Easy Homemade Mincemeat

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This easy homemade mincemeat recipe is super quick to make and perfect for festive baking, especially mince pies. Full of juicy currants, raisins, sultanas, cranberries, with a touch of warming Christmas spices and rich brandy, you’ll be making it every Christmas.

Fruit mince in a glass jar tied with twine

Christmas isn’t Christmas without a mince pie!

I’ll be honest though. I didn’t discover the joy of those little pastry tarts filled with sweet and juicy fruit, and a touch of Brandy until recently.

I grew up with my Grandmother making hundreds of mince pies every year for the annual school Christmas event. She taught me how to make the perfect pastry and that sweet jewelled filling. But not once did I feel like sneaking one warm from the oven and tucking in.

I admit I do feel sad for not indulging in my Granny’s mince pies while she was with us. So to make up for it and bring her into the kitchen with me every Christmas, I whip up several batches of the mince pie recipe she taught me; including her own homemade mincemeat.

Here’s why you should make your own mincemeat…

I know how easy it is to pick up a jar of mincemeat, heck I’ve done it plenty of times; but this recipe is a gamechanger.

  • It’s super simple and takes just 10 minutes, faster than going to the shops
  • It’s so much better than store-bought mincemeat, trust me
  • You can give it a personal touch with your favourite dried fruits
  • It smells just like Christmas.
  • It IS Christmas, all that’s missing is Michael Buble
Easy homemade mincemeat in a jar with a spoon

If you want to skip the essential info and handy tips for starting a Christmas tradition with homemade mincemeat, then head down to the printable recipe card.

What is mincemeat?

Mincemeat hails back to the 13th Century when yes, it did contain meat! Fast forward many centuries and mincemeat is now a sweet, boozy concoction.

A mix of dried fruits including sultanas, raisins and currants with a drop of brandy and warming winter spices; mincemeat is typically used as the filling for mince pies, but I love using in cakes and ice cream too for fabulous festive desserts.

Should you use suet or butter?

Traditionally mincemeat is made with suet, a hard fat that has a high melting and smoke point which makes it perfect for pastry.

For many recipes you will often find that it is shredded beef suet that is used, which doesn’t make it vegetarian friendly. However you can substitute it for vegetable suet or vegetable shortening, like Trex or Crisco.

But if like me, a suet doesn’t appeal, don’t worry you can use butter instead. Both suet and butter work to help seal the fruit, keeping the sweetness and juices locked in.

TOP TIP: If you prefer to use suet or shortening in your mincemeat, swap the butter in the recipe and use the same quantity.

Mixed fruit in a jar jar with sultanas, raisins and currants

What you’ll need to make this recipe

View my Amazon shopping list with equipment and ingredients.

There really isn’t an easier recipe that this one. The only thing easier is to pop to the shops and buy a jar of mincemeat, but where’s the fun in that!

So, if you’re keen to make your own mincemeat for your Christmas bakes this year, here’s what you’ll need.

The Ingredients

Ingredients image

Now if you’re like me you probably have a cupboard full of dried fruits that you can use to make this mincemeat, and I’m using:

I’ve gone for a more traditional recipe but you can swap these for other fruits such as dried apricots, dates, dried pineapple or papaya.

You can also mix up how much of each of these you use. So if you a more a sultana fan than currants, why not swap the quantities over?

The Equipment

As I mentioned, this is a super easy homemade mincemeat, and there’s also no fancy equipment. Go and grab yourself:

  • Large heavy-bottomed saucepan
  • Wooden spoon or spatula
  • Four sterilised jam jars

You’ll also need something to zest your lemon, and I recommend a microplane citrus zester if you have one, or a fine grater will do too.

How to make homemade mincemeat

Before you get stuck into making the mincemeat sterilize jam jars ready for the mincemeat.

  • Wash the jam jars and lids in hot soapy water, rinse and pop onto a baking tray in a preheated oven, 50C/ 120F until completely dry.
  • Alternatively, you can put the jars and lids in the dishwasher on a hot cycle.
  • If your jars have rubber seals, remove these and place in just-boiled water.

For a great guide on prepping your jars, check out Tin & Thyme.

