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A shout-out to Mary-Anne Boerman's Guilt-Free Mincemeat which has no suet and no added sugar (the dried fruit intrinsic sugar is a different matter). She mentions that this old recipe was originally for Lent Mince Pies - hence the lack of added fat and sugar - so it's an interesting twist that we now associate Mince Pies with Christmas rather than the fast and abstinence of Lent.

http://timetocookonline.com/2011/11/27/ ... mincemeat/

Apart from being a good mincemeat, this is ready to use, doesn't need maturing and ideal for those who might have run out of their 2-3 yrs matured stuff and are considering a raid on the last batch of mincemeat that family tradition dictates is currently too young. :) The alcohol can be omitted if you're using this quickly; grated apple works well as a substitute as it blends nicely into the mincemeat to hold it together without releasing so much fluid that there's danger of that baking nemesis, soggy-bottoms.

The recipe is flexible enough to allow you to swap out dried fruits: say, add finely diced dried figs or dried apricots for half of the dates; green sultanas/raisins for half of the original amount. I've used grated apple or root vegetables to lighten this mix for use in various tarts: medium grated carrot, finely grated parsnip or swede all work well - the latter two benefit from the addition of some finely diced crystallised ginger or a spoonful of Stone's Green Ginger Wine or King's Ginger.

Season/spice this up as suits you, and your recipe. If I include dried figs in the mix, I like to add a tiny amount of star anise or fennel seed. I enjoy cardamom with apple/pear/cranberries so might add some freshly ground seeds if I've used these. I've used rose masala as the spice if I've added dried apricots. (Why, yes, I do sometimes use this recipe year-round as a way of using up what's left in a bag of dried fruit. :) This mincemeat or brown sauce but the sauce has to be matured somewhere which is a storage nuisance.)
Interesting but I'm afraid this just ain't mincemeat in my opinion - a lovely spiced fruit confection, but mincemeat - no no no!

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
And I have a problem with it too - not the recipe itself, but the fact that, traditionally, it will be wrapped in pastry, which rather flies in the face of the healthy nature of the mince meat!
I'm also not sure I get the reference to the brown sauce at the end - "This mincemeat or brown sauce but the sauce has to be matured somewhere which is a storage nuisance"
@Madcatlady, this recipe was written up for Lent - hence the lack of meat, fat, and added sugar. I've no idea which 1726 manuscript Mary-Anne obtained this from but maybe your argument might be addressed to that author as soon as time-travel technology permits?

@PennyForthem - the brown sauce was not relevant to the recipe. It's a reference to the way that I tend to use up bits and pieces of dried fruit in a bag or container: I make brown sauce out of assorted dried fruit. I like my own brown sauce as I find it less aggressive than HP or similar but because I preserve a lot of food I tend to have some storage issues.

There are relatively low calorie options for the 'pastry wrapping' of mincemeat tarts/pies.

I've had mince pies/tart made with phyllo pastry (layers brushed with egg white rather than butter). Mini-muffin sized versions of this tart can be substantially <70 calories. A Thai colleague makes her mince 'pies' with a wonton wrapper (wrapper approx. 20 calories ea) and mincemeat filling.

Place wonton wrappers on a flat surface. Drop scant teaspoonful of mincemeat/filling in the centre of each wrapper. Shape as follows:
moisten edges of wrapper with wet fingers, fold over one corner to make a triangle and press sides together to seal;
or moisten 2 opposing edges of wrapper with wet fingers, roll over to cover filling, press down firmly to seal, and then gently twist ends to form a cracker shape, keeping the seam underneath;
or using the same principles, moisten edges and shape to preference, making sure seams are firmly sealed.

Transfer filled wrappers to a prepared baking sheet and coat surfaces of triangles/crackers/squares with cooking spray (whichever one you've made or use a commercial one).

Bake in 350F/180/160/Gas Mark 4 oven until wontons are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Depending on how your oven is heated (back, sides, floor), you might like to turn these over for the last 5mins to ensure a crispy bottom.

NB: be careful to press out all of the air to discourage leaks from the mincemeat; moisten the edges, they bubble if they're too wet.
The wanton wrappers are a good idea. Thanks :like:
I'm not arguing with anyone - just commenting! :cool:
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