Apples stuffed with mincemeat (fruit mince), served with a scoop of brandy spiked no-churn ice cream – all the flavours of Christmas, but lighter and naturally gluten free. And because this is such a busy time of year, the stuffing and ice cream can be prepared well ahead of time, to make your special day so much simpler.
After first making mincemeat (fruit mince) a couple of years ago, it quickly became something I love to do for holiday baking! Of course, you can use store bought for these apples, but I really enjoy the fact that it can be personalised by making your own. The batch I made this year varies a bit from the first batch, so I’ll include the new recipe here, to inspire you. Obviously, this recipe will make waaaaay more than you need (unless you’re stuffing enough apples to feed an army), but it makes a great gift!
Ingredients per serving
1 apple (I used Golden Delicious)
1 heaping Tbsp mincemeat (fruit mince)
1-2 tsp dark brown (muscovado) sugar
1 small cube butter, about 1cm / 1/3″
Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
Use a sharp knife to core the apples, leaving a cone-shaped well in them but keeping the base intact.
Arrange the apples snugly in a baking dish, stuff each one with a heaping tablespoon of mincemeat (fruit mince), then top with a little brown sugar and a cube of butter.
Bake in centre of oven for 20 – 25 minutes, until soft and starting to wrinkle.
Serve warm with the juice from the baking dish spooned over the top, and a scoop of ice cream on the side.
Males about 1kg / 4 cups
100g (2/3 cup) diced dried figs
100g (3/4 cup) diced prunes
100g (1 cup) dried cranberries
150g (1 cup) golden sultanas
100g (2/3 cup) raisins
50g (1/3 cup) diced candied peel
1 large (approx. 200g or 7 oz) cooking apple
juice and finely grated zest of 1 medium orange juice and finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon
150g (3/4 cup, packed) dark brown (muscovado) sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch ground mace
pinch ground cloves
pinch ground cardamom
100g (7 Tbsp) unsalted butter
75ml (5 Tbsp) brandy
Combine all ingredients except the brandy in a medium, heavy-based saucepan, and cook, covered, over very low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely, stirring occasionally.
Add the brandy and stir well, cover and let rest at room temperature overnight – about 12 hours.
Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week.
Can be processed in jars to keep in a cool, dark place for a year.
Brandy ice cream
Makes about 1 litre / 1 quart
500ml (2 cups) whole cream
1 x 397g (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk, chilled
60ml (4 Tbsp) brandy, or to taste
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream on medium-high speed until thick and fluffy, but not to the texture of whipped cream, 3 – 4 minutes on medium.
Add the condensed milk and brandy, and beat just until very soft peaks form when the whisk is lifted – it should have a thick, mousse-like consistency.
Pour mixture into a container, seal tightly and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight. Keeps for three months in the freezer.