Traditional Mincemeat


Mince pie season is well and truly upon us, so I decided to revive what I suspect is now a dying art and make some mincemeat of my own to fill them. Mincemeat is another one of those products that may be found in any shop nowadays at a reasonable price. The quality is usually very good too, which you might think hardly makes it worth the bother of making it at home, but there’s a great sense of satisfaction to be had from doing so!

This recipe made 7 x 12oz jars of mincemeat.



You will need 1kg of dried fruit. The choice is up to you, but the following mixture is what I used:

300g of luxury mixed dried fruit

200g of sultanas

200g of currants

100g of raisins

200g of mixed peel

You will also need:

200g of shredded suet (preferably beef, but vegetable if you prefer)

300g of soft brown sugar

50g of blanched almonds, finely chopped (optional)

2 large or 3 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped

the zest and juice of 1 orange

the zest and juice of 1 lemon

½ a jar of orange marmalade

½ of a whole nutmeg, grated

4 teaspoons of mixed spice

100mls of brandy (or whisky)


The method for making the mincemeat couldn’t be simpler:

  • place all the ingredients into a large saucepan


  • gently heat the ingredients, stirring almost constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the suet has melted. This should take about 10 – 15 minutes of gentle heat
  • remove the pan from the heat, cover the pan with a clean tea towel, and leave the mixture until it is completely cold, overnight if necessary.
  • prepare some jam jars and lids – give them a good wash out with hot water and sterilise the glass jars, either in a hot oven for 5 minutes or in the microwave for 2 minutes
  • when the fruity mixture is completely cold, pack the mincemeat into the prepared jars


The finished mincemeat needs a couple of weeks to mature before you use it, just to let the flavours develop properly, then you can wow your friends and family with your home baking!

7 thoughts on “Traditional Mincemeat

  1. I have kept mincemeat for several years in my pantry (cool and dark) and it is fine. The melted fat coats the other ingredients and helps to preserve them. If it seems a little dry, just stir in a little more of the alcohol that you used originally ( so write it on the label!)

    Liked by 1 person

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