Sandham family mincemeat

Prep: 30 mins No cook


Makes about 1.8kg (4 x 500ml jars)
A real treat. Associate food editor, Barney Desmazery, has had this recipe in his family for 100 years

Nutrition and extra info

  • Easily halved

Nutrition: per tablespoon

  • kcal0
  • fat4g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs13g
  • sugars12g
  • fibre0g
  • protein0g
  • salt0.02g
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  • 1 Bramley apple
    Bramley apples

    Bramley apple

    bram-lee app-el

    A large, flattish cooking apple, green in appearance but sometimes with specks of red. The flesh…

  • 300g raisin
  • 300g currant
  • 300g shredded suet (use vegetarian if you prefer)
  • 250g dark muscovado sugar
  • 85g mixed chopped peel
  • grating nutmeg
  • pinch mixed spice
  • grated zest and juice 1 lemon



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

  • 100ml whisky



    Whisky usually means an ethanol-based spirit produced in Scotland. Ethanol is an intoxicating…

  • 4 fresh bay leaf


  1. Peel and grate the apple and set aside. Mix all the ingredients except the apple, whisky and bay leaves in the order they are listed.

  2. Stir through the apple, then add the whisky once all the other ingredients are completely combined.

  3. Pack the mincemeat into sterilised jars.

  4. Tuck a bay leaf into each jar to scent the mincemeat, then seal. Leave for 2 weeks before using. Will keep for 6 months.

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Comments (57)

Kathryn2292's picture

This is the first year I have tried making this mincemeat – absolutely amazing! Honestly the best mincemeat I have ever tasted.

I made it back in October and kept in two large Kilner jars, and it matured really well. When making it, I soaked the fruit overnight in sherry, and also used sherry instead of whiskey when mixing it all together. I also added chopped up glace cherries to the mix and halved the amount of peel. It does look like there's a lot of suet in it when making it, but once it's cooked, it turns out lovely.
I used Paul Hollywood's extra buttery pastry recipe below with my mincemeat, it's the best! I highly recommend it!

rachaelyoung's picture

Not a huge fan of this mincemeat, it lacked flavour for me and seemed to have too much suet. It did keep for well over a year though which was certainly useful!

AvBakenes's picture

Very tasty! I used vegetarian suet and a bit of coconut oil, substituted about a third of the raisins & sultanas for dried cranberries, and switched the whisky for brandy. We ate a bit for dessert to test and now not sure we can leave the rest for Christmas!

kezzerred's picture

I made this for the first time last year, managed to get through all three jars in mince pies will be making it again very soon, so much nicer then any shop bought i've had before.

girtongoddess's picture

We're not fond of peel so substituted chopped stem ginger and added some of the syrup. Verdict - best mincemeat ever tasted.

dawnshields1's picture

Can't believe I didn't comment last year when I made it! Its gorgeous, I used port as I don't like whiskey, and added a few dark Choc drops. Really yummy lasted well in jars, although this year will make half quantities, as it makes quite a lot x thanks x

trcy1066's picture

Thanks for the tip with the port. I had to buy a bottle for some caramelised red onion marmalade and have loads left over :)

ness342's picture

I made this in November for Christmas and it was great but I've just used the last jar today and it was wonderful used brandy instead of whisky though

nickismithy's picture

Yummy yummy mincemeat! I have made the pre cooked type for years but this was a revelation! so moist and tasty!!

nickismithy's picture

Yummy yummy mincemeat! I have made the pre cooked type for years but this was a revelation! so moist and tasty!!

ljshakey's picture

Made this in September and have started making my mince pies. People are loving them, especially as they seem to be used to the brandy-style rather than whiskey which works just as well. Will definitely make again next year.

espargal's picture

I haven't tried this recipe but usually make my own mincemeat and it sounds great and very quick and easy, I agree thast grated butter could be used instead of suet, I put mine in the freezer for a while before grating when making mincemeat before.

whistlestopinn's picture

i have made this for my two sisters, who do home baking all the time, for Christmas. I do savoury rather than sweet so this will be a total surprise for them. However, the recipe doesn't say how much nutmeg to use. I have grated about a quarter of one. Will this be enough?

francesann's picture

I actually found it dry after cooking in a mince pie and I think this was due to too much suet. It seemed too much as I was making it but carried on because of the recipe. In future I will reduce the amount of suet, but other than that the flavour is wonderful.

a11y50n's picture

This was so easy and looks and smells scrummy - can't wait to make my mince pies in a few weeks!! Took notice of previous comments and only made two thirds the quantity and it filled 3 medium sized Lakeland glass storage jars. So easy and quick to make I shall make some more if this doesn't prove to be enough - best mincemeat recipe I've ever used although I did add a few chopped walnuts to the mix as I like a bit of crunch in my mincemeat!

dawnsie79's picture

this is sooooooo easy to make smells yummy yummy in the jar cant wait to make them in a few weeks
Wendy in Holland cold butter (even frozen first then grate) is a substitute for suet.

tbilisi's picture

Simply lovely.

wendy_nl's picture

What could I use in place of suet as its not available here in Holland

annies1's picture

Tried a Pam Corbin recipe originally last year and no one liked it so tried this. It's a great recipe. Delicious and easy. Looking forward to making and eating it again this year.

ness342's picture

absolutely gorgeous never made mincemeat before and will now never be buying ready made in jars again only left it a few days couldnt wait to try it ready to make the next batch


Questions (2)

lisasearle's picture

Hi. I'm thinking about making this for next Christmas but I was wondering how to store it. Does it have to go in the fridge or is it ok in a cupboard?? Also do you think this would keep for about a year??
Thanks :)

goodfoodteam's picture

Looking through our readers comments, despite the recipe saying it lasts for 6 months, many have kept it for a year with great success. Ingredients like suet will start to change flavour over time, but as there is quite a high proportion of booze in the recipe this should be fine. Just be sure to sterilise the jars, seal them well and keep the jars in a cool dark place. If you are not a great fan of bay leaves it might be worth substituting the fresh ones for dried as their flavour is less strong and so won't have such an impact on the flavour if keeping for a year.

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