½lb (250g) cooking apples (prepared weight),
finely chopped
½lb (250g) currants
½lb (250g) raisins
¼lb (125g) sultanas
¼lb (125g) mixed peel
1oz (25g) chopped almonds (or a little more)
½lb (250g) soft brown sugar
½lb (250g) suet (beef or vegetable)
grated rind and juice of 1 large lemon
1 level teaspoon mixed spice (or your choice of spices)
¼ pint (150ml) brandy

Mix ingredients together, stirring well, and cover closely in clean dry jars. Keep for at least 2-3 weeks to allow to mellow before using.

This recipe comes from ‘Mrs Beeton’s Everyday Cookery’, probably the first cookery book I ever bought when I was seduced by book clubs as a student. I have had this copy for 40 years and will have been making this recipe for at least 36 of them! I recommend turning the jars periodically for the first few weeks to allow the brandy to filter through and soak into all the ingredients, and stir before use to ensure a good distribution. It easily keeps for at least a year, improving as it does so.

7 Responses to Mincemeat

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  3. Sally says:

    My Dad loved mincemeat pie! We had them during Thanksgiving and Christmas….I haven’t seen any since he passed. Do you use it in any other way besides pies?

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Sally – glad it has brought back memories for you. It keeps really well, so during the year I sometimes use it as a filling for a kind of soft flapjack instead of my usual date filling (perhaps I will post that recipe sometime..) but you could use it in other ways too

  4. Joanne says:

    Hello Cathy. I’m going to print out this recipe and make it up, ready for my Christmas mince pies. If you have been making this same recipe for thirty-six years, then it must be a good one! I’m Australian, but my family emigrated from England (Cheshire) before I was born, and mum laughed every time she told the story of their first Christmas here, when she asked at the grocery store for mincemeat, and they sent her to the butcher shop. In my country, mincemeat is ground beef!
    As a special treat, I sometimes make Eccles Cakes with my mincemeat too. 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Glad you are going to use it Joanne – I have used this recipe for years. It keeps so well too (I still have some of last year’s). The real origins of our traditional ‘mincemeat’ were indeed meat based, with the sugar and spices added to hide the rankness of the no-longer-fresh meat!

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