I think I’ve mentioned in the past that every Thanksgiving was a pie-fest in our house when I grew up.  There were five of us in my family and mom would make each of us our favorite pie – apple, chocolate cream, lemon meringue and pumpkin for my dad.  Her favorite was mincemeat – until I got older, she was the only person I knew who liked it.  Of course, now I’m in England the land of mince pies at Christmas – mom would have loved that!

This is a slight twist on the traditional recipe – instead of using plums it uses apples and pears which gives it a lighter, fresher taste.  And, since it doesn’t use suet to thicken it, it’s also a little heathier!  It makes for an easy weekend recipe if you want to put some up for your friends and family.  And, you don’t have to limit its use to pies – you can use it to stuff apples for baking or even store-bought puff pastry for smaller treats. 

Apple, Pear and Ginger Mincemeat

  • 2 1/2 lbs tart apples like Granny Smith or Bramley, cored, peeled and diced
  • 1 lb pears, peeled, cored and diced
  • 3 cups mixture of currants and raisins
  • 1/2 cup crystallized ginger, chopped to a small dice
  • zest and juice of 3 oranges
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 1/3 cup demerera sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 nutmeg, grated
  • 1 cup almonds, bashed
  • 2/3 cup brandy

Thoroughly mix everything except for the almonds and brandy, pour into a large casserole dish, and let sit for 24 hours.  Preheat the oven to 250 F then stir in the almonds and cook the mincemeat for 3-4 hours.  When finished, stir in the brandy and pour into sterilized jars.  You’ll love how it makes the house smell!