Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery
1.4 kg

This preserve consists of minced or finely chopped fruit and spices with the addition of brandy, rum or other spirits. It is used as a filling for sweet mince pies which are traditional Christmas fare in Britain. As the name suggests, the original recipes included cooked minced meat. Today suet is the only part of meat used, but in many recipes this is now replaced with butter. There are numerous recipes, some contain oranges, others apples, some shredded suet, others butter.

A rich mincemeat is best allowed to mature for a month or two after it is made. The brandy helps preserve the mincemeat. If butter is the fat used, the mincemeat should be stored in a cool place, or in very hot weather in the refrigerator.

Mincemeat is usually made into mince pies or mince tarts. It also makes a delicious topping for ice cream, or it can be used in fruit slices and tea loaves. Make your own mincemeat or use the commercial variety available in jars from supermarkets and delicatessens.


Quantity Ingredient
375g seedless raisins
250g mixed glace peel
185g sultanas
3 apples, peeled and cored
60g glace cherries
125g blanched almonds
100g dried apricots
185g currants
460g brown sugar
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 orange, zested
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
125-185g butter, melted
80ml brandy or rum


  1. Finely chop or mince raisins, mixed peel, half the sultanas, the apples, cherries, almonds and apricots. Add remaining sultanas and currants. Stir in brown sugar, lemon zest and juice, orange zest, spices, butter and brandy or rum. Mix well and put into a large jar. Cover and chill. Stir every day for a week. Mincemeat can be kept for a few weeks in the refrigerator.


  • Brandy can be replaced with the juice of 1 orange, in which case mixture should not be made in advance.
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