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)

marola's picture

Perfect. Made it in Sept. 2009 and I just finished the last jar this Christmas!! It is only supposed to last three months but the jars were well sealed and there was nothing wrong with the mincemeat. Will be making more for Christmas 2011. To Gillian in Sweden instead of suet you could use grated butter. It's easier to grate if the butter is very cold. I do this when I make a microwave Christmas pudding.

stephie70's picture

Sorry I reported your comment by accident, I meant to like it :/

ajirvine's picture

So easy to make and just gets better with time.

Finally baked it into tiny mince pies and everyone agrees that it's just lovely.

I've still got a jar left - I just need to find something to do with it.

anna_maciejkowicz's picture

We were skeptical about using whisky instead of brandy but this mincemeat was delicious in mince pies even before maturing.

gabba92's picture

INCREDIBLE, the recipe is PERFECT don't anyone change a thing!!

nickythomas42's picture

I make this mincemeat every year and it is fabulous. People who don't normally like mince pies have really enjoyed the filling. It isn't as rich as shop bought stuff and takes hardly any time to well worth making your own...then you can still cheat and buy some ready made pastry but have the satisfaction that you made the filling!

vgleave's picture

Just made this and feel so christmassy already! Really easy to make, the most difficult bit was weighing things out with electric scales which were running out of battery! Used brandy instead of whiskey as thats what i had in the cupboard, cannot wait to taste!

d41d0y's picture

So easy to make, just grate, chop add and mix! Used rum rather than whisky but I loved how the kitchen filled with the smell of Christmas as I made it. Will be making mince pies with half and giving away the rest. Had to get suet sent to me from England! Can't wait to try.

jessclargo's picture

delicious! so much smoother than shop bought stuff and lovely warm spicy flavour.

pinkfiss's picture

Just made this mincemeat it was so easy, hope it tastes as good as it looks and smells!

kgrimabezzina's picture

Have been using this recipe for three years now and ended up mixing a few extra jars up by request each year....a definite success each time, especially when I give mince pies as little presents when I'm inveited over to friends and family

girlyhr's picture

I make it and give it as gifts with printed recipes on the side. Everyone has complimented me on it and I've had orders this year to make them for friends to give to their friends! I'm thinking about taking some along to the school christmas fayre to sell and see how they go.

vikkis's picture

I make mincemeat every year, but this year after sealing the jars the mincemeat has seeped out and when opening the lid the mincemeat has practically burst out. What have I done wrong??!!

doldderwen's picture

This recipe is wonderful, I used brandy instead of whisky, only because I prefer it.
The resulting mince pies were lovely and light, I gave jars as gifts and was complemented on the recipe, the children were particularly appretiative of them!
This was my first attempt at mincemeat, however, Iwill make a batch every year from now on.

gill-mar's picture

I live in Sweden where shredded suet is unknown! Is there a mincemeat recipe somewhere that does not have suet in it?

retiredteacher's picture

Yes. There is a website called ALLRECIPESUK which has a recipe with no suet. I have tried it and it seems just as nice. Hope this is helpful.

gslaughter's picture

Added cherries 200g and changed spirit to brandy. can't wait to try.

samilizi's picture

I would really like to try this recipe, however half the family are diabetic and I don't want to leave them out- does anyone know if replacing the muscovado sugar with Canderel/ artifical sweetner would harm the outcome in anyway? Thanks in advance...

marola's picture

Only made this three weeks ago, so no rating from me until it has been tasted. I just wanted to say that I'm a little disappointed that the whisky is sitting at the bottom of the jars. Has this happened to others? Should I have soaked the fruit overnight?


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