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 manage to consume in December.
Having said that, I’d also bet that 95% of us don’t make our own mincemeat. It’s generally accepted that food made in the home is superior in taste than buying processed supermarket fare. Mincemeat is no exception to the rule.
The fact that this mincemeat recipe 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 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, 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. If you do fancy something a little fancier, you could always try my Pear and Fig 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
- 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.
Cost: This quantity of mincemeat would set you 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.
104 replies on “Homemade Mincemeat”
I’m definitely having a go at this it looks lovely.
Thanks, Sue. I hope it turns out well!
This looks fantastic!! Do you think I could add some dried figs? I have an abundance of them in my cupboard and really want to start using them! x
Thanks! Yes, of course you can. Don’t feel bound by my recipe if your addition makes sense!
Ooh, awesome recipe for mincemeat – you may just have converted me from the 95%!
Well, I hope I have!
I can almost smell the spices! Merry Christmas!
I actually can :D. Sorry to gloat.
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! 🙂
Good! But don’t be ashamed. Make it now, you shan’t regret it!
Looks wonderful and I’m sure it is far tastier than store-bought.
Thanks – it really does.
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?
Oh, I’ll be sharing alright… very soon. I’m not sure what I’ll do. But mince pies are for certain.
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?
But, I’m in my own home… You better had do this recipe this weekend :D. Ummmmm, I have no idea. Not too much, the trick would be not to make the mixture too wet.
You are of no help 🙂 ha
Many people have told me this 😀
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! 😀
Really? I love all mince pies I think… Shame you can;t, but enjoy your Christmas wherever you are!
I have been thinking about making mince meat for years. Now I must! Perhaps a tart instead of pie, it seems so rich.
You must! Mince pies are amazing though!
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! 🙂
Me too, it’s amazing. It’s definitely not hard in any way… Oh no problem, it just annoyed me how few people make their own pastry!
Yes!! I’ve been on the hunt for a proper mince meat recipe 🙂 I sure do miss them, not as readily available as in the UK! Thanks for sharing, this is going on my (long) holiday to make list 🙂
Well, this one’s not too bad :D. I’m quite surprised, they are literally everywhere here! Let me know how it turns out.
Awesome! Love this! I have always wanted to make homemade mincemeat… my mom always got the stuff in the jars.. cannot wait to try this!
Thanks! Do it, it’s SO simple. Would take no time at all.
It’s funny because although my mom makes a mincemeat pie each Thanksgiving, it’s a rarity amongst many people locally here. The dying question each time she makes hers is “What exactly IS mincemeat?” My dad loves it and she makes it every year just for him. Loved your post today!
Really? They are everywhere here! Wikipedia it :D. It used to be real meat, but has changed over the years. Glad you liked the post 🙂
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!
Me too! It’s the spicyness and the warmth it brings! You should give mine a try, perhaps alongside your grandmother’s? Merry Christmas!
don’t let my husband see this post, he loves mince miet pie, me…notsomuch…no offense
I can’t promise anything! Why not try this mixture? You may change your mind…
You’re a lifesaver – I’ve been looking for a mincemeat recipe! Thank you..
Well, though I’m sure that’s a slight exaggeration, thanks! 😀
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.
You may blog it, of course! Glad you maintain some of the tradition 😀
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!
I just left it out, but the fridge would do. It doesn’t really matter 🙂
My Grandfather once told me “You don’t know what’s good.” when I turned up my nose at minced meat pie as a 5 year old. I think I’ll have to try it again as an adult.
Quite clearly, your Granddad does know what’s good.
Oh this Homemade Mincemeat looks absolutely incredible. Thanks for sharing this recipe.. I definitely have to add it to my collection
Thank you! you simply must 😀 I insist.
[…] a recipe by a fellow food blogger that reminds me of my childhood. It’s a recipe for vegan mincemeat. My mom used to make mincemeat pies when I was younger, but I haven’t had one in years. I […]
That sounds delicious! I’ve never had mincemeat and have always wondered what it really is. I can’t wait to try this!
Really?! you’ve never had it? Where have you been living?
Looks so yummy! I’ve never made my own mince meat- only made my first mince pie the other day- was never a fan when I was younger. But will def have to try this out! 🙂
Thanks, Naomi. You should try it out – it’s sooooo good.
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!)
I just don’t really think it’s necessary… I prefer mine a little lighter.
Happy to have stumbled upon your wonderful blog. Going to try this recipe today…just in time for Christmas!
I’m glad you have also. Hope you enjoyed it.
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? 🙂
Haha! Awesome. I’m glad about that. My girlfriend’s mum made some mince pies out of it – they were delicious.
