Recipes with Julie Van Rosendaal: It’s mincemeat season. Here’s how to use the fruity compote

Mincemeat season is here! The thick compote of fresh and dried winter fruit—apples, pears, citrus, raisins and figs simmered with sugar and spices—was originally a vehicle for actual meat, but it became more fruit-focused in the early 20th century.

Mincemeat is simple to create and will make your house smell wonderful as it simmers on the stovetop. We spoke on the Calgary Eyeopener This week about a few ways to make use of it.

I stir spoonfuls of mincemeat into my oatmeal throughout the winter, put little bowls of it on cheese boards and stir it into cake and muffin batter.

Apples and pears are in season and most common, but if you happen to have access to fifteen, that’s a delicious addition. It’s very hard and astringent when raw, so I peel, chop and simmer fifteen for 20 to 30 minutes, then pour off all but about ½ cup of liquid, add the remaining ingredients to the pot and bring to a simmer.

We tend to default to mincemeat tarts, but I love using mincemeat in galette and crumble squares, just like date squares. They’re easy to make, and taste like fruit crisp you can eat out of hand.

Mincemeat Cake

I adore mincemeat, and this is one of my favorite cakes.

It’s for those who love fruitcake but not so much making fruitcake — here’s your solution.

Mincemeat is a thick compote of fresh and dried winter fruit, which can be added to your baking. (Julie Van Rosendaal)


  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • zest of an orange
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • 2 cups mincemeat (I use all fruit)
  • icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 F and spray a Bundt pan with six cup capacity, or a deep eight- to nine-inch square, round or springform pan. If you use a round pan, you can line it with parchment instead.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar and orange zest for a minute, then beat in the eggs and vanilla.

In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture along with the mincemeat, and stir just until combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for an hour, or until deep golden and springy to the touch.

Turn the cake out of the pan onto a wire rack while it’s still warm.

If you like, dust the top with icing sugar.

serves: 12.

Mincemeat Blondies

Mincemeat stirred into blondies is quick and delicious, like a chewy, festive snack cake.

Mincemeat blondies contain the usual ingredients found in a snack cake with a burst of fruity flavour. (Julie Van Rosendaal)


  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ – 1 cup mincemeat

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. If you want browned butter, keep it on the heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until the foam starts turning golden and the mixture smells nutty.

Pour into a medium bowl and stir in the brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda and salt and stir just until combined. Stir in the mincemeat.

Line an 8×8-inch pan with parchment and spoon in the batter and smooth the top.

Bake for 20- to 25 minutes, until golden and just set.

Serves: About 9.

Mincemeat Apple Galette

I often make mincemeat galette — a free-form pie that frees you of any pressure to trim and crimp, and you can do straight-up mincemeat, or spread mincemeat on the bottom and top with a couple sliced ​​apples or pears.

To make a mincemeat galette, you’ll first need to prepare some dough. It needs to sit in the fridge for at least a half hour before it can be rolled out for your galette. (Julie Van Rosendaal)



  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup butter (or lard, or shortening), cold
  • ¼ – 1/3 cup cold water


  • 2 tart apples, peeled (or not) and sliced
  • ¼ cup sugar (or to taste)
  • a shake of cinnamon
  • ½ – 1 cup mincemeat
  • 2 tbsp butter, in pieces or thin slices
  • milk, cream or beaten egg, for brushing (optional)
  • coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

To make the pastry, combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl.

Slice or cut the butter into chunks, or grate it using the coarse side of a box grater into the flour and blend it in with a fork, pastry blender or your fingers, rubbing any larger chunks of fat until the fat is partially blended in, with some larger chunks remaining (no larger than a blueberry).

Add the water and stir until the dough comes together. Gather it up into a ball, pat into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for half an hour, or up to a few days (freeze for longer storage).

When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll your pastry out to a rough circle about 10 to 12 inches in diameter—I do this directly on a silicone mat.

Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the sugar and cinnamon.

LISTEN | Julie Van Rosendaal explains how you can incorporate mincemeat into a few recipes:

8:06Julie van Rosendaal on mincemeat

Our food guide Julie van Rosendaal makes a convincing case for mincemeat.

Spread the mincemeat onto the bottom of the pastry, leaving an inch or so around the edge. Pile the apples on top, arranging and overlapping the slices if you like, and then fold the edge of the pastry over to enclose the fruit, folding it wherever it naturally folds.

If you like, dot the fruit with butter, brush the edge of the pastry with milk or cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbling and the juices appear thicker and no longer cloudy.

Cool to warm before slicing and serving with ice cream or whipped cream.

Serves: 6-8.

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