The history of mincemeat itself is as rich as this fruit-filled bread. Mincemeat was first created as a method of preserving meat, but around the 19th century, the meat was left out, and eventually, it became the fruity mixture known today. The history of mince wreaths and pies can be traced back to the Crusades, around the 11th to 13th centuries. European Crusaders brought back spices, fruits, and meats to England from the Middle East. Making mince pies was tacked on to Christmas celebrations, and the pies were made to resemble Jesus in the manger, with a small doughy “baby” in the center. The cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg symbolize the three gifts the Magi brought to honor the birth of Jesus. As mincemeat recipes changed with the omission of meat, a lot of religious symbolism was lost from it as well. However, some traditions can’t be erased, so enjoy a slice of this braided beauty on each day of the 12 days of Christmas for the good luck that it’s said to bring.
Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lightly punch down Do-It-All Dough. Press into a 10×6-inch rectangle, and transfer to prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, apple, raisins, candied orange peel, currants, ¼ cup (60 grams) water, brandy, orange zest, lemon zest and juice, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Cover and let stand for 1 hour.
Transfer sugar mixture to a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until sugar dissolves. Cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted near center registers at least 190°F (88°C), 30 to 40 minutes.
In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat preserves on high until fluid, about 30 seconds. Using a pastry brush, brush preserves onto hot wreath. Let cool on pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.