pear mince pies

pear mince pies

Making my own fruit mince for mince pies has been on my food bucket list for so many years I couldn’t let another Christmas go by without giving it a go. As with all things home-made the outcome was predictable with this mince being so superior to commercial fruit mince I will never buy it again. I love how it includes pears which softens the mix slightly, but all the spice and flavour remains intact..

pear mince pies in the making

The recipe comes from The Ball Blue Book, Guide to Preserving which I have now read cover to cover. It really is the most comprehnesive preserving book filled with delicious recipes. It includes chapters on all types of preserving from water bath (which are the recipes I have done so far on Drizzle and Dip), pressure cooker preserving, freezing and even dehydrating. I’m thrilled that I’m learning the craft of preserving properly and feel confident working with such a high quality product as Ball and knowing that my food will last for at least a year in my cupboard.

How to make pear fruit mince

The fruit mince is easy to do once you have been though the pear chopping process – which is a little laborious, and this recipe makes three and half half pint jars of fruit mince. That half extra half jar is enough mix up a batch of mince pies.

How to make pear fruit mince for mince pies

The recipe for the pear mince makes more than you need for these pies, but they can be kept until next year or given away as a gift. I used the pastry from my previous mince pie recipe and added the zest of half an orange because I love the flavour it adds. I have however come to adore my apple & mince pie crumble bars – which I have made a few permutation of. They are even more easy and delicious to make than mince pies (which can be finicky) so I will definitely be whipping up a batch of those soon too. Another idea would be to turn this pear fruit mince into one large tart with a frangipane topping – another favourite of mine.

Pear fruit mince pies in the making

How to make pear fruit mince

How to make pear fruit mince

How to make pear fruit mince

How to make pear fruit mince

*Cooks notes~ I halved the recipe in the blue book and converted everything to metric measures (where applicable). Instead of using just raisins I used a fruit cake mix of raisins, sultanas and dried citrus peel and left out the lemon from the recipe.

Recipe – Pear fruit mince (makes 3 1/5 half pint jars)

  • 1.7kg pears (about 7 large), cored and chopped into small pieces
  • 500gm mixed fruit (see above)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ground all spice
  • 2 tsp cloves
  • 3 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vinegar

Combine all the ingredients in a large sauce pan and bring to the mixture to the boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until thickened.

PREPARE your stock pot by filling it with water and bringing it to the boil. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

When the pear fruit mince is ready, ladle into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.

PROCESS jars in a boiling water (stockpot) for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude (the water should cover the lids in the stockpot by about 2 cm). Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Pear mince pie recipe – make about 36 small mince pies

  • 125gm castor sugar
  • 125gsm butter (cold)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • zest of half an orange
  • 350gms plain flour (extra for dusting)

In a food processor mix the butter, salt, sugar and zest until combined. Add the flour and the eggs and briefly blitz until you have an even crumb. Tip the loose mixture onto a surface and knead for the minimal amount of time until it comes together as a firm dough. Cut in half and wrap in cling.

Chill for a min of an hour. Roll the pastry out on a floured surface, cut out rounds with a cookie cutter and line greased pastry cases or pans with a non stick cooking spray.

Pre heat the oven to 180 C / 350 F.

Roll out he pastry to around 4mm thick and cut rounds to fit your pan with a cookie cutter. Spray your mince pie pan with non-stick cooking spray and place a round of pastry in each.

Fill the pastry cases with a small dollop of pear fruit mince. Top with a cut out piece of pastry (I like to cut out star or bell shapes for this). Loosely cover and bake for 20 minutes until turning brown.

The Ball Preserving Starter Kit, the Blue Book Guide to Preserving and the jars make wonderful gifts for Christmas. Especially if you fill it with something delicious you have made at home.

pear mince pies

pear mince pies

*This post has been sponsored by Ball Jars

For more of my Ball Jar preserving recipes:

How to make easy cranberry jelly

Oven roasted BBQ chicken wings 

Zesty salsa and salad nachos

Corn and red pepper relish quesadillas

 

Ball jars

 

 

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11 Responses to pear mince pies

  1. lynne hoareau November 24, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

    This really brought back memories, my mom used to do hers with apple and made an apple fruit mince for her little pies. 🙂

  2. Carolyn November 24, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

    I’m definitely going to try this recipe! I’ve already got an order for 100 mince pies for Christmas Day ?

  3. Anna November 24, 2015 at 4:13 pm #

    Dear Sam, I so enjoy your posts. Any idea where I might be able to buy the Blue Book in Cape Town? Many thanks, Take care, Anna

  4. Laura (Tutti Dolci) November 25, 2015 at 1:06 am #

    Lovely pies, the star-shaped pastry is a beautiful topper!

  5. Sam November 25, 2015 at 8:44 am #

    Hi Anna – you can get it at selsected PnPay stores but also defs at Takealot:

    http://www.takealot.com/ball-blue-book/PLID38161472 – its only R125 and a total must-have for your preserving

  6. CaliZona November 25, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

    Pear is one my favorite fruits and these pies are the cutest!!!

  7. Sam November 26, 2015 at 11:14 am #

    Thanks Steph. I love pears cooked more than raw – and baked even better 🙂

  8. Hannah Hossack-Lodge November 26, 2015 at 3:52 pm #

    I love preserving, it never fails to make me feel accomplished. And I agree, homemade mincemeat is far superior to shop bought, I have never tried it with pears before, it sounds like an amazing twist!

  9. Sabrina November 28, 2015 at 12:35 am #

    These are adorable and look delicious!

  10. Veronica December 21, 2015 at 1:50 am #

    Hi, I’m just wondering if I can make the fruit mince without preserving it? (Will use all within a few weeks) Would it alter the flavour at all? And how long will it keep in the fridge? Thank you, they sound delicious!

  11. Sam December 21, 2015 at 9:57 am #

    Hii Veronica. Yes that is fine, it will last in your fridge for a good few weeks. Im not sure how long in total but I image at least 4 weeks.
    sam

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