Homemade Mincemeat

Mincemeat Recipe (2)

I’d be prepared to wager that mincemeat is one of the most commonly used ingredients during the festive season. It’s simply impossible to imagine just how many mince pies we, in the West, manage to consume in the latter month of the year. However, I’d also prepared to bet that 95% of mince pie consumers do not make their own mincemeat. This isn’t an attack against the lack of self-sufficiency countries like Britain experience today, it is merely the thought process behind my first ever batch of homemade mincemeat. It is generally accepted that food made in the home has the superior taste and is better for you. Mincemeat is no exception to the rule.

The fact that this mincemeat uses neither butter, nor beef suet, means that it has a less meaty texture and taste. Of course, the other use for such ingredients is in the field of preservation; however, the brandy and sugar do this job more than admirably. Indeed, once made, this mincemeat will last for at least 12 months.

I suppose it ought to be noted that Clever Muffin provided the inspiration behind my first batch of mincemeat. Though she didn’t provide the recipe, no one did, it was her who provided the impetus. Never again shall factory produced mincemeat grace the shelves of my cupboards. By the way, this mincemeat is out of this world. It is so light and delicate in comparison to the shop bought ‘stuff’, yet considerably fruitier and fuller in flavour. I’m seriously considering simply eating the two jam jars worth of mincemeat residing in my fridge, rather than using them in any sort of baking.

Homemade Mincemeat

Makes 2 pots


• 100g raisins

• 100g sultanas

• 60g candied peel

• 60g glacé cherries

• 1 apple

• The zest of 1 orange

• The juice of 1 lemon

• 60-100ml brandy

• 2 tbsp brown sugar

• ½ tsp cinnamon

• ½ tsp nutmeg

• ½ tsp mixed spice


1. Roughly chop all of the fruit until fairly fine, leave the peel on the apple. Place the fruit in a mixing bowl; add the orange zest, lemon juice, sugar and spices. Stir thoroughly. Add brandy to taste, at least 60ml is required, though if one prefers the slightly boozier mince pie add a little more. Cover the top of the bowl and leave to stand for at least 3 days before use. Make sure that you give it a little mix each day – this will ensure that the fruit absorbs all of the alcohol.

Mincemeat Recipe (3) Mincemeat Recipe (1)

Cost: This quantity of mincemeat would set one back at least £3 in store. The entire batch of mincemeat according to this recipe should cost one a maximum of around £1. As such, it is sure to make one’s mince pie addiction rather more economical this Christmas.

87 thoughts on “Homemade Mincemeat

  1. thelittleloaf

    I would always make my own pastry, but am ashamed to admit I don’t tend to make my own mincemeat…I normally get it from my mum! So it’s still homemade, but a poor effort on my part. This is a great recipe and very frugal! :-)

  2. spree

    Assuming you don’t fall to the temptation to spoon it into your mouth straight from its jar (which I’d be tempted to do) what ARE your plans for this lovely little jammy treat? Will you be sharing?

  3. Cara

    Get out, GET OUT! I just made mincemeat cookies yesterday!!! And I totally failed at it, none-the-less (it was one of those days…) But I wanted to try them again and low and behold, look what I find here! I am doing this this weekend! Oh and if I wanted to put this in the cookies, what would you recommend, amount-wise?

  4. Kristina

    I am not a big fan of mince pies, but home made are different! If I were spending my Christmas here I probably would try to make them :) And I would use your recipe, it sounds great! :D

  5. GretalRabbit

    I love mincemeat (and my sister is a mince pie addict!) but I always thought it would be really hard to make- I’ll definitely be making my own next year! Thanks for the recipe :)


    p.s. thanks so much for your shortcrust pastry post- I can now make pastry that isn’t a disaster! :)

  6. Kimby

    So glad you posted your recipe for this traditional favorite! There’s something about the flavor that has “holiday” written all over it. I still use my Grandma’s recipe (handwritten on a faded old recipe card) but am looking forward to trying your updated version. Merry Christmas!

