and the knowledge that my waistline cannot take anymore crumble or cake.
So instead of baking I've preserved the fruit by making mincemeat. This is something I've tried on and off for several years but I'm never convinced it's worth the effort for something that doesn't taste an awful lot better than a good supermarket brand... especially once it has been baked into mincepies. Until last year that is, when I discovered the most wonderful recipe in The River Cottage Handbook of preserves.
A fabulous concoction of fruit, spices and alcohol but with no added fat. So good it can be eaten straight from the jar!
Peel, core and chop 1 kg of cooking apples and cook with the juice and grated rind of two oranges until soft. Mash or blend to a puree (you should have about 700ml of fruit puree)
To this add:
500g peeled, cored and chopped pears
50g dried cranberries
100g orange marmalade
250g demerara sugar
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 grated nutmeg
100g chopped walnuts
Mix well, cover and leave to stand for 12 hours.
Heat the oven to 130 deg C and put the mincemeat into a shallow dish and bake uncovered for 2 hours. Stir in 50ml brandy and spoon into warm sterilized jars. Use within 12 months... although it will be all gone long before then!