I'm not kidding. I've been making this fruit mince for six years now, and it's been known to turn haters into lovers with a single bite. Peeps be all "uhh, I'm not really a fan. but I guess I'll tr- HOLY SMOKES, WHAT'S IN THIS?!?" It uses fresh lemon and orange zest to give a little kick, rather than mixed peel (I guess you could use peel if you preferred, but, ick), and pine nuts lend a lovely dense bite. I also used to make the pastry for the pies too, but anyone who's tried to make a nice sweet short pastry in a 30+ degree kitchen on Christmas Eve knows it's a fool's errand. Southern hemisphere pastry fans are better off with the pre-bought stuff imho, but make sure you get the kind that lists butter as an ingredient. So here we go - prepare now and it will last for weeks in your fridge!
APPLE FRUIT MINCE (originally published in the New Zealand Gardener magazine)
3 apples, cored and peeled
150g prunes, stones removed
2 tbspns fresh orange juice
1/3 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup kremelta
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 tspn each mixed spice, ground nutmeg and cinnamon
grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
Shed the apples in your food processor or with a grater. Add the raisins, sultanas, currants and prunes. Moisten with orange juice to help it blend. Add the remaining ingredients and whizz until well combined. I don't process as I go as I like it to have a bit of chunk to it. Store in jars in the fridge and use as required. to make into pies, cut pastry into rounds and fit into greased muffin tins, add fruit mince and bake at 200degC for 11 minutes(ish). Dust with icing sugar and serve warm. You won't look back.
(ps - I recently found a jar with the last bit of last Christmas' fruit in my freezer. Gave it a quick defrost, mixed it through some basic bread dough and made lovely fruit buns for lunch. Win.)