mincemeat -suet free

Living in Alsace, I have never found anywhere to buy christmas mincemeat for my all time favourite christmas goodie – the mincemeat pie. I do, however, have a very easy recipe for this delight!

 For those who don’t know, mincemeat is a sticky chunky fruity nutty filling – no meat anywhere in sight! It’s a very old British speciality and in the 17th century meat was indeed mixed with fruit and used in pie making. Today some recipes use beef suet, however I prefer it without and anyway I can’t easily find any in France.

Mincemeat is often made in November so that it has plenty of time to marinate before being spooned into pastry cases around christmas time. I love this recipe as it can be prepared just a few days before being used, it really doesn’t need to sit. Great for me who has difficulty thinking ahead! A mincemeat pie is like a small tart – 2 or 3 bites and it’s gone – Yummmm. Almost everyone in this house loves mincemeat pies and we often start to eat them from the beginning of December. Of course they are “different” from French christmas goodies so I am always giving them away – work friends, school parties, coffee mornings …

Usually the fruit is soaked in alcohol (brandy, rum, sherry) but I don’t like the taste of alcohol (haven’t found anything I like yet!) so I soak my fruit in cold fruit tea and orange juice. If alcohol is used then the flavour is more pronounced if you can leave it for a few weeks before using. Once made, mincemeat can be stored in jars for 3 or 4 months and although it’s associated with Christmas, it’s a real treat to find a jar at the back of the cupboard in April!

So mid November I gathered all the ingredients – there are quite a few – and I had 7 jars of varying sizes filled with mincemeat waiting, waiting, waiting for December.

Mincemeat (without suet) – makes just under 2 kg. This is enough for about 120 pies! Sounds a lot but sometimes I find myself making a second batch mid December and using it straight out of the bowl. If you think it’s too much, just half or quarter the ingredients.


175 g currents, 225 g sultanas, 225 g raisins

125 g roughly chopped dried apricots, 125g finely chopped glacé cherries,

125 g roughly chopped mixed peel

50 g flaked almonds

225 g soft light brown sugar

125 g butter (melted)

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp 4 spice

grated zest and juice or 2 oranges

150 ml brandy or rum or cold tea – can also use fruit tea if preferred

150 ml sherry or orange juice

  • Place everything in a big bowl, adding the liquids last, stir well making sure all the fruit and liquid is well mixed.
  • Cover and leave in a dry place for a day stirring from time to time – if the mixture seems dry add more liquid.
  • When the fruit has softened, spoon into clean jam jars, leaving a little space at the top.
  • Seal and label
  • Use for mince pies or wrap and give away!


Filed under Christmas, no-bake, Scotland

4 responses to “mincemeat -suet free

  1. Pingback: mincemeat pies – a must for December | ~~~ lovely buns ~~~

  2. Pingback: ~baked apple with mincemeat~ | ~~~ lovely buns ~~~

  3. Just made this and it smells wonderful. It certainly become one of my Christmas favourites.

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