For anyone not familiar with mincemeat, let me explain. It has nothing to do with minced or ground beef, it´s made with fruit. Well…initially it was made of meat, flavoured with sugar, fruit and spices. This, historically, was probably to mask the strong flavours of meat which needed to be preserved without the benefit of refrigeration.
Over time the mixture became sweeter and all that now remains of its meaty ancestor, is an ingredient called suet, which is usually beef or mutton fat. This melts down into the mix to preserve it. Vegetarian suet it now also available.
When I spent my first Christmas in Spain 6 years ago, it was impossible for me to track down ready made mincemeat for my Christmas Mince Pies, let alone suet to make my own. Things have changed now over the years, but I still use a recipe I came across (and I don´t know where, so apologies to whoever it “belongs” to) which is a suet free version of mincemeat.
The flavours develop and improve over time, although it´s excellent even freshly made. If you make a large batch, it will be wonderful next Christmas!
- 250g brown sugar
- 250ml cider (sweet or dry) or apple juice
- 1kg of peeled and chopped cooking apples
- ½ teaspoon ground mixed spice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 250g each of currants, raisins, cranberries
- 75g glace cherries
- 75g blanched almonds
- Rind & juice of ½ lemon plus rind of 1 orange
- 6 tablespoons of brandy or rum (optional)
(Feel free to vary the ingredients according to your taste)
Dissolve the sugar in the cider over a gentle heat, add all the other ingredients except the alcohol and cook until soft and pulpy. Cool slightly, stir in alcohol and put into sterilised jars.
53 thoughts on “Suet Free Mincemeat”
Not being big on sweet things, I often buy mincemeat (though never pastry). I was looking this week, in the supermarkets and none have mincemeat with suet, which has made me think I should make some. I also noticed that there’s no alcohol in the bought stuff either. What’s the world coming to? Perhaps I’ll try your recipe (which sounds lovely) and add a little suet. Otherwise, I’ll have to ask at the St. John 😉
I love your snow!
Thanks Mad Dog! It really is a lovely (boozy) récipe. No alcohol – what´s the world coming to indeed?!
I am making a fruit mix, well it has been sitting in brandy making itself for a while, because out here I cannot find the fruit either, and I have never seen a minced pie or even a christmas cake for that matter! And Mad Dog is a very cool fella, just like you said!! c
Anything that sits in Brandy (including us) is bound to be good! Glad you contacted Mad Dog – I´m sure he´s been very helpful. Hope you find time for some celebrating 🙂
Thanks – both of you 😉
Ooh scrumptious! I must confess to never having made my own minemeat before! Time to change that!
It´s (as you see) Easy Peasy… especially if you already have the dried fruits for Christmas baking 🙂
I could never get past the notion of pig fat in my pie, so I never tried! Now you’re talking something I can get my head (and mouth) around! It looks pretty scrumptious and I think I’ve got to give it a go! Thanks for making it possible! : )
No pigs and no fat here – just gorgeous boozy fruit!
Great post, I’ll have to try you recipe. I do, however, make my own mincemeat and forage or grow most of the ingredients. Sorry, I use venison in mine. It’s an old recipe passed down from a couple generations. Pressure-cooked gelatinized venison scraps, usually from tough neck meat do wonders for the texture of my mincemeat pie, but I’m always open to new things.
I bet yours tastes amazing. I am a devoted carnivore, I just had to find a way round not having suet and really liked the results!
I saw a recipe for a mincemeat pie this morning on Aimee’s clever muffin blog and told her I must try them soon and now your recipe! it is a sign for sure 🙂
It´s that Christmas recipe time…you must have some amazing dried fruits where you are to make a wonderful version of this!
I made some today and didn’t bother with the suet. Brandy and sugar does plenty to preserve it. It tastes amazing. Now have to wait 3 days for it to mature :D. Yours sounds deeeelish.
Yes, it does need a little while for all those gorgeous flavours to “get to know each other”! THanks Frugal for your kind comment 🙂
I’ll be honest, i did not know what mincemeat was nor did I ever want to know…until now! You gave a great explanation, so much so I’d love to try this out! At your house!!
ha – now you know whether you wanted to or not 🙂 All round to mine for mince pies and mulled wine!
