Pear Mincemeat

This tasty mincemeat is easy to make and is wonderful to have on hand for a quick dessert. Add it to an unbaked pie shell and top with a crust. After crimping or folding the edges under, cut slits in the top to make a design and bake at 350°F (177°C) for 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. You'll be positively salivating as the tantalizing aroma fills the kitchen while it bakes.

Yield

makes about five pint jars

Ingredients

1 cup dried currants
1 cup sultana raisins
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch salt
10 cups chopped cored peeled pears**, treated to prevent browning* and drained
1 cup slivered blanched almonds
1/4 cup rum, optional

Directions

In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine currants, raisins, apricots, lemon zest and juice, orange zest and juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Fold in pears, being careful not to bruise or break them. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat, cover and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, until slightly thickened. uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick enough to mound on a spoon, about 15 minutes. Add almonds and rum, if using, and boil gently for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare boiling water canner, jars, and lids. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

Ladle hot mincemeat into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot mincemeat. Wipe rim with clean cloth. Center lid on jar. Screw band (ring) down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 20 minutes, adjusting for altitude***. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed. Store.

Additional Information

* To treat chopped pears to prevent browning, apply a produce protector according to the manufacturer's instructions or submerge pears in a mixture of 1/4 cup lemon juice and 4 cups water. For more information about treating your fruit to prevent browning see Preventing Discoloration when Canning Fruit.

** See Produce Weight & Volume Yield Chart for Fruits & Vegetables for amount of fruit to purchase.

*** If you are canning above 1,000 feet sea level, see Canning Altitude Adjustments to find how much additional processing time is needed.

Place a clean towel on your work surface to absorb water from the hot jars as you take them out of the water bath (boiling-water) canner to be filled, and again once the jars are processed. The towel prevents hot jars from coming into contact with cooler countertops. Significant temperature differences can cause jar breakage.

A jar lifter is very helpful for handling hot, wet jars. Because they are bulky and fit loosely, oven mitts — even water-resistant types — are not a wise choice. When filling jars, an all-purpose rubber glove, worn on your helper hand, will allow you to steady the jar.

A clear plastic ruler, kept solely for kitchen use, will help you determine the correct headspace. Each filled jar should be measured accurately, as the headspace can affect sealing and the preservation of the contents.

When preparing jars and lids, prepare a couple extra in case your yield is larger than you expect. If you don't have enough jars, place any leftovers in an airtight container; store in the refrigerator and use within a few weeks.

Before using jars, inspect them carefully for any chips, cracks or fractures. Discard any imperfect jars.

See Canning & Preserving Glossary for a description of terms used in this recipe.

Before canning each season, review canning procedures. See Canning & Preserving Basics to refresh your memory with the procedures.

Recipe Courtesy Of

Ball Home Preserving

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