Sandham family mincemeat

Sandham family mincemeat

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(32 ratings)

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 (we used suet that includes sustainable palm oil in the ingredients)
  • 250g dark muscovado sugar
  • 85g mixed chopped peel
  • grating nutmeg



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • 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 leaves


  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, questions and tips

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8th Nov, 2017
most delicious mincemeat recipe and easy. Make it every year
23rd Dec, 2014
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!
28th Dec, 2013
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!
10th Dec, 2013
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!
20th Nov, 2013
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.
23rd Dec, 2012
We're not fond of peel so substituted chopped stem ginger and added some of the syrup. Verdict - best mincemeat ever tasted.
5th Nov, 2012
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
30th May, 2014
Thanks for the tip with the port. I had to buy a bottle for some caramelised red onion marmalade and have loads left over :)
9th Apr, 2012
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
6th Mar, 2012
Yummy yummy mincemeat! I have made the pre cooked type for years but this was a revelation! so moist and tasty!!


11th Nov, 2015
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
19th Nov, 2015
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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