Homemade Mincemeat Recipe

It’s said that when you try homemade mincemeat and compare it to the shop-bought stuff, you will never go back. This mincemeat recipe will mean you’ll never buy a jar of mincemeat again!

But why? If you have the time to blend these simple ingredients together, then you will 100% notice the difference. You have much more control over the balance of sweetness and spice, and the depth of flavour is superior, we think!

Homemade Mincemeat Recipe

You can also pick and choose the ingredients based in what you like. Neither of us are that fond of peel, so we leave it out, but you’re more than welcome to add it in if you fancy it.

being that we’re all about Scottish food and twists, we also decided to use whisky as our alcohol of choice in this homemade mincemeat. It pairs really well with the orange! If you like you can substitute for more fruit juice, or another spirit like brandy, or port.

Is there anything wrong with shop-bought? Of course not. This is just tastier!

History of Mincemeat

Mincemeat is a medieval invention that gave an alternative to preserving meat without curing, smoking, or drying it. It was likely made on the last Sunday before advent (Stir Up Sunday) when Christmas pudding/cake was also made. Which, by the way, used to have meat in it too!

When knights returned from the crusades they brought with them spices that were added to the mixture of minced meatmeat, suet, apple, raisins, and maybe a little sugar and molasses.

In Tudor times it would have been around 30-50% meat, with the meat content slowly being removed over the following 300 years as there became a more clear split between sweet and savoury food. However, beef suet was usually still used as an ingredient.

You’re unlikely to find meat in many mincemeat pies today, or if you did, it would be specifically labelled as such. They also contain far more sugar, and generally a vegetarian suet or fat instead.

Why is Mincemeat called Mincemeat?

As mentioned above, mincemeat actually used to have, well, real minced meat in it! When I was a kid I thought it still did and the idea of a cold meat pie with fruit and sugar sounded so unappealing I insisted I didn’t like mincemeat pies. Little did I know…!

Things you’ll need to make this Homemade Mincemeat recipe

  • Bowl
  • Teatowel
  • Sterilised jar if you don’t plan to use it right away

Ingredients for Homemade Mincemeat with Whisky

This recipe makes approximately 350-400g of mincemeat, which is around one jar. This amount works perfectly for our Mincemeat Shortbread recipe or if you want to make a batch of mince pies. Feel free to increase the recipe amounts if you want to make more to keep. See below for details on storage. 

The trick to this recipe is the ingredients and the preparations, the actual putting it together is simple.

  • 50g Raisins
  • 50g Currants
  • 50g Sultanas
  • 1 tbsp whisky (or other alcohol of your choice)
  • The juice and rind of half an orange
  • The juice and rind of half a lemon
  • Quarter of a large cooking apple, grated (approx 50g)
  • 50g dark brown sugar
  • 30g suet (vegetable or beef)
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 30g dried/candied peel * Optional
Homemade Mincemeat Recipe - Ingredients

Dried Fruit

You can use any combination of dried fruit that you like, but we like the mix of currants and at least one of either raisins or sultanas, or both. 

Orange and Lemon

We use a combination of both but you could use all orange if you like. The lemon does help to cut through a bit of the sweetness however. 

Other options include cranberry or pomegranate juice. The great thing about making your own mincemeat is that you can experiment and see what you like best!

Cooking Apple

Cooking apples (or Bramley apples) lend themselves well to this homemade mincemeat because of their softness, but feel free to add any small apple you may have instead. 

Spices

We like this combination of spices, but you could also add in a little clove. 

Suet

Suet is what helps to bring the mincemeat together, as it melts over the ingredients and mixes with the sugar to give it a sticky, delicious consistency once cooked. 

The idea of cooking with suet can be offputting for some, but vegetable suet is made of vegetable oils and is also vegan. It does contain some gluten so you’ll need to look for a gluten-free suet if that’s necessary for you. 

If you can’t get suet, then grated shortening (including vegetable shortening) is an option. Freeze it and then grate it. You could also use grated butter but we think the other options give a better taste to the mincemeat. 

Whisky

Given we live in Scotland, using whisky in our homemade mincemeat seemed the obvious choice. 

You can omit the alcohol and just add a little more orange and fruit juice instead. 

Or, switch for brandy, port, rum, or whatever suits your own tastes. 

One tablespoon is quite subtle, so you can add two if you want to taste it more in the final mixture. 

Fruit Peel

We don’t normally add any peel, candied or plain, to this recipe as neither of us are that fond of it. However, you can add 30g if you wish to. 

Homemade Mincemeat Recipe

How to Make Homemade Mincemeat – Step by step method

Put all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir thoroughly. 

Cover with a tea towel and allow to sit in the fridge for at least 12 hours or overnight. 

Stir together and use in a recipe like our Mincemeat Shortbread

Complicated right?

FAQS

How do you store homemade Whisky mincemeat?

If you intend to use your homemade mincemeat soon, you can just keep it in a covered bowl or container in the fridge for up to one week.  

If you want to store it for up to a year, you need to sterilise your jar/s and seal them with wax. Keep it in a cool, dry place. 

Can you make MinceMeat without alcohol?

Yes! Increasing the amount of fruit juice used is the simplest way. However, you can also substitute it for cold tea, like an Earl Grey or Darjeeling which go great with the fruity flavours.

Can you freeze Mincemeat?

Yes! If you don’t want to faff around with steralising and sealing jard you could freeze your homemade mincemeat instead. You want as little air as possible with it so we suggest filling smaller containers or using freezer bags. Squeeze the air out, label, and freeze. They will keep for up to 4 months.

Allow the mincemeat to fully defrost in the fridge (around 5-6 hours) before using.

Yield: 400g

Homemade Mincemeat Recipe

Homemade Mincemeat Recipe

This Homemade Mincemeat recipe. is so easy, and so adaptable to your own tastes! We love making it into a whisky mincemeat but you can easily change it to whatever you want. Once you have homemade mincemeat you'll never need store-bought again!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 50g Raisins
  • 50g Currants
  • 50g Sultanas
  • 1 tbsp whisky (or other alcohol of your choice)
  • The juice and rind of half an orange
  • The juice and rind of half a lemon
  • Quarter of a large cooking apple, grated (approx 50g)
  • 50g dark brown sugar
  • 30g suet (vegetable or beef)
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 30g dried/candied peel *optional

Instructions

  1. Put all of the ingredients in a bowl and stir thoroughly. 
  2. Cover with a teatowel and allow to sit in the fridge for at least 12 hours, or overnight. 
  3. Stir together and use in a recipe like our Mincemeat Shortbread

Notes

You can adjust the alcohol to your own taste, substitute for something else like brandy or port, or opt out altogether and use more fruit juice (cranberry and pomegranate are options, too) or a tea like Earl Grey/Darjeeling.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

10g

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 62Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 16mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 0g

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2 thoughts on “Homemade Mincemeat Recipe”

    • Mixed spice is generally a mixture of cinnamon, coriander, caraway, nutmeg, ground ginger and cloves, sometimes pimento, or other spices. It’s usually mostly cinnamon and coriander (the ground seeds, not the leaf!).

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