Place the dates in a bowl, cover with the boiling water and add the bicarb. Allow to sit for 20 minutes then blend until puréed.(If using another sweetener just move onto step 2 and add it in then)
Place all the fruit mince ingredients, including the date mixture, into a large saucepan.
Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then turn to low and simmer for 1 hour. Stir regularly to prevent the fruit mince sticking to the bottom of the saucepan. If the fruit mince begins to get too dry add an extra tablespoon of water.
Allow to cool completely then store in glass jars.
If you want a smoother mince blend slightly using a hand mixer.
Keep the jars in a dark and cool cupboard, shaking occasionally.
The Fruit mince can keep for up to 6 weeks.