Marie and Michel brought us a huge basket of apples from their garden so it seemed like a good time to make the mincemeat.mincemeat

I don’t like the traditional recipe with suet (not that I could buy suet here anyway) so I always make a cooked version based on apples.

You peel and chop 3lbs of apples and cook them in a pint of cider with zest and juice of an orange and a lemon. Once it comes to the boil, simmer for 10 minutes.

Then add 2lbs of mixed dried fruit, 1lb brown sugar and 3 teaspoons of mixed spice (more if you like). Once the sugar has melted, leave to cook gently for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Leave to cool completely and then stir in a good quarter pint of your favourite spirit. The recipe says rum but I use brandy.mincemeat2

Spoon into jars and leave for at least two weeks before using.

I made a double  quantity as most of my friends and neighbours like coming round for mincepies.

It’s a shame my pastry is a bit hit and miss though.

12 Responses to “Mincemeat”

  1. Little old me Says:

    This sounds lovely, I am going to try it

    Oh good, let me know if you like it better than the traditional recipe.

  2. lilalia Says:

    Sounds absolutely delicious. If you lived next door, I’m sure I’d be there two weeks and one minute after you put the mincemeat in the jars.

    If you lived next door I’d give you a jar as well.

  3. canisfamiliaris Says:


    You seem to be eating mince pies very early? Is that a French thing?

    If you have lots of friendly neighbours then I am sure they will soon make mincemeat of them!!!


    Most French people have never heard of mincepies but the last few years I’ve made them when people come round and they have been popular. I don’t intend making them until a couple of weeks before Christmas though. Mincemeat keeps very well thanks to the brandy!

  4. Pat Says:

    I never eat mincemeat but I’d make an exception for yours – yummy! I hate those bits of suet floating in the usual ones.

    Yes, Pat, I can’t stand bits of suet either.

  5. Z Says:

    I love home-made mincemeat, but I haven’t made it for years. I try to avoid eating pastry. And shortcrust pastry is something that I’ve never reliably mastered by hand, so I make it in the food processor, which gives a more reliable result.

    You are good to avoid pastry. We don’t have it that often, which may account for the fact that I never remember how to make it successfully.

  6. Keith Says:

    I love mincemeat. But I can’t figure out why they call it “Mincemeat” cos there isn’t any meat in it!

    My ex-wife once bought several jars of the stuff to make “Bolognese” sauce with! We were newlyweds at the time and her cooking experience was nil. Some nutter bought us a cookbook as a wedding present and the ingredients stated 1lb of ‘minced meat’, 2 onions, mushrooms etc.

    Then she actually made it! When I came home from work she paced a platefull of “Spaghetti Bolognese” in front of me.

    When I took the first mouthful I was almost sick. “Very nice darling” I said “but I wish you had used meat” She tasted hers and said “Men! You have to find fault with everything don’t you! I think it’s lovely.”

    It’s called mincemeat because a few centuries ago it was a recipe for preserving meat, I believe.
    I’m willing to try most food but I think I’d have had to draw the line at Bolognese sauce made with dried fruit and spice!!!

  7. Little old me Says:

    When are you supposed to eat mince pies? I have been eatting them since October

    I suppose traditionally, they are eaten during the Christmas season but. like Hot Cross Buns, they seem to be available most of the year. Eat them when you fancy them, I say.

  8. BearNaked Says:

    I haven’t had mincemeat pie for ages.
    Perhaps this Christmas season we will have to make some.
    Thanks for the recipe and also thank you for your kind get well wishes.

    Bear((( )))

    Hope you are on the mend now.

  9. tillylil Says:

    Your recipe sounds much more healthy than the original with suet in.
    I expect the sugar and alchohol preserve it well.
    Mince pies have been on sale in Tesco since the end of Sept but their eat by date was only middle of Nov so people have been eating them up well ahead of Xmas.
    Perhaps you can buy frozen pastry.
    when I used to make ‘homemade’ mince pies it was with frozen pastry and a jar of bought mincemeat – not really very homemade but they sure smelt good when they were cooking.
    Let me be the first to wish you a Merry Mincepie Christmas!

    French readymade pastry is great for quiche but I like pastry made with sugar and eggs – plus a dash of sherry perhaps – when I make mincepies.

  10. guyana gyal Says:

    My Irish ‘auntie’ neighbour made these, I had them once, they were deeeevine. I’d love some with tea on a cold, rainy afternoon, mmmm.

    We like to start the festive season with mincepies and mulled wine, and try to wait until late December if it’s not too cold.

  11. 2nd December, a poem and a wedding « A new year, a new way of life Says:

    […] I made several jars of Sandy’s mincemeat, the kitchen smelt lovely, now I have to wait two weeks before I can sample it. I even managed to […]

  12. Almost American Says:

    Ooh – yummy! Mincemeat is hard to find here in the US, and when you do it’s expensive. One year I found a dehydrated form – disgusting! Forget finding actual mince pies!
    I’d never considered making my own mincemeat until reading this! I made a green tomato pie earlier in the autumn and it was remarkably like mince pie, so that gives me confidence to try your recipe.

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