I have wanted to make this recipe for literally years, but it has been too difficult to find the ingredients. However, with quince making a resurgence, and whole bushel of them showing up in my local wholefood shop, I decided it was about time to scratch this recipe off my to do list.
I love mince pies, and mincemeat in general. They celebrate the best
of the season; sweet fruits, heady spices and plenty of warming booze. This ‘Quincemeat’ has all of that in spades.
- Approx. 1kg quince (3-4 fruits is a good guide for this. I used just over 3 for this recipe.)
2 tbsp butter
250g dried apricots
250g soft light brown sugar (muscovado is a good call but any soft brown sugar will do)
100g candied peel
1tsp ground cloves
1tsp ground ginger or cardamom
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
100ml calvados or brandy
Preheat the oven to 150c.
Peel, core and chop your quince into chunks. Quince have a much firmer flesh and woodier core than their cousins apples and pears, so take your time and use a sharp knife. Place the fruit on an oven tray or dish
Pour the hot quince and any juices into a mixing bowl. Rouglychop the sultanas and raisins and cut down the apricots into sultana-sized pieces. Add the fruit to the quince and mix together. Allow the mixture to cool completely.
Measure out your spices, sugar peel and booze. Add in the dry ingredients and peel and mix through, before adding the brandy and doing the same.
Pot up into jars or store covered in the fridge.
This recipe isn’t particularly difficult. Like most mincemeats it just takes time and has a lot of ingredients. The most difficult parts are the chopping of the quince, and then the chopping of the sticky dried fruit. Beyond that it is just a case of weighing, mixing and and waiting.
This sweet and aromatic mincemeat makes a nice change from the dark and sticky traditional mincemeat. Pair it with lightly spic pastry or vanilla infused creams and ice creams for out of this world desserts this Christmas. Also, this method, with perhaps a reduced cook time, would work exceedingly well with similar fruits like apples and pears if quince are not availiable.