You can’t have Christmas without a mince pie. But you can’t have a mince pie without mincemeat. The luxurious, alcohol infused dried fruit mixture that everyone loves in England can be quite hard to find in America. Even harder to find is suet (a key part of the mixture), however this recipe is very easy to make and uses butter instead of suet.

Mincemeat (sweet)

  • Difficulty: very easy
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525g raisins
175g dried cranberries
100g candied peel
1 small apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
125g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
50g pecans, roughly chopped
225g light brown sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cake spice
finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
200ml brandy, rum or sherry

Preparation method

  1. Measure all of the ingredients except the alcohol into a large pan.
  2. Heat gently, allowing the butter to melt, then simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
  3. Allow the mixture to cool completely then stir in the brandy, rum or sherry.
  4. Spoon the mincemeat into sterilized canning jars, seal tightly, label and store in a cool place.

*The butter might make the mincemeat look slightly cloudy in the jar but this disappears once the mincemeat is cooked in mince pies, tarts etc.

The mincemeat can be made up to six months ahead  – store in a cool place.

Adapted from the original recipe by Mary Berry –


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