Mincemeat was originally made with chopped meat mixed with sugar and spices, hence the name. Over the years the British public tastes have changed significantly and we have adopted mincemeat as a sweet filling at Christmas.

This might come as a surprise, or not, but apparently there is set to be a shortage of mincemeat this year, which means it might be tough getting your hands on the goods! It’s not loo roll, but mincemeat is just as important as a traditional Christmas cake at this time of year so once again, home made is the way forward so that no one misses out!

Many prefer the flavour of butter to suet in mincemeat – which makes it suitable for vegetarians – but use suet if you wish. The butter makes the mincemeat look slightly cloudy in the jar but this disappears once the mincemeat is cooked in mince pies, etc.



• 175g currants
• 175g raisins
• 175g sultanas
• 175g dried cranberries
• 100g mixed peel
• 1 small cooking apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
• 125g butter, cut into cubes
• 50g whole blanched almonds, roughly chopped
• 225g light muscovado sugar
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp mixed spice
• finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
• 200ml brandy, rum or sherry


Makes 4 x 370g jars

  1. Measure all of the ingredients except the alcohol into a large pan. Heat gently, allowing the butter to melt, then simmer very gently, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

  2. Allow the mixture to cool completely then stir in the brandy, rum or sherry.

  3. Spoon the mincemeat into sterilised jam jars, seal tightly, label and store in a cool place.

PREPARING AHEAD - Make the mincemeat up to six months ahead and store in a cool place. It’s not necessary to freeze mincemeat as it stores so well.