Traditional Mincemeat

Snack Serves 10 people United Kingdom

This is an adaptation from an old family traditional mincemeat recipe which was passed down through the family of British food blogger and author Karen Burns-Booth. This recipe is fat free, and has no suet or butter, yet it still keeps for up to two years. It has all the traditional mincemeat ingredients, apart from the fat, and is very simple to make. 


3/4 pint (450ml) of cider

1 lb (450g) soft dark brown sugar

1 lb (450g)  cooking apples, cored & chopped (peel can be left on)

1 tsp ground mixed spice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 pinch ground cloves

12 oz (350g) currants

12 oz (350g) raisins

8 oz (225g) sultanas

4 oz (110g) glacé cherries, finely chopped

4 oz (110g) candied peel

4 oz (110g) almonds, finely chopped

1 orange, juice and zest of

1 lemon, juice and zest of

1/4 pint (150ml) brandy or 1/4 pint (150ml) rum

Step 1

Put the cider and sugar into a large saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has completely dissolved. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, except the brandy or rum and slowly bring to the boil, stirring all the time.

Step 2

Lower the heat, partially cover the saucepan and simmer gently for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave it to become completely cold.

Step 3

Stir in the brandy or rum and then spoon into cold, sterilized jars, making sure that the mincemeat is packed down firmly with no space or air bubbles. Cover with waxed discs and tight fitting lids. (Kilner jars can also be used, but make sure they are new and the seals have not perished).