This easy mincemeat shortbread recipe solves two problems in its deliciousness. The first is the lack of mince pies in the shops for eleven months of the year. The second is how to make shortbread even better!
Ok, so we might be a little biased as it’s our own recipe, but the balance of our homemade mincemeat with a beautifully buttery shortbread is perfect.
Obviously, this combines two Christmas classics, but you will never be unpopular bringing a wee tin of mincemeat shortbread to any occasion all year round.
Soft and buttery shortbread adds a solid base to a layer of spiced mincemeat, with some extra shortbread crumbled on top for good measure.
We love using our own homemade mincemeat in this recipe, but you can use store-bought stuff if you want to as well.
We have to say though, once you try homemade mincemeat, especially our whisky mincemeat, you will never go back to the jarred stuff! Full of fruit and spice – plus a wee dram – it has a delicious tanginess that’s perfectly balanced by the shortbread.
This Mincemeat Shortbread is honestly so easy, and a great way to impress guests around the festive season.
One of our most moreish recipes to date!
Why is Mincemeat called Mincemeat?
The mincemeat we use in our mincemeat shortbread recipe, thankfully, is the modern sort – you can find our recipe for it here!
The mincemeat name originally comes from a time when the mixture would be a mix of finely chopped meat and fruit that was then fermented.
“Mince” originates from the Middle English word ‘Mincen’ and the French ‘Minicier’, both meaning to chop finely.
Over time, Mincemeat went from a fermented mix of meat and fruit to a mix of spices, brandy, fruit and sugar with beef suet or butter.
It also then moved from a main meal to a dessert as the division between savoury and sweet became clearer. And we’re thankful that it did because it makes our Mincemeat Shortbread slice amazing!
Why is Shortbread called Shortbread?
Having found out why mincemeat is called mincemeat, we had to look into the origins of the name shortbread.
It turns out it’s quite simple. The use of the word short is in the old meaning of the word, as a reference to any crumbly texture in cooking. The same use of the word is used in shortening for the same reasons.
The bread element comes from shortbread’s original name, ‘biscuit bread’, as it tended to be made from leftover dough dried in the oven. Butter was added over time, as was the word short to replace the word biscuit.
Is Mincemeat Shortbread Scottish?
Nearly all of our recipes, at some point, get a comment about their “Scottishness” or their “traditionalness”. We do our best on both counts, but equally some recipes we just want to share with you, Scottish or not!
That being said, biscuit bread was made all over the British Isles from the 12th Century, but it was Mary, Queen of Scots, who made it popular in Scotland, especially Petticoat Tail Shortbread! And that popularity helped it find its home in Scotland.
The addition of mincemeat, however, can’t be claimed by Scotland, but, and this is a big but, we have used Scottish whisky in our mincemeat, and as Mincemeat Shortbread is nearly two-thirds shortbread, we think it deserves a space here on Scottish Scran!
Right, let’s get started with the recipe. If you want to make our whisky mincemeat, then you can find the recipe here. If not, shop-bought will work too.
So once you’ve made your mincemeat (or bought it!), you can start making your Mincemeat Shortbread.
Things you’ll need to make Mincemeat Shortbread
- 9 inch (23cm) square tin
- Baking Paper
- Electric Beater
- Tin Foil
Ingredients for Mincemeat Shortbread
- 300g Plain Flour
- 200g Butter
- 100g Caster (fine) sugar
- 350g Mincemeat (shop-bought or see our homemade mincemeat recipe here) *
*Mincemeat can generally be bought around Christmas time in many UK supermarkets, but can also be found at other times of the year.
If you don’t have access to it, then making your own is really easy – we’ve linked to the instructions above! You’ll need to leave it for 12 hours or overnight in the fridge, so make sure you take that into account when making this recipe.
HOW TO MAKE MINCEMEAT SHORTBREAD – STEP BY STEP METHOD
Yield: 9-12 slices, depending on how you slice it
Prep Time: 10 mins*
*Not including mincemeat making time
Cooking Time: 1 hour
If you’re making your own mincemeat, you’ll need to do this the day before, as it needs to sit for at least 12 hours in the fridge.
Turn the oven to 180C
Line a 23cm square tin with baking paper.
Using an electric beater, cream the butter until just smooth.
Add the sugar until just mixed in.
Sift in the flour.
Mix with a wooden spoon until it starts to come together and form clumps.
Using your hands, bring the mixture together to form a rough dough. It will not be smooth and totally together like cookie dough but should come together when squeezed in your hand.
Put aside approximately one third of the mixture.
Press the rest into the bottom of the lined tin. Smooth it with the back of a large spoon.
Spread the mincemeat over the dough evenly.
Crumble the remaining shortbread over the top.
Bake in the oven for approximately one hour until the bottom layer of shortbread is cooked through. You may need to cover the top loosely with tin foil if it starts to brown too early.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.
You can slice into Mincemeat Squares or Bars when it is still slightly warm, or wait until it fully cools and use a sharp knife to press down all the way through the layers.
How long will this Mincemeat Shortbread last?
Store the Mincemeat Shortbread in an airtight container, and it will last 3-4 days. Though we’d be surprised if it lasted this long, it always seems to disappear in our house!
Can you use different spirits or leave them out?
When making your own mincemeat, you can use any spirit. Though Brandy is traditional, rum and whisky both work well. We haven’t tried gin; maybe a flavoured one might work well?
The spirit can also be substituted for fruit juice or cold tea like Earl Grey/Darjeeling.
All of this will mean you can make different flavoured mincemeat shortbread!
Can you freeze Mincemeat Shortbread?
You could make this up and freeze it to cook later; although it’s so easy to put together, we think it’s best to make it fresh.
- 300g Plain Flour
- 200g Butter
- 100g Caster (fine) sugar
- 350g Mincemeat (Store bought or homemade)
- Turn the oven to 180C
- Line a 23cm square tin with baking paper.
- Using an electric beater, cream the butter until just smooth.
- Add the sugar until just mixed in.
- Sift in the flour.
- Mix with a wooden spoon until it starts to come together and form clumps.
- Using your hands, bring the mixture together to form a rough dough. It will not be smooth and totally together like cookie dough but should come together when squeezed in your hand.
- Put aside approximately one third of the mixture.
- Press the rest into the bottom of the lined tin. Smooth it with the back of a large spoon.
- Spread the mincemeat over the dough evenly.
- Crumble the remaining shortbread over the top.
- Bake in the oven for approximately one hour, until the bottom layer of shortbread will be cooked through. You may need to cover the top with tin foil if it starts to brown too early.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin. You can slice into Mincemeat Squares or Bars when it is still slightly warm, or wait until it fully cools and use a sharp knife to press down all the way through the layers.
We love using our homemade mincemeat in this recipe! Then you can have your own perfect combination of flavours. Find the recipe here.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 211Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 108mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 3g
The above values are an indication only