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)

movillachick's picture

i have used orange juice as a substitute for the alcohol and it was yummy

hbaraka's picture

Does anyone know how long this recipe keeps for?

brikat98's picture

I decided to make my own mincemeat and mince pies for the first time this Christmas and used this recipe for the mincemeat. I didn't have the whiskey that it asked for, but added a mix of dark rum and ginger wine up to the amount suggested and it tasted wonderful!

On the whole, it turned out unexpectedly good and everyone really liked it! I think the ginger wine actually gave the flavour a special dimension and I would use it again. I personally like a spicier mincemeat and might add more spice next time, but I think my family preferred it as it was.

This was quick (although steeped for a week) and easy to make and tasted great. I was tempted to use it before the week was up, but the texture and juiciness (from the apple) improved with time, so it was worth the wait.

I would have no problem using this recipe again or recommending it.

moppey's picture

Sounds fab but i live in Portugal and cannot get suet over here any suggestions linda.

gingernutt's picture

This was the first mincemeat I've made and although I only made it yesterday, it already tastes better than any shop bought. Have lots of mince pies to make this year as gifts so I added 300g of sultanas, half a pot of glace cherries, and extra 50g of sugar to the recipe. I also used brandy instead of whiskey.

lucyemily's picture

I used this recipe last year , and have used it again this year
I added a few extra ingredients , dried apricots, dates, and figs,and used brandy instead of whiskey, made also with the brownies with apple juice.

pearsol's picture

I used this recipe last year, it was so easy and tasted delicious, I'm just about to make this years batch. Will probably add more whisky!

janeabella's picture

Tried this last year and it tasted good, this year I am adding a little more alcohol and leaving just that bit long before using it.

bubbles55's picture

Used to make my own mincemeat years ago but lost the recipe. I tried a different spirit each year but Whisky was always the best so I'm delighted to find this recipe to use again this year. Try it, your mincepies really will be homemade

yumm_yummm's picture

dying to try it

emmawaldren's picture

This is the first time I've ever made mincemeat and it was delicious. I used it to make the mini eccles mince pies and they went down very well (and very quickly) over Christmas - will definitely make again next year.

rebeccas's picture

Have just used the last of it and I'm so sad.
It has made the BEST mincepies I have ever had.
So next year will make double and in july.
Loved it

hayleygrice's picture

This was the first time I'd made mincemeat and found the recipe really easy to follow. The jars have been maturing for 6 weeks now, and just used one for the Mini Eccles Mince Pie recipe. The mincemeat was lovely, with a definite whiskey taste (when eaten straight from the jar!!) that mellowed out when baked. It was really moist. Only comment I'd add is that I only got 3 x 500ml jars out of it, so plan ahead if you need more. That said, you only need one jar for 18 mince pies!

jooshea's picture

This was so easy to make and my mince pies were lovely. I gave some jars away and the recipients were very impressed.

tayl0005's picture

This was dead easy to make, and tastes delicious. I used it with the eccles receipe and they were delicious, there will be plenty of people trying them this xmas thats for sure. Thanks

hotnspicy's picture

As l live in ltaly and its a novelty over here l would like to try this as it really sounds tasty&yummy Merry Christmas

margaretd's picture

I would like to make this recipe with a primary school cookery club on Tuesday 20th November 2007.
I wonder what could replace the whisky or whether it is a preservative?
Would apple juice be any good?
I think this recipe reads beautifully and will teach the children about forward planning with food.


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