Time to Make Mincemeat


MincemeatThis Mincemeat is meatless and easily made.  Coming from England, it essentially consists of cutting up a lot of fruit and letting it age with citrus, spices, rum and brandy.  As the years have gone by, the meat has been removed and almost anything goes as far as what fruits to include.  This is my version but by far not the only one.  You can tell it comes from long ago when spices and alcohol were used as preservatives.Mincemeat, isn’t on the top of everyone’s list but I will be using it later this year with a couple of different toppings that may change your mind.

It is important if you are going to use Mincemeat to start it now.  I actually started my and put it in the refrigerator at the end of February.

If you’re into keeping the past alive this is the perfect way to do it.  In years past, Mincemeat was made of a large quantity of different raisins.  It could be me, but raisins are pretty much raisins so I reduced those and used a variety of dried fruits I particularly like.  If you want to change out some of the fruits, just keep the general amounts the same.

All the measurements are based on fruit that has been cut.  The fruit should be cut about the size of the raisins.  It is easiest to do this with scissors. If the fruit starts sticking, rinse the scissors in cold water and use them wet.


3/4 cup raisins, dark or light  (114 grams or 4 ounces)
1/2 cup black mission figs, chopped (75 grams or 2 2/3 ounces
1/2 cup medjool dates, seeded and chopped (75 grams or 2 2/3 ounces)
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped (75 grams or 2 2/3 ounces)
1/2 cup dried bing cherries, chopped (75 grams or 2 2/3 ounces)
3/4 cup candied orange rind, chopped (114 grams or 2 1/2 ounces*
Zest of 1 large orange
Zest of 1 large lemon
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar (65 grams or 2 1/4 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup dark rum**
1/4 cup brandy**

* The weight of this will vary depending upon the candied orange peel used.  I used mine which I made a week or so  in advance.

**For a non alcoholic version, either heat the rum and brandy to evaporate the alcohol or substitute apple juice.

Place the raisins and chopped fruit in a large bowl.  Mix in the orange and lemon zest.

Combine the brown sugar and spices, blending together.  Add the spice mixture to the fruit and mix well.

Whisk the honey, rum and brandy together.  Pour over the fruit and spices and stir together until completely combined.

Place in a covered container.  It can sit at room temperature several days or it can be refrigerated indefinitely. Turn it upside down every few days to soak the fruit evenly.

If it starts looking dry, add additional rum or brandy.

Yield:  Approximately 3 cups.

Other traditional desserts you might enjoy include:

Orange Bread Pudding 
Make Ahead Cranberry Linzer Tart
Lamington Torte

Pastry has not only been my profession, but my passion. If there is anything in particular you would like to see or any questions about baking or pastry, please let me know. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a post!
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14 thoughts on “Time to Make Mincemeat

  1. Mary

    Hello Helen, While I made my Mincemeat way back in February just like yourself, I shall make a batch of this recipe as well because you can never have too much Mincemeat!! I usually put Apple in mine to keep it moist. I will make yours as written because yours will have different flavours to mine.

    The uses for Mincemeat are only limited by your imagination and I am looking forward to your recipes for using it.

    Thankyou for your recipe. :))

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Mary – I think this post is very exciting. I thought I was out in left field with this one, but evidently there are a lot of mincemeat lovers – for which I am very excited.

  2. Nancy Woodward

    Helen, have you published a cookie book, or is that a work in progress? I love your recipes and would love to see a cookie book from you.
    Thank you,

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Nancy, the book was scheduled for this year but had to be delayed until next October. Believe me, no one wants this out more than I do. Thanks for asking.

  3. Ann Pollack

    Delighted to see this! My mother always cut the commercial mincemeat – which at the time came in a tidy rectangular package and had to be rehydrated, I believe – with applesauce 50/50. But I came to a real appreciation of the British mince pie, which is not what we think of in the US, the size of an apple or pumpkin pie, when I visited my dear late friend in Cardiff, Wales, one late November. We went shopping downtown and stopped by the undercroft of a church where a sign announced “TEAS”.

    “What’s that?” I asked, pointing to a small tart topped with a bit of pastry not attached to the bottom pastry. Judith looked at me as though I were a little daft. “It’s a mince pie,” she explained, as if to a child. It had a perfect ratio of crust to the rich filling.

    I never looked back. That’s the only way I make mince pies these days, using a mini-muffin tin and a wee star-shaped cookie cutter for the top. A platter is a nice dessert after a big holiday dinner, since everyone will announce they’re stuffed, anyway. But somehow, you know, they all disappear….

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Ann, thanks so much for your reply. I learned a bit more about mincemeat. I love it and also remember it in little packets that had to be reconstituted. I am pleasantly surprised that there is so much response to it. Loved your story.

  4. yanogatorBruce

    The recipe I’ve used for years has the same concept, but different fruits. For mincemeat pie, you Then mix it with fresh apples.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen dried bing cherries.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Bruce, in this day and age you can use any dried frut you wish, so feel free to change it up. As Ann mentioned in her comment it isn’t usually made in a large pie. I will be doing several things so stay tuned.

  5. GinBarcelona

    Hi Helen, you must be reading my mind. HOW I LOVE MINCE TINY TARTS for Christmas. Thanks for the reminder, will be cutting and mixing on Friday.
    Greetings from Barcelona, Geraldine

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hey Geraldine – You and me both. I have never understood Americans adversion to dried fruit. But we are getting better. Have fun on Friday.

    1. hfletcher Post author

      Hi Rocky – Hope the move is going well. I’m going to do several things with the mincemeat since I love it so much. I think you will like them.

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