Easy Mincemeat Recipe

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

This Easy Mincemeat Recipe is exactly what you need when you are required to make homemade mince pies pronto. No resting time is needed, it’s a quick assembly job and the result is a supremely spiced fruity boozy mincemeat.

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

I simply adore mincemeat. In my humble opinion it’s the best thing about Christmas. Along with The Waitresses’ Christmas Wrapping, Hot Buttered Chocolate Rum and festive jumpers for Billy Buddy. Stir-up Sunday is coming up this weekend which is the traditional day to make your mincemeat (and Christmas pudding) for the season. It’s nice to get this job out of the way in November as it means you can have homemade mince pies at your disposal any time during the holiday period. Although if you are only using your mincemeat for a mince pie filling then you are missing a trick.

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

What is mincemeat?

A few centuries ago mincemeat was a way to preserve meat, usually mutton, without smoking or salting. The meat would be chopped very finely, aka minced, then preserved with spirits and spices and sugar. It’s more usual these days for the minced meat to be replaced with beef suet and dried fruit. Although if you haven’t tried mince pies made in the traditional method using this Victorian Mincemeat recipe then you really need to address your life choices.

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

Why do we eat mincemeat at Christmas?

The reason we eat so many mince pies over the festive season is all to do with the spices. It is thought that cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg were given by the magi to the baby Jesus and so mincemeat, which is abundant in these spices, has always traditionally been associated with Christmas. And I totally take umbrage with the idea that if mince pies were so nice then why do we only eat them at Christmas. Well, that’s why Eccles Cakes were invented. They are basically mince pies that we are allowed to eat all year round.

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

Why do you use beef suet in mincemeat?

Beef suet is the hard fat from around the joints and kidneys of the animal and it is favoured in mincemeat due to its richness of flavour and the silky way it coats the luscious fruit. However, it’s impossible to find gluten-free suet in most supermarkets. If your butcher is able to source fresh beef suet for you then that is the best choice. It will probably be provided in a hard block which you will need to grate with a bit of gluten-free flour to create little fat pellets which helps to evenly disperse the fat. Weigh the pellets out and then add to the mincemeat. The rest can be kept in the freezer or used in your Christmas Pudding. If you are finding it hard to source fresh beef suet or need a veggie or vegan alternative then you can substitute with grated coconut butter.

This Easy Mincemeat is a back to basics recipe. I made the unfortunate mistake of buying pre-made mincemeat for some recipe testing a couple of weeks ago and the difference between homemade and shop bought is extreme. The shop bought stuff is all sugar and no flavour. No wonder mincemeat has got such a bad reputation.

If you are time strapped but need some homemade mince pies asap then this Easy Mincemeat Recipe is the way to go. There’s no resting time required and it’s not necessary to cook the mincemeat out before filling your pies. Although if you are not using the mincemeat immediately then you should cook it out before storing. The suet and sugar will melt and coat and preserve all the fruit evenly and also stops the apples from fermenting.

If you are in the mood for planning ahead this Stir Up Sunday then I would recommend that you make the mincemeat ahead of time which will allow the flavours to mature. However, if it’s a choice between homemade mincemeat made twenty minutes ago or using supermarket mincemeat then homemade wins hands down every time, maturation be damned. Plus if you’re making it yourself you can pimp it exactly to your preference or ingredients you have to hand. Basically what I’m saying is that there’s no excuse to buy it in.

What can I substitute for the brandy?

You can substitute absolutely any alcohol for the brandy. Rum, Pedro Ximénez, Cointreau or even Amaretto are my favourites.

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

What if I don’t like mixed peel?

If you don’t like mixed peel then just leave it out, or substitute for a couple of tablespoons of marmalade. However, have you ever tried making your own? Homemade Mixed Peel has a vastly superior flavour and can be useful for a lot of your Christmas bakes.

Can I substitute in other dried fruit?

Of course! Anything goes in mincemeat. Chopped dried figs, prunes, cranberries, sour cherries. You can just swap in the same weight of an alternative dried fruit and away you go.

