Mince Sqaures … the easy alternative for Mince Pies

December 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

Oh boy! What a busy weekend the Tripepi’s had. Hubby and Max went fishing on Saturday which required a 4am roll call! I spent the rest of the day gathering the needful for the Christmas lunch at Sakithemba YMCA in Toti on Sunday – 6kg’s of curried beans and two shopping escapades later – Princess Jan was looking more like the Wild Woman from Borneo! NO – the tipsy, sweaty, up-at-4am- exhausted Wild Woman from Borneo!! But I did discover a fabulous Cuban Bar along the way – The Cuban down at the Moses Mabhida Soccer Stadium in Durban sells wicked – life saving – energy giving cocktails!!!!! I had a (few! He he he ……. hic!) Mamasita Chikita cocktails – Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrriba ariiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiba andale annnnnnnndalay YAY YAY …. Just to keep in the Christmas spirit of it all – kind of along the shopping trip way. Whoa!!! I love Christmas!


NB: Mums and Dads living in Durban with little ones – the restaurants at the stadium put on entertainment for the kiddies every Saturday … while you are enjoying lunchat any one of the fabulous restaurants down there, your children can play on the beautiful lawns and be entertained by a juggling clown, who, judging by the peels of laughter coming from that direction – had the kiddies in fits of laughter having oodles of fun! A great idea for a family outing on a Saturday afternoon.


At risk of causing some awful weather phenomenon I am posting a recipe that I pulled out of a Your Family magazine about 15 years ago – it’s one of those tatty, yellowed, about to fall apart bits of magazine cutting. These fruit squares are ridiculously easy to bake – well they would HAVE to be, if I can make them! – And, you can add different fillings and nuts, fruit etc. “Frootcake” asked us fellow bloggers to recommend some easy recipes to give as Christmas prezzies and I promised her this recipe! I really do love to give homemade goodies at Christmas.   A batch of these short pastry melt-in-your-mouth Mince Squares – my cheat cheat equivalent of mince pies – makes a wonderful gift. I find that these are the quick and easy alternative to mince pies – which I love – but this recipe doesn’t even require a rolling pin!!! Yeah Baby!


Fruit Mince Squares al la Jan




1 jar fruit mince

2Tbs brandy – I add way more than this – about 5 I would say if you want to taste it

1 large or 2 small Granny Smith apples peeled and grated

the zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange

½ tsp ground clove

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp white pepper (my own addition)

A handful of dried sour cherries and crimson raisins

If you like nuts – I would add a good handful of cashews or pecans or toasted almonds or hazelnuts

2 cups of flour

¼ cup corn flour

Pinch of salt

2/3 cup castor sugar

250g unsalted butter at room temperature

Icing sugar for sprinkling





Mix the mince with the brandy grated apple cherries, raisins, powdered clove, nutmeg and pepper.

Sift the flour, corn flour and salt together.

Stir in the sugar and cut in the butter – Rub lightly together with the fingertips untul crumbly.

I just put the flour, corn flour, salt, sugar and butter into my food processor and pulse until crumbly.




Press half of the pastry into the bottom of a greased 23cm square tin.

Spoon over the fruit mixture evenly.



Crumble or Grate the rest of the pastry over the top and bake at 160 C for an hour until pale golden brown. Cut into squares while still warm in the pan – then set aside to cool.

Allow to cool then sift over the icing sugar.


Serve with some nice hot tea – or a glass of dessert wine.


Here are two packaging options.



This box had christmas tree decorations in it.



A square of cellophane with another christmas tree decoration to

make it pretty enough to give as a gift.




As always

Buon appetito e Buon Natale





21 responses to Mince Sqaures … the easy alternative for Mince Pies

  1. oh these look wonderful Jan :-) thank you so much xxx
    Have made chilli jam and lebkuchen and those dutch cookies spekulaas or something like that already – well the Noonie that is my baking queen daughter made the biscuits and I did the jam.. tonite is shortbread for staff parties tomorrow and then its on to cookie jar premixes for pressies next..thank you all so very much for your great ideas!
    I have two jars of fruitmince waiting for some doctoring so I am thinking they will be turned into Jan’s fruit squares for sure! thank you sustertjie xxx

  2. Love this idea. So simple, so festive. My husband would go mad for these – he loves mince pies. x

  3. That is a nice fuss-free recipe, I actually made 3 dozen mince pies and froze them. I am ashamed to say we’ve eaten them already! I think I shall be trying this just before Christmas so as not to tempt us :)

  4. I’m so glad you made the chilli jam :)

  5. hehehe …. i am about to start my third lot of these … i will cut the next lot a wee bit smaller so they dont finish quite so quickly! xxxx have a great day xxxxx jan

  6. My pleasure angel – just one word here – i used a larger swiss roll tin and cut them quite big – no necessary – my next lot later on today will be slightly smaller cos they are rich and fill you up quickly. But they are uber -easy to make though xxxx Have a great day angel xxxx jan

  7. How did those Lebkuchen come out – cos i just loooooove those?? Must maybe give them a try tomorrow xxx

  8. They are just sooo easy and as i say you can add your fave fruit or nut to keep your lot happy. Much easier than mince pies and taste just as gewd xxxx jan

  9. in reply to Sous Chef and Chilli Jam -and beautiful it is too – thank you so much!. We have made an accompanying jar of medium masala in which I embedded lots of fresh curry leaves and this is for the men in our family and friends – velly pretty it is too lol. The Noonie will be taking pics which I’ll post later xxx

  10. Personally I am not a lebkuchen fan, I find them quite odd tasting – I think its the addition of Cardommon – not sure, but the spekulaas are fab, almost like a ginger biscuit really

  11. Almost reminds me of Jam Squares!! YUM!!
    Have an Awesome day!! A cocktail sounds sooo good right now!! xx

  12. what a great idea Jan xxx

  13. For sure – in fact you could make these with jam and they would be great. You could make them with honey and nuts as well – in fact anything. The pastry is nice and moist and soft. thanks Shaz xxxx jan

  14. Only later in my life have I discovered mince pies and now I kinda like them!! These easy peasy squares are going to make it to my table!!!

  15. Me too hey NIna – well, my mum would buy them when we were children but I really didn’t like the taste …. but that, like most things, has changed!! I love them now but always add a few of my own touches – you can melt some dark chocolate and add the fruit and booze into the mixture -then smooth it over your pastry. Yum …. thanks Nina and have a great evening hun xxxx jan

  16. It’s an easy option … and i am super lazy when it comes to these things xxxx Have a great evening xxx jan

  17. NICE! This is definately going to be made this Christmas! How clever you are! D

  18. Thanks Doughboy- as i say they are dead easy to make and taste the same as a mince pie – better in fact because there is not too much pastry xxxx thanks angel …. enjoy! Have a great evening xxxx jan

  19. Beautiful!!!

  20. How absolutely delicious! I ADORE fruit mince, and your additons to the recipe are so interesting (white pepper!), thanks Jan *saved*

    I’ll have mine with a glass of OB’s in this rainy, chilly December weather we are having…..

  21. Oooh Zabwan that’s just the ticket for these mine pies!! It’s cold and rainy in Durbs today ….. honestly, we really ARE feeling the effects of global warming … global cooling here in Durbs . i wore a jersey last night when i went out!!!! In December???? Haibo! I love mince pies too hey and OB’S is the perfect partner for them ! HO HO HO ……. CHING CHING! XXX jan

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