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Christmas Mincemeat Recipe

Updated on September 27, 2012
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Christmas just wouldn't be the same without mincemeat. When the festive season comes around, millions of people in the UK treat themselves to mince pies. Traditionally, mincemeat was made using a blend of meat and fruits but most modern recipes don't contain meat. They are a mix of rich, delicious fruit, suet and spices, very often blended together with a generous splash of brandy. Recent years have seen an explosion of different types of mincemeat in the shops, ranging from the cheap and cheerful, to luxurious recipes with the finest quality fruits and expensive alcohol.

There are lots of different varieties of mincemeat to buy in jars so you can make mince pies and other Christmas goodies, or you can make your own. Alcohol is usually used both to act as a preservative and to add a rich, deep flavour to the mincemeat, but it is possible to make varieties without it. Here, I have given a recipe for a fairly traditional mincemeat, as well as one for a version which uses cranberries. You can choose to make them as I have suggested, or leave the alcohol out. Just remember, if you don't add the brandy, the mincemeat will not keep for as long.

Do you like these mincemeat recipes?

5 stars from 3 ratings of Mincemeat

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Ready in: 10 min
Yields: Makes 1 lb
Mix together the fruit, suet and sugar and then add the orange juice, zest and alcohol
Mix together the fruit, suet and sugar and then add the orange juice, zest and alcohol | Source
Once everything is mixed together well, leave in a covered bowl overnight for the flavours to blend.
Once everything is mixed together well, leave in a covered bowl overnight for the flavours to blend. | Source

Ingredients

  • 2oz apples
  • 2oz suet, vegetarian is prefereable
  • 2 oz raisins
  • 2 oz currants
  • 2 oz sultanas
  • 2 oz candied peel, orange and lemon
  • 2 oz demerara sugar (unrefined brown sugar)
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 fluid once whisky or brandy
  1. Peel and core the apples and cut into small chunks (approximately the same size as the currants, raisins and sultanas)
  2. Place the apples, dried fruits and suet into a large bowl and mix together.
  3. Now add in the sugar, orange zest and juice and the brandy. Adding alcohol is optional, but the mincemeat will not keep for as long without it.
  4. When everything is stirred together, cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave for 24 hours so that the flavours all blend together. The mincemeat will need to be stirred regularly, so get the whole family involved and ask everyone in the household to give it a stir when they're passing by.
  5. After 24 hours, spoon the mincemeat into clean glass jars and seal. You can store this for about a month before use.
Melt the butter and then mix in the orange juice and sugar.
Melt the butter and then mix in the orange juice and sugar. | Source
Add in the dried fruit and apples and bring to the boil.  Then simmer until the apples soften.
Add in the dried fruit and apples and bring to the boil. Then simmer until the apples soften. | Source
Allow the mincemeat to cool and then stir in the alcohol.  Spoon into glass jars and store for up to 1 month.
Allow the mincemeat to cool and then stir in the alcohol. Spoon into glass jars and store for up to 1 month. | Source

Cranberry Mincemeat

Using cranberries instead of raisins gives a nice alternative to the traditional mincemeat. The ingredients you will need are::

  • 2 oz unsalted butter
  • 4 oz demerara sugar (unrefined brown sugar)
  • 10 fl oz orange juice
  • 3 tsp mixed spice
  • 5 oz apples
  • 5 oz sultanas
  • 5 oz currants
  • 5 oz candied peel of orange and lemon
  • 5 oz cranberries
  • 6 fl oz whisky or brandy.

To make the cranberry mincemeat:

Peel and core the apples and cut into chunks.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the orange juice, sugar and spices.

Add in the dried fruits and apples and stir well so that everything is coated with the liquid.

Bring to the boil and simmer until the apples have softened.

Allow to cool and then add the brandy or whisky and stir into the fruit mixture well. Adding alcohol is optional, but remember, you can't preserve the mincemeat without the alcohol and it does add a good depth of flavour. .