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

Why dark muscovado sugar?

Dark muscovado sugar is used here for its rich treacly flavour. However, if you want a slightly lighter mincemeat then you can use light muscovado sugar. Or if you only have in soft light brown sugar then use that.

Of course this Easy Mincemeat Recipe is the ideal filling for mince pies but if you need any further inspiration, look no further than the following recipes:

Bramley Apple Mincemeat Pudding

Bramley Apple and Mincemeat Pudding

Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}

Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}

Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins

These gluten-free Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins are exactly what you should be treating your family to Christmas morning. They are light, fluffy, moist and full of Christmas spice and cheer.

If you’ve never made your own then I urge you to give this Easy Mincemeat Recipe a try and if you do then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you use this recipe as a jumping off point then I’d also love it if you’d share your version and tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

Print Recipe
Easy Mincemeat Recipe
This Easy Mincemeat Recipe is a quick homemade supremely spiced fruity boozy mincemeat essential for mince pies.
Easy Mincemeat Recipe
Course christmas
Cuisine British
Keyword christmas, mincemeat
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
4 380g jars
Ingredients
  • 400 g bramley apples about 1-2 apples
  • 225 g seedless raisins
  • 225 g currants
  • 225 g sultanas
  • 240 g fresh beef suet
  • 275 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 50 g mixed peel homemade is preferable
  • zest 1 orange
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 60 ml brandy
Course christmas
Cuisine British
Keyword christmas, mincemeat
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
4 380g jars
Ingredients
  • 400 g bramley apples about 1-2 apples
  • 225 g seedless raisins
  • 225 g currants
  • 225 g sultanas
  • 240 g fresh beef suet
  • 275 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 50 g mixed peel homemade is preferable
  • zest 1 orange
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 60 ml brandy
Easy Mincemeat Recipe
Instructions
  1. Peel, core and dice the bramley apples into small pieces.
  2. Place the apple pieces into a large ovenproof pot with the rest of the ingredients (except for the brandy) and stir together until everything is well combined.
  3. If you want to make mince pies straight away then set aside about 300g and stir in a couple of teaspoons of the brandy. Let the mincemeat rest whilst you prepare the pastry and then you can fill your pies immediately.
  4. To prepare the rest of the mincemeat for storing put a lid on the pot and place in an oven pre-heated to 150°C /130°C fan/gas 2 for 1 hour.
  5. Leave the mincemeat to completely cool before stirring in the brandy.
  6. Decant the mincemeat into sterilised jars and store in a cool dark place for up to a year.
Recipe Notes

*It’s just not possible to buy gluten-free pre-packaged suet so do speak to your local butcher about obtaining fresh suet. It will come in a solid block which you will need to grate with a bit of gluten-free flour so that it can evenly disperse throughout the mincemeat. If you are vegan then I would recommend replacing with grated coconut butter but if you are not then I would urge you not to make the switch.

If you like this recipe then you may like…

Victorian Mincemeat

Victorian Mincemeat - a traditional mincemeat made with real beef for the best mince pies this Christmas

Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat

Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat

Bramley Apple and Mincemeat Pudding

Bramley Apple Mincemeat Pudding is a must at this time of year. It’s an excellent way of using up all your excess mincemeat or makes a lighter alternative to Christmas Pudding at the end of your festive feast. Both the wheat and gluten-free recipes are listed below.

Bramley Apple and Mincemeat Pudding

It’s crazy how much I love mincemeat. In fact it’s just as well that it only comes out once a year as not only do I get to thoroughly enjoy mince pie season but it means I am held back from overindulging all year round. I have made close to 100 jars of mincemeat this year, for selling on my preserves stalls, and it hasn’t diminished my love for the stuff at all. Making the mincemeat is one of my very favourite cooking jobs to do, it fills my kitchen with the heady scent of brandy, plump fruits and warming spices and the resulting mixture is so versatile that it would be a shame if you merely confined it to just a mini pie filling.