[…] “I’d also prepared to bet that 95% of mince pie consumers do not make their own mincemeat…” – Frugal Feeding […]
[…] Since I’ve had a few days off for the holidays, my sister and I had time to try out the mincemeat recipe from the Frugal Feeding blog that I posted a little while back. I realized that all the […]
Nice post. Living in the States, i don’t really get a good Minced pie – might have to take a stab at this. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks. You should definitely try it – one should never be down on the mince pie quota.
Any ideas on making a brandy reduction in order to get the flavor but no alcohol (for the kiddos)
Ummm, I guess you could cook it down before adding it. But cooking alcohol doesn’t burn it all off. Would a little really do them too much harm :D?
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!).
Fantastic! It’s such a nice mix 😀 – I’ll be making some very soon 🙂
[…] day for merriment and all that! I’ve given you a recipe for shortcrust pastry and a recipe for mincemeat too, but I’ve yet to bring them together under one all-embracing banner until this moment! Once […]
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!
Fantastic! Meat is never included in Britain, at least I’ve never seen it included. Perhaps I’ll give it a go!
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!
Lucky Grandpa! Please do and enjoy them!
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.
Thanks! Perhaps you should give this recipe a go – it is delicious, I’ve no idea how one couldn’t like it! We eat loads of them here in Britain, we really do!
You may have me convinced…but not until next year. I’m about cooked out for now!
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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?
To be honest, any spirit will do the job – dark rum or even a little Irish Whisky would probably work well, though I haven’t tried either!
I make an all fruit mincemeat and use Irish Whisky instead of brandy. I also use homemade seasoned applesauce & my own marmalade in place of the fresh apples & citrus. I store mine in a very old stone crock with the lid and a brick on top to keep critters out! Just stir it every once in a while, lick the wooden spoon to see how it tastes, add more Irish to it and put the lid back on. I have found over the years that just about any dried fruit works for mincemeat. I stir mine up on the first day of September every other year (I make enough of 2 years) and its ready by the 2nd or 3rd week of December.
I use it in pies, tarts and in a pinch have made Christmas cakes with a cup or so of the mincemeat. Tastes wonderful!!
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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 🙂
A year? Perhaps more. My first batch lasted from one Christmas to the next. It improves wonderfully in flavour too.
Goodness me, I’m really grateful for your suetless recipe. Definitely trying it this Christmas, yum
Great! I much prefer it without suet. Nice and light.
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.
Yes, I did a puff pastry version too. Sounds delicious!
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!
Glad you enjoyed them! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
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Do you know what size of jar this recipe fills? I’m looking at making 125ml jars so am just trying to work out quantities.
Hi Kathryn! I’m not entirely sure of the volume of my jars, though I’d guess at around 325ml. I hope that helps.
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I usually make my own mincemeat every year using a recipe handed down from my husband’s grandfather but this year it seems to have gone AWOL. I found your recipe online & made it this afternoon….it smells & tastes fantastic. I added morello cherries and increased the spice and sugar (personal taste). It’s currently sitting in my kitchen making it smell devine. Thank you for posting the recipe. x
am I right that you don’t cook this at all before it goes into jars and into the fridge?
Interesting stuff. Ive made my own mincemeat for a while. I just use up all the dried fruit in the cupboard, add some suet and apples, sugar and spice, and by choice, brandy. I used whisky this year because we couldnt find the brandy. It keeps a long time and gets better with age.
Have done a similar fat free version – more apple & once or twicell added plums/damsons (very rich n fruity). This one you replace brandy with apple juice & bring to the boil , then bottle in sterilised jars like jam . Forgot no need to add sugar so slightly better for diabetics. Came up with it cos parents 88&91 last year have type 2 & some issues with gall bladder. It’s really adaptable & I might try it in a cake now thanks! Plus the poster who uses her home made marmalade had me wondering why I hadn’t thought of that! Keep cooking & innovating! Tricia H
This recipe states it makes “2 Pots”. That is extremely vague.
Hello! Being from Brazil never had mincemeat, but my recent interest for British (and frugal) recipes brought me here – lovely site! I used raisins, cranberries and dates (what I already had) but respected the amounts. I know I should wait a couple more days to taste it but while giving it a stir I couldn’t resist – gorgeous! Thank you for this recipe!
Loved the recipe how long will it keep ,I have put it in sterilised jam jars
Thank you for the recipe .
At least 6 months. Maybe a year.
Hello how long does this last in the jars please
Months and months. Maybe a year.
Once made,does this have to stay in refrigerator
Yes – this will help it last for longer.