Rich homemade brandy mincemeat bursting with dried and fresh fruits, nuts and Christmas spices, simmered in cider and then soaked in brandy.
Having read the above description 👆 Is your mouth watering yet? This is an amazing mincemeat recipe and, better still, it is incredibly easy.
Well I made this mincemeat today and, to be honest, I wasn't planning on writing a post about it...but...it's so good, I felt I really should share it.
As this is a totally unplanned post it does not contain a host of pictures, as I simply didn't take many! But it is so easy to make you really can't go wrong.
Why do I adore this easy mincemeat recipe?
No need to pre-soak dried fruits ✔️
Simmered in cider, to rehydrate the dried fruits and add flavour✔️
Two types of nuts, great for flavour and crunch against the softness of the fruits✔️
Dried raisins, sultanas, currants, cranberries and apricots throughout✔️
Rich, molasses-nutty flavour from the soft dark brown sugar✔️
A variety of Christmas spices✔️
No unbaked suet in your mince pies, suet melts during simmering ✔️
Brandy added at the end when cooled, so it keeps its kick✔️
Makes 3 x Kilner jars✔️
Stores for 6 months in sterilised jars ✔️
The aroma in your kitchen whilst the mincemeat simmers is amazing, it is like Christmas has come to town! ✔️
See recipe card for quantities.
- Raisins - Sultanas -Currants
- Cranberries - Apricots - Mixed peel
- Glace cherries
- Walnuts - Flaked almonds
- Cider - Brandy
- Soft, dark brown sugar
- Cinnamon - Cloves - Ginger - Nutmeg
- Vegetable suet
- Bramley (cooking) apples
- Orange - Lemon
See end of post RECIPE CARD for precise quantities and instructions.
This homemade easy brandy mincemeat is so simple….
- Mix together all the ingredients, except the apples, cider, sugar and brandy and set aside for ten minutes to allow the dried fruit to absorb the orange and lemon juices.
- Heat the cider and dark brown sugar in a large, heavy-based saucepan on low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add your soaking ingredients from step 1 and stir together.
- Core and chop your apples into small pieces (no need to peel) and mix those in too.
- Bring to a boil, partially cover the pan and simmer very gently on a very low heat for 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely, and then stir in the brandy.
- Spoon into sterilised jars.
I mean, can it be any easier 🤷🏻♀️
If I'm honest, really you can stick whatever you like into this easy homemade brandy mincemeat recipe. It is very forgiving and happy to swallow up whatever dried fruits you have on offer. The same principle applies to my Small Christmas Cake recipe.
- Raisins/sultanas/currants/mixed peel - if easier, feel free to use 630 grams (4 Cups and 3 tablespoons) of mixed dried fruit instead.
- Cloves/nutmeg/ginger - can be replaced with 1 ½ teaspoons of mixed spice, still retain the cinnamon though as this is such an important flavour for great mincemeat.
- Suet - I tend to use vegetable suet, but beef suet is fine to use OR replace with the same amount of butter. Some people prefer the flavour of butter to suet in mincemeat.
- Apricots/glace cherries: I adore cherries, so I always use them in fruit cakes and mincemeat, but if you're not a fan you can leave them out entirely. Apricots add great texture and flavour, again though you can leave them out but add the same amount of mixed fruit instead OR try adding some dried prunes, chopped.
- Walnuts/almonds: you can use whole, skinned almonds chopped if you prefer or chopped nuts.
- Bramley apples: I do recommend using cooking apples as they retain their shape when cooked, but you can replace them with eating apples if you prefer, they will still add plenty of flavour.
- Brandy - can be replaced with Amaretto, if you’re a big almond fan (I adore this stuff), OR dark sherry (which I also adore), OR spiced rum (by the way, have you tried adding this to coffee, Amazing).
Did you try this recipe?
Please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating in the Recipe Card below.
Not much to mention here other than try to use the biggest pan you can so that the ingredients simmer evenly.
Ensure you store your mincemeat in Sterilised Glass Jars, (I used 3 x 1 litre Kilner jars) otherwise, the bacteria that remains in the jar, which is invisible to the naked eye even after washing, will ruin your mincemeat.
Store in sealed sterilised jars for up to 6 months. Once opened, keep refrigerated and use within 1-2 weeks.
Top tips for mincemeat making
- When preparing your dried fruits, ensure they are pulled apart first and any big stems are removed, they have a tendency to clump together in the packets.
- Ensure your sugar is melted slowly in the cider before adding the fruit, tip the pan to the side to check for any remaining sugar grains.
- Constantly stir your sugar and cider to prevent it from sticking to the base of the pan.
- When simmering, stir your mincemeat, stir regularly to ensure it does not stick and if you find your mincemeat is sticking a bit, add a little more cider.
Suet, or indeed butter if you choose to use it, is an important component of mincemeat because the fat adds flavour and holds the mincemeat together.
Here are some popular Christmas recipes on Ella's Better Bakes that you might like to try...
Puff Pastry Mince Pies are really easy mince pie to make, use shop-bought puff pastry, cut out circles, fill and press another pastry circle on top. Simple.
A fruit-free alternative to traditional Christmas pudding, this Mulled Wine Christmas Pudding is steamed and topped with a mulled wine syrupy jam.
Homemade easy mincemeat
Ingredients you'll need...
Stage 1 - see blog post for variation suggestions
- 250 g Raisins (1⅔ Cup)
- 150 g Sultanas (1 Cup)
- 150 g Currants (1 Cup)
- 100 g Glace cherries halved (⅔ Cup)
- 80 g Mixed peel (½ Cup)
- 80 g Flaked almonds (½ Cup)
- 80 g Dried apricots chopped (½ Cup)
- 50 g Dried cranberries (⅓ Cup)
- 50 g Walnuts chopped (½ Cup)
- 125 g Suet vegetable or beef (I use vegetable) (10 tablespoons)
- 1½ teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Ground Ginger
- ½ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon Ground cloves
- 1 Orange juice and zest
- 1 Lemon juice and zest
- 400 ml Cider (2 Cups)
- 300 g Soft, dark brown sugar (1½ Cups)
- 200 g Bramley (cooking) apples leave preparing these until you need them, to avoid them turning brown
- 5 tablespoon Brandy
Here's what we do...
- Mix together all of your stage 1 ingredients to your large mixing bowl and stir together, set aside so that the fruit absorbs the juices whilst you move to stage 2.
- Add your stage 2 ingredients to your large, heavy-based saucepan and heat on a low setting, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. Tipping the pan to the side will show any sugar grains still remaining on the base.
- Mix all of your stage 1 ingredients into the cider and sugar stage 2 mixture.
- Heat until the mixture reaches boiling point, then partially cover the pan and simmer very gently on a very low setting, stirring intermittently, for 30 minutes.
- Leave to cool completely and then stir in your brandy.
- Fill sterilised jars, ensuring you pack the mincemeat down so that there are no air gaps.
- Store in a cool place for up to 6 months.