Jewelled mincemeat

Ready in 45 minutes - 1 hour


Makes 1.8kg/4lb
A lighter, zingier and fruitier version of traditional mincemeat. Can be frozen for up to 6 months

Nutrition and extra info

  • Can be frozen

Nutrition: per tablespoonful serving

  • kcal64
  • fat1g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs10g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre1g
  • protein1g
  • salt0.03g
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  • 1kg cooking apple
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon



    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 350g light muscovado sugar
  • grated zest and juice of 3 oranges



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 350g cranberry, fresh or frozen


    A tart, ruby-red coloured berry which grows wild on shrubs throughout northern Europe and North…

  • 100g raisin
  • 300ml brandy, rum or sherry



    Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…

  • 100g dried apricot, chopped



    A relative of the peach, nectarine, plum and cherry, apricots are fragrant, with a soft, velvety…

  • 175g mixed nut (such as brazils, pecans, almonds and hazelnuts), toasted and chopped
  • 250g dried tropical fruit (such as pineapple, papaya, etc), chopped


  1. Peel, core and chop the apples, then put them in a large pan with the spices, sugar, citrus zests and juices. Bring to the boil then cover and simmer for about 10 minutes until the apples start to soften. Add the cranberries, raisins and alcohol. Bringto the boil, stirring well, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, uncovered, until thickened. Stir in the apricots, nuts and tropical fruits. Remove from the heat, leave to cool, then pack into sterilised jars. Seal, label and keep for up to 1 month in the fridge, or 6 months in the freezer.

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Comments (20)

ldupuy's picture

Great recipe, though very different form traditional mince pies indeed!
One question now that I have plenty left: I'm going to freeze some (in large teaspoonfuls: I always do that, so that my portions are ready to go in the pastry cases & it's so much quicker to defrost), but has anyone had some on porridge?

silviak's picture

I never liked traditional mince pies because of the filling - far too sweet for me. As my little one likes it and I'd like the whole family to enjoy mince pies together, I decided to give this recipe a go - It is great, fruity and crunchy at the same time. It is still a bit sweet for me, but other people loved it and said it was definitely the best mincemeat they had. Used it with another recipe from this website (Unbelievably easy mince pies), a perfect combo.

rosievimes's picture

I really love this mincemeat recipe, it's easy to make and tastes divine. Be warned though it does make rather a lot and you will be met with requests to make batch after batch until it's used up. It's that good!

jemfey's picture

I love this mince. I made it last year for the jewelled mince pies and everyone liked them (even my boyfriend, who normally wouldn't touch mince pies, was finally converted!). I think everyone enjoyed having a change to the usual mince pie as it has a bit of a different, lighter but zingier flavour, than the ones they had been eating for the last month.

flosssy's picture

Made this last Christmas and it went down a storm. I omitted the nuts as I don't like them, but just added more dried fruit. Delicious and light and went so well with almond pastry. Have just dug this recipe out for this year :o)

taracox's picture

Made this last autumn with some of the cooking apples from our apple trees. Tastes amazing. All the mince pies made with this were demolished!

zoeridgway's picture

This is a really lovely mincemeat. I hate mince pies normally, but we have been making this recipe for the past few years. The mincemeat freezes really well. Just found a batch from last year defrosting it at the mo.

samjlyon's picture

Lovely!!! Took note of the above comments and reduced the number of oranges to 2, slightly less apple and a little less alcohol (I used sherry)....wasn't too wet or citrusy, smells and tastes gorgeous!! I used the mincemeat the next day, tasted fab. Have frozen the rest in jars for use nearer Christmas time!!

reena2510's picture

Just made this last night, and it smells yummy... made me feel very christmassy ^^ even the other half was making positive comments and he hates mince pies!! was wondering though, how long do i need to leave it to mellow before using?? or can i use it straight away??
also i have put the mincemeat in glass jars and so was wondering how to go about freezing it as i really dont want to put glass in the freezer....

debsywebsydoodah's picture

This is my favourite mincemeat recipe - it is so light and fruity and tart. This year I was inspired by Pam Corbin's Compost Jelly Recipe from her River Cottage book and decided to make Mulled Wine Jelly.

Chop the left over orange shells and pop in a saucepan with the left over apple skins/cores. Add a cinnamon stick, some cloves, allspice berries and a grating of nutmeg. Pour over a bottle of good red wine and then top up with water so fruit is submerged. Bring to boil, simmer for an hour to an hour and a half and pour through a jelly bag.

Leave to drip overnight then measure the liquid. Bring to boil. Add 450g sugar for every 600ml liquid. Boil until setting point is reached (105c on a jam thermometer or pour a little onto a cold plate and see if jelly wrinkles when you push it with your finger.). This took about 20 minutes for me.

Pot into sterilized jars and lid. This made 3 lovely pots of jelly to give as presents from something I have always thrown away. x

icecreamdogpark's picture

I have dried tropical fruit with coconut in should i pick the coconut out or is it ok to leave it in?

sesamehead's picture

Please can someone suggest an alternative for the 300ml of alcohol? Can I simply leave it out or do I need to add liquid for moisture? A little more orange juice perhaps but any suggestions for how much? Many thanks

aonissi's picture

I have been making this mincmeat since 2003 and it is absolutely delicious. Everybody is amazed after their first mouthful, as it is like an 'anti' mincemeat! The whole house smells like Christmas and I get so much pleasure looking at my filled jars on the run up to Christmas!

Angela O

greenlung's picture

Made this last year, and everyone commented how it was so gorgeous, and preferred it to the other suet mincepies I made. Threw in some dried cranberries I had in the cupboard for agessssss. Have just made it for this Christmas and probably make two batches of it. Am dying to try it.

candir101's picture

This is the BEST mincemeat in the world!!!!!!
Thank you Good Food

goddesexyangel's picture

Thank you for this recipe...
I made a batch and added a little more alcohol just to give it a little extra zing... I used amaretto and a splash of malibu...
Even people that do not normally eat mincepies loved this filling...

tinker666's picture

This made my whole house smell of christmas!
Turned out really well, have jarred it to freeze for nearer the festive period! Tasted scrummy!

harley121202's picture

I do this mincemeat at the end of November every year since seeing the recipe years ago. I hate the heavy, oversweet, suet laden mincemeat you usually get in mince pies and so this was a bit of a revelation! I can join in and eat mince pies at christmas now! Everyone who has tried them, adores them and I always make sure I do more than the recipe says because everyone wants to take a jar home with them!

This is a staple christmas food in my house and me and my 4 children adore making them (along with my special home made sausage rolls) on christmas eve!

clarebrown's picture

When I made my mince pies with this mincemeat, more than one person said they were the best mince pies they'd ever tasted! Lovely and fresh and fruity.

kookgodin28's picture

Easy to make although it stayed much more moist than I expected. Very fruity, but the alcohol was quite noticeable and the pies had a slightly acidic aftertaste in my first batch. Froze halve and saved it for Christmas. This batch tasted better, with the sharpeness of the alcohol gone. Next year back on the menu.

Questions (1)

FoxSticks's picture

This may be a stupid question but can you put this mincemeat in the freezer in jars? Or would you freeze in bags?

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