  7. The Vegan Kat

    This looks really good! My mom used to make mincemeat pies when I was younger, but I haven’t had it in years. I was thinking about finding or coming up with a vegan version, but this one already is :) I may blog about this if you don’t mind, with credit of course! It was also fun to see you mention Christmas pudding in one of your recent posts. My mom makes one every year. She even found a way to veganize it so I can still have some! I’ve never heard of anyone else I know in the US making one and I have always had to explain what they are.

  8. sandhyasun

    This looks super! I might have to try my hand at mince pies for the first time. Quick question: when you let the mixture sit for three days, do you leave it out or put it in the refrigerator? Thanks!

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  10. clumsylawyer

    I hadn’t considered suet-less mincemeat. I used vegetarian suet when I made mine in October (for the benefit of a veggie friend who I knew would be munching them come December). Not sure how my proportions compared to the shop-bought stuff, but it’s certainly far less gloopy (and much tastier!)

  11. Aimee@clevermuffin

    You know looking back at your recipe, you’ve actually pulled together what me and my partner in crime in making mince meat deduced was the best combination of mince. The candied peel is the real winner. Such a clever frugal man! Now… where are the pies? :)

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  14. Sophia

    I just made my first batch of minced meat roughly relying on your recipe. Some substitutions were necessary though for want of currants in Italy and a personal abhorrence of glace cherries. But my kitchen now smells divine and if I am not careful, half the mix will be gone by tomorrow as, everytime I wander into the kitchen, I have a sneaky spoonful … Now dreaming up potential uses for the minced meat (other than mince pies of course!).

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  16. Kathy

    You know my mother and grandmother used to make mincemeat pie at Christmas and I loved it – for some it is an acquired taste (especially if you include the meat) and I’ve had my grandmother’s recipe for probably 50 years. This year I was hungry for a mincemeat pie, so I made some mincemeat! Had about the same ingredients as your recipe and I did take some beef I’d boiled and chopped, and included it. It hit the spot – was very good. I will keep your recipe and try it next time. My family doesn’t enjoy it but I am old enough to appreciate it and hopefully some of these traditional old recipes will be coming back. Thanks for sharing!

  17. gorunjess

    My grandmother used to make mince meat pie for my grandpa every Christmas and growing up I wondered at what came in that little magic jar from the grocery store. Thank you for the recipe. I’m making these little treats at some point-maybe even a mini-Christmas in July!

  18. Mollie Walker Freeman

    I do love the way you write about mincemeat; however, I’ve never tasted any that I’ve actually liked (sorry). My late grandma was the very best pie-maker I’ve ever seen, & she made her own mincemeat (& everything else!) until dementia would no longer allow it. But I could never quite stomach the mince pies…

    On another note, you write about the prodigious eating of such treats in “the West.” Things must be different in your part of the planet; I’ve never known anyone since my childhood who ate the stuff! (I live in Colorado.) When you describe it, it sounds so wonderful that I am actually happy someone is still enjoying mince pies. So, carry on! I don’t think I’ll be trying this one, but I look forward to all the future recipes you’ll share, so thanks in advance.

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  20. Naomi

    I’m just after making a batch of mince pies using shop bought mincemeat (from the lovely shop down the road). After reading your article you have convinced me to have a go at making my own. Going to try finding an alternative for the brandy though – can’t stand the stuff. Any ideas?

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  23. Elisa Matthews

    Great recipe made some last week and making more today for a friend, Iv been keep it in the fridge in an air tight jar home long do think it will keep in there? iv not really keep Homemade Mincemeat very long before to tasty. But not seeing friend until after the new year. Thank you :)

  24. bloodfreak

    Thanks for this! I made one batch already this year and used it to stuff some puff pastry. It was very popular! Making a second batch right now for Christmas. I don’t have cherries, so I’m using dates. For “mixed spice”, in addition to the cinnamon and nutmeg, I’m going to try some allspice and ginger.

  25. Bel

    Hi, thanks so much for the mincemeat recipe. I don’t live in the UK so it isn’t easy finding it in the shops. I made 15 pies yesterday for my husband and I and they’re almost all gone! I’ll certainly be making more as it’s so simple :-) I added extra sugar, brandy and cinnamon, but obviously that depends on personal taste. Thanks again and have a lovely Christmas/New Year!

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