This recipe is adapted from one in a favorite cookbook which I received from my son and daughter-in-law in the 1980s – Elsah’s Landing Heartland Cooking (Illinois).
I thought the reconstituted mincemeat was sweet enough to allow me to reduce the sugar. The result is a soft, easy-to-handle dough and a loaf with interesting flavors from the orange peel and mincemeat. It’s wonderful toasted and we also like it as a buttered, grilled sandwich with our favorite chicken salad.
APPLE MINCEMEAT YEAST BREAD
2 Tblsp. fast acting dry yeast*
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 Tblsp grated orange peel
1-½ tsp salt
1 cup water
½ cup apple juice
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup canola oil
½ cup mincemeat (reconstituted)**
5-½ to 6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
*I use Fleischmann’s Instant Dry Yeast. I buy it in bulk (454 g) and the package says that it is made in Canada. I understand it is packaged under the name “Instant Dry” for distribution through stores like Sam’s, “Rapid Rise” in the U.S. and “Quick Rise” in Canada. The “Instant Dry”, “Rapid Rise” or “Quick Rise” yeast is especially formulated to be used mixed with the dry ingredients and can withstand the hot water.
**This mincemeat comes in a 9 oz. block which is cooked with boiling water to make 1-½ cups of mincemeat comparable to the mincemeat that is prepared and sold in a jar. Use just ½ cup for this recipe.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, place 2 cups all-purpose flour, yeast, sugar, orange peel, and salt. Beat to blend dry ingredients.
Heat water, apple juice, applesauce and canola oil to 130 degrees F. Add heated ingredients to dry mixture in bowl. With paddle beater, mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.
Add mincemeat and beat for 30 seconds.
Remove paddle beater and insert dough hook. Continue to beat for 6-1/2 minutes, adding flour a little at a time. You may not have to use all of the flour – the dough should be smooth and elastic after 6-1/2 minutes.
Place dough in an oiled bowl, turn dough over once and cover with a napkin or tea towel. Let rise for 45 minutes in a warm place that is free of drafts (I put mine on top of my microwave which sets under a cabinet).
After 45 minutes, punch down dough (press your knuckles into the dough to deflate it) and lay it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough and form into two 9-inch or three 7-½ inch loaves. loaf. Turn over and pinch the edges to seal. Place loaves in greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise for another 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake loaves 45-50 minutes for 9-inch loaves and 35-45 minutes 7-½ inch loaves until bread is golden brown and has a hollow sound when tapped or registers 210 degrees on a bread thermometer. Cover with a piece of foil if top is browning too fast.
Remove bread from pan immediately, cover with a napkin or a tea towel and let cool on a wire rack.
I had a package of mincemeat left over from the holidays and remembered this recipe that I had developed in 1986 for a magazine contest. It didn’t win, but it’s a delicious little tart.
I used a portion of mincemeat that I made from this condensed package (mixed with water) that makes 1-¾ cups. I used one cup for this recipe.
MINCE-NUT TARTS AU CHOCOLAT
- 3 Tblsp.condensed milk
- ¼ cup + 2 Tblsp. chocolate chips
- 1 cup prepared mincemeat
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 6 pastry tart shells (3-½ in. diameter (across top) x ¾ in. deep
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
In small saucepan combine condensed milk and chocolate chips. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until chips are melted.
Let cool in pans on a wire rack.
In 1987, my oldest daughter came up with an idea to add tart cherries to a dried fruit mincemeat that I made. We enjoyed it so much that it ended up replacing the regular mince pie on our holiday menu. This is a small English-style Christmas tart version. It was our dessert today on a snowy December afternoon.
CHRISTMAS CHERRY MINCE TARTS
- Pastry for single-crust 9-inch pie
- 1/4 cup dried apricots, finely chop0ped
- 1/4 cup prunes, chopped
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup frozen tart cherries
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tblsp. toasted walnuts, chopped
- Dash of salt
- 1 Tblsp. quick cooking tapioca
- 1 tsp. milk
- 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Divide pastry dough into five portions. Use four portions to line small tart/pie pans (mine measure 4 inches diameter across the top). Set aside.
In a small pan, combine finely chopped apricots, chopped prunes and raisins along with the 1/4 cup of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until liquid is absorbed – about 4 minutes – stirring occasionally and keeping a close watch so the mixture doesn’t burn.
Remove from heat and stir in frozen cherries (no need to defrost). Stir in cinnamon, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, chopped walnuts, salt and tapioca. Mix well and divide among the four unbaked tart shells.
Roll the remaining portion of pastry dough and with a 3-inch cutter, cut out a design and place one on each of the tarts. Brush with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Place tarts on a large sheet to catch spills and bake @ 400 degrees F
for approximately 25 minutes until the crust is brown and the filling is bubbling.
Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Makes four 4-inch tarts
A nice treat when it’s cold, windy and snowy outside.