I love crumbled mince pies stirred through freshly churned ice cream, I devoured Nigel Slater’s Mincemeat trifle which I made a couple of years ago and I seriously heart mincemeat cheesecake which I am sure is also credited to Nigel Slater but I never wrote down the source of my recipe I have on file. Last year though I made this Bramley Apple and Mincemeat Pudding in a bid to clear out my cupboards of Christmas just before the new year kicked in. I never blogged about it as the recipe needed some tweaking and it didn’t look as pretty as it should, plus if I remember correctly I made it about 9pm and was too tired for a photo session. This year though I stumbled across my notes for it and tore open one of my jars of Victorian Mincemeat (which I was supposed to be selling at the weekend) quicker than you could say ‘leftover bramleys in the fruitbowl.’

Bramley Apple and Mincemeat Pudding

I tweaked some of the sugar in my original recipe and took the mincemeat through the sponge topping instead of allowing it to languish at the bottom with the bramleys and suddenly an instant classic was born.

I like the tartness of the bramleys just as they are but here I gave them a kiss of brown sugar to take the edge off. If you need your apples sweeter than do add more sugar but I think the fruity mincemeat in the sponge contrasts deliciously with the natural apple taste.

Of course there will be disagreements on how this should be served. I drowned mine in lashings of custard. And not just any custard, I couldn’t be bothered to make my own own despite having a plentiful amount of double cream and eggs in the fridge and for the first time in my whole life I whisked up some Bird’s custard powder and it turned out quite delicious. So there, those of you that think I’m a food snob. I can get down and dirty with the rest of you any day of the week.

Bramley Apple and Mincemeat Pudding

Some festive desserts have the propensity to be a bit of a faff but this took moments to mix up and bake, perfect for cold nights in front of the fire. I urge you this year to be adventurous with your mincemeat and it would be lovely to hear some of your favourite mincemeat experiments.

Print Recipe
Bramley Apple and Mincemeat Pudding
Bramley Apple Mincemeat Pudding is an excellent way of using up all your excess mincemeat or makes a lighter alternative to Christmas Pudding.
Course dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword mincemeat
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
  • 2 bramley apples peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons soft light brown sugar
  • grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 150 g butter
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons mincemeat
  • 150 g plain flour *for gluten-free version see notes
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar to sprinkle
Course dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword mincemeat
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
  • 2 bramley apples peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons soft light brown sugar
  • grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 150 g butter
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons mincemeat
  • 150 g plain flour *for gluten-free version see notes
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar to sprinkle
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C.
  2. In a large bowl mix the bramley apples with the sugar and lemon zest and juice. Pour into a buttered baking dish and set aside
  3. Cream the butter and sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Stir in the vanilla extract and then the mincemeat.
  6. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt then mix into the rest of the ingredients until just combined.
  7. Finally stir in the milk.
  8. Pour the batter on top of the apples then bake in the oven for around 45 minutes until the sponge has browned on top and an inserted toothpicks comes out clean.
  9. Sprinkle over the teaspoon of caster sugar and serve with lashings of custard.
Recipe Notes

*I developed this recipe before I became totally gluten-free and recently I have perfected the gluten-free version. The recipe is totally the same except instead of plain flour I use the following flours all whisked together:
55g sweet rice flour
40g oat flour
30g millet flour
25g almond flour
The result is amazing and just as fluffy and deeply delicious as the original recipe.

Bramley Apple and Mincemeat Pudding

If you like this recipe then you may like…

Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat

Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat

Victorian Mincemeat

Victorian Mincemeat - a traditional mincemeat made with real beef for the best mince pies this Christmas

Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins {gluten-free}


These gluten-free Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins are exactly what you should be treating your family to Christmas morning. They are light, fluffy, moist and full of Christmas spice and cheer.

Blackberry Lemon Pudding {gluten-free}

Blackberry Lemon Pudding on a plate