Traditional Mincemeat Recipe


Dried Fruit:

  • 1 cup (150g) raisins
  • 1 cup (150g) currants
  • ½ cup (75g) golden raisins (sultanas)
  • ½ cup (50g) candied mixed peel

Fresh Fruit:

  • 2 large tart apples (e.g., Granny Smith), peeled, cored, and finely chopped


  • 7 ounces (200g) shredded beef suet (Or use a vegetarian suet alternative)


  • 1 cup (200g) dark brown sugar


  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange

Boozy Goodness:

  • ½ cup (120ml) brandy (or rum)


Prep the Fruit:

  • Finely chop the candied peel if not already done.

Combine the Ingredients:

  • In a very large bowl, combine all of the ingredients, except for the brandy.
  • Mix thoroughly.

Let the Flavors Meld:

  • Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let the mixture stand in a cool place for at least 12 hours, or up to overnight.
  • This allows the flavors to blend and intensify.

Slow Cook:

  • Preheat your oven to 250°F (120°C).
  • Transfer the mincemeat mixture to a large baking dish or Dutch oven. Cover loosely with foil.
  • Bake for approximately 3 hours, stirring occasionally towards the end to prevent sticking.

Cool and Enhance:

  • Remove the mincemeat from the oven. It will appear quite fatty; this is normal.
  • As the mixture cools, stir it occasionally. This helps distribute the fat.
  • Once completely cooled, stir in the brandy.

Store and Mature:

  • Transfer the mincemeat to sterilized jars (see notes below). Seal tightly.
  • Store in a cool, dark place. The flavors of mincemeat improve over time, so it’s ideal to make it a few weeks or even months before you plan to use it.


  • Sterilizing Jars: Wash jars and lids in hot soapy water, rinse well. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 275°F (135°C) for 20 minutes.
  • Vegetarian Option: Look for vegetarian suet alternatives readily available in most supermarkets.
  • Customization: Feel free to adjust the proportions of dried fruit or add chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans are delicious here).

How to Use Your Mincemeat:

  • Classic Mince Pies: The quintessential use of mincemeat!
  • Festive Tarts: Create beautiful mincemeat tarts for a holiday gathering.
  • In Baked Goods: Add a spoonful or two to cakes, muffins, or cookies for a burst of wintery flavor.
  • Swirl into Ice Cream: Homemade mincemeat ice cream is a special treat.


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