Homemade Sweet Mincemeat

With Christmas fast approaching it’s time to get things organised and for me that means making my own sweet mincemeat.

Don’t get me wrong it’s not hugely expensive to buy ready made but as always the homemade stuff is always better. You know what’s in the jar because you put it there and it always tastes better.

Also as another point for me, I can make mine 100% vegetarian 😀 which is always a good thing.

Homemade sweet mincemeat

Traditionally mincemeat is made with beef suet… being a vegetarian for the best part of 30 years the very thought of this turns my stomach.

So I used vegetarian suet to make mine, it makes it lighter on the pallet and has obvious health benefits as well, so don’t be afraid of changing tradition you will seriously love the changes.

Homemade sweet mincemeat

Another change I made from tradition is I took out the candied peel and added candied ginger instead to give it a little fiery kick and it works really well.

You want to try and make this a few weeks before needing it, as it will give the flavours a chance to mature and for all the fruit to fully soak up all the lovely juices. The longer you leave it the better, this will keep in a sterilised jar for up to 1 year!

You don’t just have to make mince pies with this; there are a multitude of things you can use it for. I shall try and share a few recipes with you over the next few weeks. Give stuffed baked apples a go you won’t regret it 🙂

Regular readers will be aware I am trying to share some good ideas for foodie gifts this Christmas. Loads of people you know will love you forever for giving them a jar of this for Christmas.

Homemade sweet mincemeat

There is nothing in this festive concoction to be worried about, its just loads of fruit, raisins, sultanas, currants, lemon, orange and apple. Vegetarian suet and a little bit of festive booze!

Homemade sweet mincemeat

Don’t worry there isn’t huge amounts just a little to help the flavour along but you can make a non-alcoholic version if you prefer. Just replace the brandy for orange juice.

It’s also simple to make, chuck everything in a bowl bar the brandy, leave overnight to allow the flavours to really mix well and bake in a low oven for a couple of hours, cool and stir occasionally. So simple and so tasty, you’ll love it, it smells and tastes like Christmas in a jar.

homemade sweet mincemeat

So let me know how you like to eat your sweet mincemeat, mince pies topped with cream any one?

Homemade Sweet Mincemeat
Prep time
Total time
A homemade vegetarian festive favourite, packed full of fruit and festive flavour.
Recipe type: Jams / Sauces
Cuisine: British
Serves: 910 grams / 3 and ½ cups
  • 115 grams vegetarian suet , (3/4 cup)
  • 115 grams sultanas, (2/3 cup)
  • 115 grams currants, (2/3 cup)
  • 115 grams raisins, (3/4 cup)
  • 30 grams chopped candied ginger, (1/8 cup)
  • 90 grams light brown sugar, (1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 2 medium brambly cooking apples
  • 2 medium oranges - zest & juice
  • 2 medium lemons - zest & juice
  • 6 tablespoons brandy
  1. In a large bowl add the suet, sultanas, currants, and raisins, candied ginger, light brown sugar, mixed spice and mix it up.
  2. Peel and core your apples, and dice them up into small chunks.
  3. Zest and juice the oranges and lemons and add to the bowl.
  4. Cover with a tea towel and leave overnight.
    homemade sweet mincemeat
  5. The following morning heat your oven to 110C / 225F / Gas mark ½.
  6. Cover your bowl loosely with tin foil and put it into the oven for 3 hours.
  7. Take it out of the oven and allow it to cool, stirring it occasionally making sure everything t getting coated with the melted suet.
  8. When it is cold add the brandy and mix thoroughly.
  9. Put your mincemeat into sterilised jars and seal.
  10. This will keep unopened for a year. Once open, keep in the fridge and use within 3 weeks.


Author: Emma

I make, photograph and write every post on Bake Then Eat. If you ever come over to visit you will be presented with a plethora of home bakes, expect to leave my home a few pounds heavier and with a doggy bag!

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  1. This looks wonderful and would definitely make another great gift for a foodie! The flavors sounds great and I love that this is a vegetarian version too 🙂

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Kelly, for me it had to be vegetarian and even for meat eaters I think they will be pleasantly surprised by how much lighter the vegetarian version is.

      Post a Reply
    • Hi Liz, the ginger certainly does add a bit of zing, which I am a fan of and homemade is always better as you know exactly what’s in it, no suspicious E numbers!

      Post a Reply


  1. terrance - thanks!

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