Make mincemeat now for next Christmas? I’d probably forget where I put it. I think I’ll stick with jams & ketchup. You know, things where the gratification isn’t delayed. Thanks, nevertheless, for the mincemeat lesson. I really had no idea.
I think you´re wise. I´m feeling all “canned out” now for the year. And if you tuck it away you might make that same mistake I did which I mentioned in a post of putting plum compote in my pasta sauce in error thinking it was tomato 😦 Duh!
You are a star! I have been looking for this recipe which you gave to me last year. I must have put it some where safe!! TFS.
Regards Florence x
Super Chica to the rescue!!
Nice tutorial, that mix looks good enough I could forget it had raisins.
Ah yes, that raisin thing. Guess you could leave them out…I won´t tell anyone!
Es curioso, justamente esta semana estaba viendo una receta para hacer mincemeat pie y estaba súper confusa porque creí que uno de los ingredientes era carne… No me convenció mucho así que lo abandoné. Muchas gracias por aclararme las cosas, esta receta sí que me apetece probarla 😉
Es un nombre muy extraño para una mescla de frutas secas! Totalmente sin carne – te lo prometo 🙂
Looks good…and reminds me that I must make a batch of this so I have it ready for when the mince pie urge strikes (sure to hit closer to Christmas)!
Oh…and it will strike! Thanks for visiting 🙂
I haven’t tried making mincemeat and not a huge fan of the idea of suet. (I buy those jars, shhh). Thanks for sharing this recipe xo
I won´t tell anyone as I used to as well….shhhh!
when we still had the kids over for Christmas I would make my own fruit mince! Now we have a child free Christmas and I do non traditional desserts 🙂
I do both – I think I´m leaning towards the slightly more traditional this year because my parents are coming to spend Christmas with us in Spain for the first time 🙂 Whatever you do…bet it tastes great!
I tried a mincemeat pie and I wasn’t so sure about it. Since you know I can’t cook, can you suggest a place or brand I should try. I’m not sure the one I got was the “best available.” I see advertisements for them everywhere in London and I would love to get on the bandwagon but I need help!
Ok, I think you need to go to either Waitrose, M&S or Sainsbury´s (try their Taste the Difference range). Maybe go for some mini mince pies if you´re not sure you´re going to like them and look for ones (if possible) with luxury mincemeat. They are much nicer served warm and a dollop of double cream on the top always goes down well! Let me know how you get on.
Cool! There is an M&S right down the street. I’ll have to try it again. And cream sounds delicious. I’ll keep you informed! Thanks!
TBM – if you go to M&S, buy some Cornish Clotted Cream to go with your mince pies (and warm them up a bit in the oven before you eat them) 😉
Oh yes, clotted cream….I adore it and always ask my mum to make me a cream tea when I am in the UK!
I’ve always been intrigued by the thought of mincemeat pies or tarts, but never had the opprtunity to taste one…Now, I’m pretty sure I’d love them!
I suppose I took it for granted that most people would have tried it…I guess it´s a strangely British thing!
Your mincemeat recipe sounds good with cranberries and nuts added to the mix.
It´s a good recipe as you can play around with it and add/subtract to suit your tastes!
Wonderful recipe… Thank you, dear Chica, you can find the details for this Versatile Blogger Award, because you are one of the winners in my nomination list. With my love, nia
Ah Nia, you are a little Angel. Thank you so very, very much!
I think so … and I never used to be a mincemeat fan 🙂
The Washer Up has been nagging me for a week to make mince pies. I love that you put apples in your mincemeat will have to try that this year. I put chopped almonds and amaretto in mine! I bought an alapca mushroom thing today as well as a Xmas tree, very excited, thanks for the idea!!
So glad you managed to find one! Hopefully you´ll be eating mushrooms at Christmas – let me know how it goes. And as for your mincemeat, sounds gorgeous…. 🙂
I remember mum marching down to the butchers for her Christmas suet order. It was our job as kids to grate the stuff. Mum learned pretty quickly that putting us on almond skinning duty was going to be expensive…same went for cutting the glace cherries and other dried fruit for the Christmas cake so after the first (disastrous and heinously expensive) year we got put on suet grating duty. Funny enough…she NEVER had to go back to the butchers for more suet! 😉
She was a wise woman indeed!
Didn’t take us long to become wise children either after scoffing almonds and glace cherries, a fist full of suet plays a terrible second best 😉