Figgy Christmas Fruit Mince

Photographer: Victoria Collins
Makes 1.8kg or 3 large or 6 small jars of fruit mince

With only 10 weeks (!) until Christmas, we’re excited to share a guest post from The Epicurean Architect for this figgy Christmas fruit mince!  The fruit mince can be used immediately after making, but gets better as it ages – so find the time and get yours made now.  If you don’t use it all in your Christmas mince pies, it is divine in an Italian Christmas day dessert classic – Vanilla Ice-cream Cassata.

“Christmas Mince Pies are a very divisive topic.  Everyone has an opinion on what the best ingredients are – more citrus, less currants, heavy on the brandy and that’s just the filling.  Are you the flaky type or a sweet short fan?  These opinions are in large part because Christmas Mince Pies have such a rich and heartwarming history.  They have been recorded as warming the bellies of the Brits from as early as the 17th Century, albeit with ox tongue or beef fillet shredded through the pie, hence the name, Christmas mince pies.

“As with all things that have a long history, they develop and mature with time.   I have taken the opportunity to develop the recipe a little further, favouring citrus, fig and hazelnut to give a lighter taste and texture to the pie.  My personal favourite way to eat them is with a sweet short crust pastry, miniature size with a steaming glass of spiced mulled wine.”


500g apples, cored & grated, preferably braeburn
350g sultanas
250g currants
150g mixed citrus peel
2 large oranges – zest & juice
10 dried figs, thinly sliced
45g hazelnuts, roasted & finely chopped
150g soft brown sugar
2 tsp allspice ground
1 tsp cloves ground
½ tsp cinnamon ground
¼ tsp nutmeg ground
¼ cup Cointreau orange spirits


1. Sterlise 3 large or 6 small jars and lids by placing them in a large pot with a folded tea-towel in the base and filled with hot water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on.
2. While the jars are sterlising mix all the fruit mince ingredients together in a large bowl. When the jars are ready, carefully lift out with tongs and spoon in the fruit mince and seal with lids immediately.
3. Figgy Christmas Fruit Mince can keep in sterilised jars for up to 4 months in the fridge.
4. When Santa comes a knocking, make 1 batch of sweet short pastry, roll out to ½ cm thickness, cut into rounds and mini stars and line a greased mini pie/muffin tin. Fill pies with Figgy Christmas fruit mince and place 2 small pastry stars on each pie top. Bake at 180°C for 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Enjoy with a glass of steaming Spiced Mulled Wine.