Next up, the mincemeat; this so simple so…

  • Heat dried fruit, mixed peel, fresh apple, lemon, spices, sugar and butter together in a large saucepan, over a medium heat, for 10 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  • Let the mixture cool before adding the brandy and stirring through.
  • Spoon the mixture into sterilised jars, pop on the lids and cool thoroughly before storing.

TOP TIP: Switch out the brandy and some of the fruit, and add dried pineapple, papaya, dates and rum for a tropical twist.

Step by step live video

Frequently asked questions

How much mincemeat will this make?

This recipe will make approximately 4 x 300-350g jars

How should I store the mincemeat?

Make sure that you spoon the mincemeat into sterilized jam jars and seal them tightly. Label the jars with the date and keep them in a cool, dark place such as a store cupboard or pantry. Once opened, the mincemeat should be stored in the fridge.

How long will the mincemeat keep for?

If you have made the mincemeat with alcohol, this will help preserve the fruit, and it can last up to 12 months if stored correctly. Once opened, the mincemeat should be used within 5 days.

Do I have to use alcohol in my mincemeat?

No, you don’t have too. However, it does help to preserve the fruit. If prefer not to use alcohol, switch this for a fruit juice, such as orange or clementine and follow the same recipe. You should store the mincemeat in the fridge and use within 1 week.

Easy homemade mincemeat in a jar with a spoon

Hints for the best mincemeat

The combination of the dried fruits and spices are utterly delicious, but here’s some handy hints to ensure you get the best mincemeat possible…

  • Use a soft brown sugar – This will give your mincemeat a rich, caramel flavour that works perfect with the fruit and brandy. I prefer to use a dark muscovado sugar, but you can use a light brown sugar.
  • Add a little extra crunch – I make nut-free mincemeat but you can add chopped hazelnuts or blanched almonds into the fruit mixture.
  • Let the fruit cool before adding alcohol – Make sure the cooked fruit mixture has cooled for at least 10 minutes before adding the brandy. This helps to prevent the alcohol ‘cooking off’ with the warm mixture.
Easy Homemade Mincemeat - Pinterest Image

More mincemeat recipes to try

If you liked this easy homemade mincemeat recipe here are some other recipes that I think you’d enjoy…

Easy homemade mincemeat - Featured Image

Easy Homemade Mincemeat

Serves : 4 Jars
This easy homemade mincemeat recipe is super quick to make and perfect for festive baking, especially mince pies.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins

Ingredients
 

VIDEO

Instructions
 

  • Peel and core the apple, then chop into small chunks. Then zest and juice the lemon.
  • In a large saucepan, add the sultanas, currants, raisins, cranberries, mixed peel, chopped apple, lemon zest and juice, butter and sugar.
  • Stir everything together, making sure the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  • Heat the mixture in the saucepan over a medium heat, for about 10 minutes until the butter and sugar have melted and have coated the fruit. Stir the mixture well occasionally.
  • Leave the mixture to cool, and continue to stir from time to time to help distribute the fruit.
  • When the mixture has cooled, add the brandy and stir through again.
  • Fill your sterilized jam jars with the cold mixture, then seal.
  • The mincemeat can be used straight away or stored in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Notes

How much mincemeat will this make?
This recipe will make approximately 4 x 300-350g jars
How should I store the mincemeat?
Make sure that you spoon the mincemeat into sterilized jam jars and seal them tightly. Label the jars with the date and keep them in a cool, dark place such as a store cupboard or pantry. Once opened, the mincemeat should be stored in the fridge.
How long will the mincemeat keep for?
If you have made the mincemeat with alcohol, this will help preserve the fruit, and it can last up to 12 months if stored correctly. Once opened, the mincemeat should be used within 5 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1JarCalories: 1083kcalCarbohydrates: 218gProtein: 5gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 287mgPotassium: 1267mgFiber: 13gSugar: 160gVitamin A: 837IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 155mgIron: 4mg

DISCLAIMER

The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.

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Hi I’m Lou

… Dessert obsessed baker, busy 9-to-5er, and the recipe developer and photographer behind Crumbs and Corkscrews. Based in the UK, I live in the beautiful Cotswolds. I’m so glad to have you here with me and I can’t wait for you to start trying some of my recipes.

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