Pour the cooled mincemeat into clean glass jars and seal tightly. The mincemeat will keep for up to a month.

Spoon mincemeat onto the puff pastry, keeping the mounds well apart from each other
Spoon mincemeat onto the puff pastry, keeping the mounds well apart from each other | Source
Lay another piece of pastry over the top and use a cookie cutter to cut out the mince pies
Lay another piece of pastry over the top and use a cookie cutter to cut out the mince pies | Source
Brush the tops with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar and bake.
Brush the tops with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar and bake. | Source
When golden brown, remove from oven and serve warm.
When golden brown, remove from oven and serve warm. | Source

Puff Pastry Mince Pies

You can make traditional shortcrust pastry mince pies but I prefer puff pastry, so those are what I make. Puff pastry is one of the few things I don't mind getting ready made from the store. It saves a lot of time and the results are generally as good, so I buy a high quality puff pastry, ready rolled into sheets to make my mince pies.

To make these mince pies, pre-heat your oven to 220 C / 400 F.

You will need two sheets of puff pastry. Lay out one sheet of pastry on a clean, lightly floured surface and spoon generous mounds of mincemeat onto it, leaving a large gap between each. Then brush the pastry around the mounds of mincemeat with egg wash. Carefully lay the other sheet of pastry over the top and press it down around the spoonfuls of mincemeat. Taking a large cookie cutter, cut out around the mincemeat-filled domes of pastry. Now take the mincemeat pies and place them on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle with brown sugar. Cut a tiny slit in the top of each pie and place the pies into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm with some brandy butter, custard or ice-cream. The mince pies are also good on their own.

Comments

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  • 2patricias profile image

    2patricias 5 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

    What a fantastic recipe for mincemeat and pies. Your photos are great!

    I am including this in my Recipe Index for HubPages - under "mince pies" and also under "cranberries."

    I'm also sharing.

  • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

    Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

    I did not realize we could make mincemeat without animal fat! Years ago, before I stopped eating meat products, I tasted it briefly, but not enough to get a real feel for it. Maybe I can try this recipe to learn more about it!

    Voted up!

  • Thelma Alberts profile image

    Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

    I love mincemeat recipe. I used to buy mincemeat in England and Ireland before. Now, I´m thanking you for this recipe. I don´t have to buy anymore. I just try your recipe this Christmas. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful.

  • alliemacb profile image
    Author

    alliemacb 5 years ago from Scotland

    Thanks, Nettle. Christmas is such a flurry of baking in my house so I always try to get myself sorted out early. I've got a large extended family to feed during the festive season and mince pies are one of the easiest ways to keep everyone happy.

  • alliemacb profile image
    Author

    alliemacb 5 years ago from Scotland

    Thanks, Gordon. I'm a big fan of mince pies but had a few diasters mainly with using too much alcohol before I hit on this recipe. Christmas wouldn't be the same without mincemeat

  • Gordon Hamilton profile image

    Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

    Ahhh... How I remember it from childhood and mince pies as part of Christmas, even New Year. I honestly never really knew how it was made before, though I could have guessed some of the ingredients - suet is the one that I would definitely have floundered on, even though it does make sense. I hope a lot of people try this as your recipe really looks like the absolute real deal for a hugely authentic part of a traditional British Christmas feast.

  • Nettlemere profile image

    Nettlemere 5 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

    You're so well organised to be thinking of mincemeat and mince pies already. The recipes both sound great though, so I'm glad you've shared them with us.

  • profile image

    summerberrie 5 years ago

    Great Hub! There is so much nostalgia centered around mincemeat for me. Nice recipe.

  • rjsadowski profile image

    rjsadowski 5 years ago

    Great recipes. My mother used to make mincemeat pies at the Holidays but I never got her recipe. These will help serve as a starting plave to re-create her recipe.

  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

    Looks good and I love the photos. I guess it is getting to be the time of year when people are thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanks for sharing and a vote up.