s true that in the past mincemeat always contained some kind of ground meat, but nowadays you can find plenty of recipes that are just fruit and spices in a delicious combination.
1cup dried currants
1cup sultana raisins
1/2cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
Grated zest and juice of one lemon and one orange
1/2cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
pinch of salt
10 cups chopped cored peeled pears
1 cup slivered blanched almonds
1/4cup rum (very optional: I didn’t use it)
In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine currants, raisins, apricots, lemon and orange zest and juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Fold in pears, being careful not break or bruise them. Bring to boil over a medium high heat. Lower heat, cover and boil gently, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes, until slightly thickened. Uncover and cook stirring occasionally, until think enough to mound on a spoon, about 15 minutes. Add almonds and rum and boil gently for 5 minutes.
Ladle hot mincemeat into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space, Remove air bubbles, wipe rim, center lid and screw band.
Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to boil and process for 20minutes. Remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
So that’s the official version. Now, here’s what I did. I didn’t have any dried currents, so I used dried cranberries instead. I also didn’t have a full 10 cups of pears so I threw in some apples and plums. I think you could use any type of pear or apple in this recipe. In my second batch, I didn’t have enough almonds so I put in some chopped walnuts. Still tastes great.
Also, if you’re going to use the mincemeat right away (for Thanksgiving pies, for example) there’s no need to can it. This recipe makes enough for two pies with maybe some leftover. I’ve been putting my extra mincemeat on ice cream. Yum!
Next week, I’ll show you some tasty tarts I made with mincemeat! Just one more thing to be thankful for! What are your favorite kinds of pies?