Traditional mincemeat

Traditional mincemeat

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(26 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Plus soaking


Makes about 2kg (4 x 500ml jars)

Try making your mincemeat well in advance of Christmas to give the flavours maximum time to mature

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per tbsp

  • kcal70
  • fat3g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs10g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre0g
  • protein0g
  • salt0.01g


  • 250g raisin
  • 375g currant
  • 100ml brandy



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

  • zest of 1 lemon, juice of ½



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

  • 300g shredded suet
  • 250g dark brown sugar



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 85g chopped mixed peel
  • ½ small nutmeg, grated



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

  • 1 large Bramley apple, peeled and grated
    Bramley apples

    Bramley apple

    bram-lee app-el

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


  1. Soak the raisins and currants in the brandy and lemon juice for 1 hr until plumped up, then drain and set the brandy aside. Mix all the ingredients together in the order given, then pour in the brandy when everything else is well mixed. Spoon and press into sterilised jars, to exclude any air (the easiest way to sterilise jars is to run them through a dishwasher on its hottest setting). Cover and leave for at least a fortnight. Will keep in the fridge for up to 6 months.

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Comments, questions and tips

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8th Dec, 2014
You can just leave out the suet. I have nothing against fat but it's not necessary in mincemeat. I used to use suet, then over the years exchanged it for sunflower seed oil, and finally just left out all fats and oils. The mincemeat is still delicious. Just bulk it up with extra fruit. I think the suet is a filler and a hang-over from earlier times when mincemeat apparently used to actually contain meat.
12th Nov, 2014
Just made this - it looks very white in comparison to the picture - a little worried it will be too "suety" but I followed the recipe down to the gram so fingers crossed! Anyone else found this?
5th Dec, 2014
Made it too around the same time and thought the very same - seemed to be a lot of suet. Haven't tried it yet going to wait till nearer Xmas
11th Nov, 2014
Just finished making this recipe, I used cranberries in place of current as we can't get them in Bulgaria and soaked the fruit in the brandy overnight. Also had to make my own candied peel (much better than bought and so easy to make). It's tastes delicious now, can't wait to make it into mince pies :)
16th Oct, 2013
I have made this mincemeat for the last 3 years and will be making it again this year! It's easy to make and tastes lovely, especially with home-made pastry :0)
13th Nov, 2014
does this mincemeat look very light in the jar? I added exactly the right amount of suet but it is very light in colour and seems to be outweighed by suet rather than fruit. Concerned I have made a mistake and it will be horrid!
19th Dec, 2012
delicious!............ made it with mixture of raisins and sultanas and cranberries as i am unable to obtain currants in France....and used butter..... much much better than shop bought.... the first i have made myself.. and i will use this recipe again...
2nd Dec, 2012
Just made, it smells lovely, didn't have any brandy so I used rum instead.
7th Jan, 2012
A darned nice recipe. As a novice at making homemade Mincemeat I found this easy and fun (although messy! heehee) to make, and it looked great. I didn't have a dishwasher to sterilise the large vacuum seal topped jar I used, but the following method worked and prevented any mould: I thoroughly washed every inch of the inside and out (including under the rubber seal in the lid) in hot sopay water and then left it to dry upside down on a clean rack. Making sure I didn't touch the inside of the lid or jar I gently 'flamed' the inside of the jar and it's lid and seal with a lighter the way we used to sterilise tools and petri dishes in school. (Remember not to hover over the rubber seal when doing this as brief heat is all that's necessary and you could melt the seal). Used this with the Eccles cake style mince pies and it worked a dream.
10th Dec, 2011
very keen to try this but what could you use instead of brandy for a non-alcohol version? would apple or orange juice be ok?


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