Cooking / Sweet

Fruit Mince for Christmas

While frantically trying to clear my backlog of restaurant reviews in order to take my blog on its new Second Year journey, I do need to post this recipe in a timely fashion for Christmas: Fruit Mince!

Fruit mince

Good for so much more than just mince pies – try some stirred into ice cream!

Charged with making the mince pies for the family Christmas this year, I thought I’d try making fruit mince from scratch. How hard could it be? But then, the enormity of my task struck me: there are about 500,000,000 recipes out there for fruit mince. What if I pick the wrong one?

After reviewing a few likely options and rejecting them for various reasons:

  • Delia Smith’s Christmas: wanted me to source suet, can’t be bothered
  • Australian Women’s Weekly Christmas Book: had plum jam in it, thought that was odd
  • Nigella: needed port, clementines, and also used almond essence, bleurgh. Cranberries were a good idea though, so I stole that idea…
  • Jamie Oliver: used a jar (Jamie!)
  • (various options): can’t remember why I rejected these. Perhaps not enough brandy.

I ended up going with the doyenne of Australian kitchens Margaret Fulton‘s recipe, mostly because of the highly scientific “her recipe seems to gel the most with what I have in the cupboard and have already bought from the supermarket” method. And it had cranberries in it!

What follows is a recipe for spicy, Christmas-smelling fruit mince, with some adaptations from her recipe because life’s fun like that (plus she uses a food processor to chop the fruit, which I haven’t got). Haven’t made the mince pies yet, but the fruit mince is maturing in the fridge nicely (Must. Stop. Eating. Little Teaspoons. Of It. All The Time).


  • 8 1/2 cups of mixed fruit (I used a 1kg bag of mixed fruit with peel, which was about 7 cups, and made up the difference with chopped dates)
  • 1/2 cup cranberries (these create little tangy red jewels in the fruit mince)
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 large apples (grated)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 150g butter (melted)
  • 3/4 cup brandy (I have since added more and stirred it in, I fear my fruit mince will be Highly Boozy)
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • grated rind and juice of two oranges (except I didn’t have two so I did 1 orange, 1 lemon)


Chop the fruit and the nuts in a food processor, or, roughly hack at them with scissors in your largest mixing bowl until you think they’re chopped enough. I like a chunky fruit mince.

Stir all the ingredients together and refrigerate till required! Too easy!

Makes a lot.

Fruit Mince

Fruit Mince ready for maturing in the fridge



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