As I have said, I am making marmalade - three batches down and one, maybe one and a half as it were, to go. And I am running out of jars, so I have been scouring the pantry and the fridge to see if there is anything I can use up to release a jar for marmalade. Normally I would get some from my daughter-in-law's mother but of course, this cannot be done in the present circumstances.
Anyway I found this jar of Robertson's fruit mince lurking on the top shelf of my pantry. There is not much left - only about a quarter of the jar I would guess, but I had a vague memory of coming across a recipe for something unexpected using mincemeat somewhere, so I thought this would be the opportunity for doing it.
And then coincidence of coincidences my husband comes home with this! Now we never, never, ever buy shop bought mince pies. I mean mince pies are for Christmas and I make my own - from Robertson's fruit mince. It has to be Robertson's. I remember one year I thought I would experiment by buying an Australian and cheaper version. I said nothing, but believe me it was noticed and so I have never dared use anything else since then. And who knows what is in these Woolworths Home Brand mince pies. They were a bargain said my husband of the sweet tooth. I have had one - to be polite - and as I thought - very sweet and too much pastry.
Anyway I started my search for recipes for other things to do with fruit mince, and I have to say didn't find much. Well that's not quite true. But it was all sweet things. And I'm sure that what I was thinking of was something vaguely Middle-eastern. The other thing I have to say is that virtually everything I found had a Christmas connection - of course there were oodles of recipes for mince-pies, and for the fruit mince itself, but also Christmas pudding and Christmas Cake.
And quite alarmingly, when I was searching on the Taste website, which has some association with Coles I think, up popped this ad! So maybe David's mince pies were part of Woolworths Christmas push as well. I mean - Christmas. It's September! There are three months to go and nobody knows whether we shall be sad little parties of one or two people or a happy big family gathering, come Christmas. Much too early to tell whether we shall be gathering again by then in spite of what ScoMo might say.
You would think would you not that you could only get jars of fruit mince at Christmas, but this is definitely not so. You can buy it all year round, so if you can buy it all year round why are all or almost all of the recipes Christmassy?
So I went to the Robertson's website to see if they had any suggestions, but actually it's a pretty basic website and has no recipes. Which is not very enterprising of them. Also, quite alarmingly for me, it says: "Once open store in a refrigerator and consume within 6 weeks." Well my jar is open and I am considering using it because basically I think it is one of those things that doesn't go off almost ever. I'm sure I have used opened jars of mincemeat at Christmas time (a year after being opened) before. There is so much sugar in the mix that I would be surprised if it has gone off. But I will certainly check whether it smells bad or looks mouldy. Mmm, maybe I should just throw it away and use the jar. It's the jar I want after all. I'm worried now.
If you are interested though, or if at Christmas time you do have a bit left over, here is another list, like yesterday's of things you can do with it. Plus you can mix it, or broken up mince pies into vanilla ice-cream and refreeze for a quick and simple solution to the problem.
As always, left to right and top to bottom: Christmas fudge (Taste); Sour cherry and hazelnut panforte (Taste); Fruit and nut baklava (Taste); Pear and mincemeat crumble cake (Jane Hornby); Mini Christmas Eccles cakes (Asda); Apple mincemeat and marmalade tart (Nigel Slater); Mini fruit mince cheesecakes (Taste); Mincemeat snack bars (Asda); Christmas mincemeat cheesecake (Eat Well); Mincemeat samosas (BBC Food); Fruit mince muffins (delicious); Fruit mince crumble slice (Sunbeam Foods). I don't think any of them would be healthy, but very probably some are delicious. The Eccles cakes by the way are usually made with just currants, so that particular recipe is a bit of a cheat - or a nifty invention, depending on how you look at it. I think it will be the cake. I have a lot of pears bought for my cooking class with the granddaughters.
I notice, by the way, that in England they call it mincemeat. Here we call it fruit mince, which I guess is clearer, but not quite the same somehow.
POSTSCRIPT - made the crumble cake - yum!
And here are few Eltham postcards from yesterday.
Not terribly inspiring but just to let you know I'm trying to keep on with this.