Homemade Mincemeat


The worst thing about blogs and twitter is that I get lured in and at this time of year feel a need to do all the Christmassy domestic things.  However bitter experience has taught me that this is just ridiculous as I work full-time and I am not naturally a domestic goddess so I am trying to pick and choose my moments of domestic goddessness.

Last Saturday an early morning twitter conversation about mincemeat had me looking out recipes before I did my weekly shop.  I settled on Delia’s mincemeat recipe as she has never let me down in the past, well not  if you overlook the plum jam incident.  It’s a traditional mincemeat recipe and Delia says it is easy – sounds right up my street.  The recipe says it makes 2.75kg but I am hopeless at visualising how many jars this might be.  After looking at jars in the cupboard and peering at labels I decided to err on the side of caution and make half the mix.


The recipe was indeed easy.  You just mix all the ingredients, apart from the brandy, in a large bowl and leave overnight.  Then you cook in the oven on a very low heat for 3 hours to melt the suet which then covers and coats the fruit in a unctuous goo.

In case you don’t have Delia Smith’s Christmas Cookbook to hand here is the recipe


450g Bramley apples, cored and chopped small (no need to peel)
225g shredded suet
350g raisins
225g sultanas
225g currants
225g whole mixed candided peel, finely chopped
350g soft dark brown sugar
grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
50g whole almonds, cut into slivers
4 tsps mixed ground spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
grated nutmeg
6 tblsp brandy

  1. Combine the ingredients, apart from the brandy, in a large mixing bowl.  Stir and mix together thoroughly.  Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and leave in a cool place overnight or for at least 12 hours.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1/4, 225 F or 120C.  Cover the bowl loosely with foil and place in oven for 3 hours
  3. Remove from the oven.  As it cools stir from time to time.  When the mincemeat is quite cold stir in the brandy
  4. Pack into  clean dry jars, cover with wax discs and seal.

Makes 6lb (2.76kg)


If you are more adventurous than me or a real domestic goddess  then you might like to try this mincemeat recipe – Deborah,   the owner of this blog is one of the people who encouraged me to have a go and I am glad she did.

This weekend my domestic goddess moment will see me trying to make a wreath for the front door – hopefully!



13 Comments on “Homemade Mincemeat

  1. That does look rather good. It should make enough mince pies for you to send me some.

  2. Thank you so much for linking to my recipe Helen, very kind. And I’m happy you made your own mincemeat in the end. I do think we shouldn’t get hung up on the ‘domestic goddess’ hoopla- as you say, most of us have very busy lives and these things should be enjoyable, not just another nagging item on the endless To Do list. I always think give it a go, don’t get hung up on perfection, have some fun.

  3. I’ve used this recipe since it first appeared and it’s bomb proof – tastes good too, but you need to let it mature. If you can save some it will be great by next Christmas.

  4. Hate to sound dumb, but I take it that mincemeat doesn’t actually have meat in it? I thought it was, you know, minced meat with other stuff mixed in. Apparently not. Looks delicious, though.

    • Hi Jason – no mincemeat which you use in mince pies doesnt have meat in it!!! I remember getting very confused when I was a teenager working in a local corner shop. A chap came in asking for mincemeat so I got him a jar, turned out he was after frozen minced meat.

  5. Oh my gosh…I love this recipe, but I haven’t made it in years! I may be in California now, but I still have my mother’s copy of “Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course” here that has this same recipe in it. I’ve been too busy to make in recent years, but every once in a while I manage it, along with an old Harrods recipe for Christmas Pudding. It’s too late for the Christmas pud this year, but maybe I can still make a batch of the mincemeat in time for Christmas Eve!

  6. Looks and smells (via smell-o-gram) good. We in NZ STILL have mincemeat tarts! bit crazy – shades of our roots – as all the lovely summer berries and stone fruits, pineapple etc etc and cherries in the shops!! Must get some cherries to cheer me up! They are grown in Marlborough, Hawkes Bay and Central Otago. One of my cousins have the best ever in his huge orchard. His Dad even served them to the Queen! I must admit I just buy mine ready made – they do vary so have sorted the best out (also one of the most expensive of course!)

  7. Originally mincemeat had meat in it. I remember my parents talking about its disappearance, saying that’s why they just call it mince now.
    I have made my own for years with a recipe that does include meat (ground beef in USA, mince in UK). I can the jars in a pressure cooker.

  8. Making mincemeat is on my to-do list this weekend too – I always use this Delia recipe, and love the result. We made some into a wonderful ice-cream last year too, which went down so well we’re making it again in a few weeks. First I have to make the mincemeat…

    • My husband found the recipe in our copy of Lola’s Ice Creams and Sundaes book. I seem to recall it involved steeping the (brandified) mincemeat in a particular sherry, then adding lots of cream before churning. It was wonderful, went down very well with everyone!

  9. Wow this recipe seems really great! I always thought that mince meat was made with actual meat. But I think I like this version much more. I will have to give it a try 🙂

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: