The Best Christmas Mincemeat Filling Part 1

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mincemeat pie filling

Holiday Spice Flavours In A Jar Ready For Your Mince Pie

If you are looking for an authentic mincemeat pie filling recipe this is what you’ve found today.

Before we get into the pie part we must start with the mincemeat filling which takes weeks to cure.

This is what I will show you how to prepare today.

It’s the second week of November and I’m prepping for Christmas before all the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping gets underway in our house.

I love Christmas and miss spending it with our families in Scotland since we’ve moved to Canada.

We still Skype on Christmas day but it’s not the same as seeing them in person.

Christmas is still a big celebration in our house as it’s time spent with good food and friends that are more like family.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be bringing you some family favourite holiday recipes that I always make at Christmas.

If you missed Mr.CBB’s Holiday recipes from last year such as his no-bake peanut butter balls, snow balls and festive coconut balls you can start baking them ahead of time and freezing them.

Mincemeat Pies For Christmas

One of my personal holiday favourites is mincemeat pies.

They really only come out at Christmas time and there is so much history behind how they came about.

Mince pies are an essential part of the British culinary tradition, enjoyed throughout the Christmas holidays, and then rarely if ever, offered again until the following year.

What Is Mincemeat?


Good question and one that many people ponder because they simply don’t know the answer.

Well I’ll tell you today it’s a delicious blend of goodness that you will love.

Originally mincemeat was, as its name implies, made from minced (ground) meat, as a way of preserving the last scraps of meat culled in the autumn so that it would last throughout the winter.

How Do You Make Mincemeat?

The traditional mixture which also included fresh and dried fruits, spices and sugar were simmered for several days and then stored in sealed jars in the cellar or in an outhouse.

In my mincemeat pie filling recipe you will find:

  • currants
  • sultanas (golden raisins)
  • seedless raisins
  • cooking apples
  • candied citrus peel chopped
  • blanched almonds, chopped
  • shredded suet, or vegetarian suet, or margarine
  • dark brown sugar
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground allspice
  • ground ginger
  • grated nutmeg
  • Grated rind and juice of 2 oranges
  • Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
  • brandy or port

Today’s mincemeat no longer contains meat or poultry, except in the form of suet.

Those of you who don’t wish to eat animal fats can substitute it with vegetarian suet, or margarine.

I don’t make homemade suet as I buy it pre-made but if you are wondering how to make beef suet you can find recipes all over the web.

How Do You Use Mincemeat?

This mixture can be used to fill tray bakes (bars) such as mincemeat slices, mincemeat cookies, open-lattice flans or pies, spooned into partly baked individual tart shells topped with fancy cut-out pastry shapes (those are my favourites with a cuppa tea of course) or when baked and cooled, drizzled with glazed icing.

I usually dust mine when cooled with icing sugar for that snow effect!

So without further ado here is my recipe for the first part of mincemeat pies.

Since the mincemeat has to sit for 4 weeks I will give you the second part closer to the time when we actually make the double-crusted pastry and have the final finished individual pies in a flaky pastry shell.

Just in time for Christmas!


  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Mature time: 4 weeks
  • Quantity: approx x6 250ml jars
Mincemeat Pie Filling
Recipe Type: Holiday
Author: Nicola Don
Prep time:
Total time:
  • 8oz/11/3 cups currants
  • 8oz/1 1/3 cups sultanas (golden raisins)
  • 1lb/2 2/3 cups seedless raisins
  • 1lb cooking apples peeled, cored and chopped
  • 8oz/1 1/3 candied citrus peel chopped
  • 4oz/ 2/3 cup blanched almonds, chopped
  • 8oz/1 cup shredded suet, or vegetarian suet, or margarine
  • 8oz/ 1 cup soft dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Grated rind and juice of 2 oranges
  • Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
  • About 2/3 cup brandy or port
  1. Place all of the ingredients except the brandy or port in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Stir well, cover the bowl with a cloth and set aside in a cool place overnight.
  3. The following day, stir in enough brandy or port to make a mixture moist enough to drop from a spoon.
  4. Spoon the mixture into sterilized jars, store in a cool, dry place.
  5. This will take about 4 weeks to mature before its ready to use in mincemeat pies



You will need storage jars to keep the mincemeat in until it matures and is ready to use in order to make the individual mincemeat pies.

Depending on the size of pies you want to make 1 jar will make 1 pie or 1 dozen pies if you use 1 ½ teaspoon of mixture in each one.

This mincemeat recipe would make a great homemade present for anyone even if you add some bows and ribbon and present it in the jars as filling.

Keep me posted if you make your mincemeat then stay tuned for part two making double-crust pastry and turning that mincemeat into spectacular individual pies for all your friends and family to enjoy!

Discussion: What other ingredients do you put in your mincemeat? Leave me your comments below and I’ll be glad to respond.

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  1. Still confused about storing. Do you cap the jars off with canning lids and are the jars hot when filling? Just want to be safe. I am thinking the booze is what preserves it on the shelf.

  2. Quick question. Do you have to can the mincemeat after you put it into the sterilized jars. If so…for how long. If not your comment is to leave it for 4 weeks. It doesn’t go bad? How long does it keep in the jars. Should you freeze it? Confused lol

    1. Hi Nadine, yes they go ito sterilized jars and they are in there for 4 weeks to let all those spices and the suet soak together. This gives it the unique taste and consistency. If you don’t use the whole jar once it’s opened keep it in the fridge a bit like homemade jam once opened. Hope this helps.


  3. Question. This recipe reminds me of the one my mum made. She was British. My daughter married a Scottish fellow and his Dad loves mincemeat. I intend to gift him with this mincemeat. My question lol you say to just store in sterilized jars. No canning required? How long does it keep in the jars? Any info is much appreciated.

  4. I’ve always been intrigued by mincemeat pie and the like, but never had the guts to make it or taste it. Maybe this year. 🙂

  5. Just wondering if butter can be used in place of margarine? I would like to try this! We love mincemeat around here, but I usually just buy it at Superstore. They make a good one! LOL

    1. Cant see why not! I haven’t used it before its always been suet. If you do use it let us know how it turns out:)
      You can find suet in the freezer/meat section in the store. Ask the butcher at the store if you cant find it!

  6. Funny, I was just thinking and wondering if Mr CBB was going to run any holiday recipes and after frosting my carrot cake I popped online and look what I find here!! Is there anything non-alcoholic I could use instead of the port??? I made a. mincemeat years ago that used meat in it as well as the suet. Had to run it through the food processer to grind everything up. My late father-in-law loved it and I don’t think I have made it since he died.
    I need to get into town and the Bulk store to get my candied fruit for my dark fruitcake very soon!!! I also make a lighter cherry almond cake, as well as a number of squares. Cranberry, butter tart, pineapple, and nanimo ….usually 3 kinds of nanimo squares. Original, cherry and mint. I also make a cranberry swirl coffee cake that disappears fast.

    1. Wow, you do lots of baking Christine…. I think I put the bulk of my Christmas recipes up last year so Nicola is taking over this year. Since we don’t have any family or kids where we are we don’t really bake much these days. We hardly eat it ourselves. I’ve got some great recipes coming up from Niki and I’m sure she will chime in and advise you of any non-alcoholic suggestions she might have for the mincemeat. Cheers

    2. Christine you could put in molasses (dark treacle) it has the same curing effect with a little water mix this in to give it the dollop texture you need!

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