3 of the best mincemeat recipes for Christmas

PUBLISHED: 05:28 08 December 2014 | UPDATED: 13:53 02 November 2015

Mincemeat ready for Christmas.

Mincemeat ready for Christmas.

Archant 2014

Mincemeat is one of the staple ingredients in my Christmas larder.

How ever busy I am, if I can get my Christmas cakes, puddings and mincemeat made in November, I do. With a huge sigh of relief it’s something I can tick off that long Christmas list – and they are much better for being made ahead of time, with a few weeks to mature.

Mincemeat is one of the staple ingredients in my Christmas larder. Of course for mince pies, small and large, but also for that extra special something to add to my Christmas recipes: Instead of dried fruit in a bread and butter pudding; as a layer of Christmas between the apples and the pastry in a tart Tatin, or in a flapjack recipe.

Mincemeat recipes have the benefit of having the fruit marinated in booze, more traditionally whisky or brandy. But to give a new dimension to my favourite recipes this year, I have used a plum liqueur made by the Norfolk Sloe Company, of Fakenham, a family business started by Patrick and Emily Saunders in 2011. They produce a wonderful selection of liqueurs full of fruit gathered in north Norfolk; www.norfolksloecompany.com


My favourite mincemeat

This recipe makes a more traditional, rich, citrus-flavoured mincemeat, full of fruit. I use beef suet from my butcher, you can use boxed brands of beef or vegetarian alternative, but just remember these are often dusted in flour, which will absorb some of the wonderful juice and give you a drier mix. Once I have prepared the ingredients, I cook it slowly in a roasting tin in a warm oven to soften the apple and enhance the taste. This works brilliantly in the simmering oven of the Aga, although you may need to add extra time.


Makes 12 x 250g Jars


240g raisins

160g sultanas

160g currants

50g mixed peel

50g ready to eat prunes, chopped

240g soft dark brown sugar

160g beef suet or shredded vegetable alternative

450g grated cooking apple

Finely grated rind and the juice of two oranges and two lemons

50g chopped flaked almonds

50g chopped hazelnuts (or add more currants)

4tsp ground mixed spice

2tsp freshly grated nutmeg

120ml plum brandy or brandy


Place all the ingredients except the brandy in a large bowl and mix well, cover in cling film and stand somewhere cool overnight. The following morning pre-heat the oven to 120C/Gas mark ½.

Pour the mincemeat into a large roasting tin, cover with foil and cook for about two hours. The apples and suet will soften and the colour darken.

Remove the tin from the oven, cool, then add the brandy, stirring well. Spoon into sterilised jars and store somewhere cool.



Apple, pear and ginger mincemeat

This makes a lovely tart filling, with sliced pears over the top, glazed with a little marmalade.


350g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and grated

450g pears, peeled, cored and grated

350g raisins

300g sultanas

300g currants

75g stemmed ginger, chopped into small pieces

zest and juice of three oranges

220g marmalade

250g demerera sugar

½tsp ground cloves

2tsp ground ginger

2tsp nutmeg, grated

100g flaked almonds, chopped

250g beef or vegetable suet

100ml plum brandy, brandy or whisky


Make and cook this as you would the traditional mincemeat recipe (it makes the kitchen smell lovely and festive as it cooks!)


Cranberry and apple mincemeat

A good friend gave this recipe to me; she often uses this for the filing for baked apples, tipping a little maple syrup over them before they go in the oven.


1.2kg mixture of sultanas and raisins

300g dried cranberries

Zest and juice of three oranges

Zest and juice of an unwaxed lemon

500g Bramley apples, grated

300g beef or vegetarian suet

300g golden caster sugar

200ml Cointreau

1½tsp ground mixed spice

1½tsp ground cinnamon


Mix the sultanas, raisins and cranberries in a large bowl. Add the zest and juice of the oranges and lemon into the dried fruit, then the grated apple (stirring well to stop the apple going brown) followed by the suet, sugar, Cointreau and spices. Stir to mix thoroughly.

Leave to stand for a few hours, covered with a tea towel, returning to stir the mincemeat regularly.

If you are making the mincemeat to use within a couple of weeks, it will keep well sealed in a plastic container. If you want to store it in jars to keep for longer, fill sterilised jars, seal and store in a cool, dark place.


More from Christmas

Tue, 12:06

Our high streets are shimmering, historic buildings and shop fronts are glittering and the smell of mulled wine fills the air as Christmas lights are switched on

Read more
Thursday, November 7, 2019

Escape to a cosy pub in Norfolk this winter, the perfect place to find sanctuary after a long walk on a cold afternoon. We have picked 17 of the best cosy pubs in Norfolk

Read more
Tuesday, October 29, 2019

This winter will see the North Norfolk Railway transformed into The Norfolk Lights Express

Read more
Thursday, September 12, 2019

With lots of unusual presents, artisan crafts and local delights in abundance, we look at Norfolk's fairs and markets that have Christmas gift-buying all wrapped up!

Read more
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

It's the most wonderful time of the year so savour every moment and gather your friends and family for a Christmas Day lunch in one of these top Norfolk restaurants

Read more
Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Our winter walk planner is sure to inspire you to strap on your old boots and head out into the crisp air for a ramble around the hills, coast, woods, farmland and parks of Norfolk

Read more
Tuesday, December 18, 2018

He not only writes and directs the Norwich Theatre Royal pantomime - he wears 11 dresses in it too!

Read more
December 2018

It might not be hidden deep in the snow of the North Pole, but Norfolk has its own toy production line where a little bit of Christmas magic is being sprinkled

Read more
December 2018
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

We asked our very own Snowman to reveal his top cultural picks

Read more
December 2018
Monday, December 3, 2018

We have gathered nine fabulous facts and quirks about royal Sandringham at Christmas time

Read more
December 2018

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Like us on Facebook

Job search in your local area

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search

Most Read

Latest from the EDP Norfolk Magazine