• 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and grated
  • 1/2 Cup California raisins
  • 1/2 Cup California golden raisins
  • 1/2 Cup currants
  • 1/2 Cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 Cup dried figs, chopped
  • 3/4 Cup candied mixed peel
  • 1/2 Cup candied red cherries, chopped
  • 1 juice of lemon or orange
  • 2/3 Cup pack dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 Cup dark or light rum
  • 1/3 Cup brandy or cognac
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 Teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 Cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 31/2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 Cup shortening
  • 3/4 Cup whole milk
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt divided
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla


Homemade Mince:

Place all the ingredients (from 4 Tbsp. butter to 1/4 cloves and 1/4 tsp salt ) in a large Dutch oven, and bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring often.  Then reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer the mince, stirring often, about 30 minutes, or until the liquid is almost evaporated. Remove from heat and, if desired, stir in 2 – 4 tbsp of rum or brandy.  Let the mince cool completely, then transfer to a covered container, and place in the refrigerator, at least overnight, before using. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month.  Note:  if storing longer than a week, stir in a little rum or brandy every week to keep it from drying out and to preserve the mince.  Otherwise, it may not keep a month.  Makes about 4 cups (1 liter) of mince.

Grandmother Crane’s Filled Cookies

In a bowl, cream 1 cup shortening, 3/4 cup whole milk, 1 egg, and 1 cup white sugar. Add 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 2 tsp. baking powder.  Refrigerate dough for 1-3 hours.  Place chilled dough on a floured surface.  Roll out dough to 3/8″ thickness.  Cut with round biscuit cutter (3″ across).  Place 1 tsp. mince filling on one side of round dough circle.  Fold dough over filling, forming a half circle.  Seal the edges with a fork.  Prick a fork through the top of each cookie for steam vents.  Place cookies on parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until cookies are golden brown on top.

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