Try this mincemeat recipe, then check out our classic mince pies, Christmas cake, Christmas pudding and more Christmas baking recipes.


  • 3 apples, cored and finely chopped
  • (I like Waitrose wholesome mixed dried vinefruit) 500g mixed dried fruit
  • 100g piece finely chopped candied peel, or ready-chopped mixed peel
  • 60g blanched almonds, chopped
  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • a good grating nutmeg
  • 5 tbsp brandy or rum
  • 150g unsalted butter


  • STEP 1

    Put all except the butter in a bowl, cover and leave overnight to macerate.

  • STEP 2

    The next day, sterilise six 350ml jars and their lids by washing them thoroughly in hot soapy water, rinsing in very hot clean water and drying them in a low oven.

  • STEP 3

    While the jars are drying, put the fruit mixture in a roasting tin and warm it through in the same low oven for 15-20 minutes. Melt the butter and stir it through the warmed fruit. Divide the mixture between the hot jars and put the lids on. Leave to cool. These will keep for up to 6 months in a cool, dark place.

  • STEP 4

    To make a christmas cake, line and butter a 20cm deep tin. mix 200g self-raising flour, 150g light muscovado sugar, 150g softened butter and 3 eggs with 1 jar of the mincemeat, 150g mixed chopped dried figs, cranberries and cherries and 1 tub glacé cherries. Spoon into the tin and bake at 170C/fan 150C/gas 3 for 2 hours, or until the middle feels springy. Cool in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out to cool completely. Decorate with dried fruit and nuts and brush with apricot jam, or decorate with marzipan and icing.

  • STEP 5

    To make a christmas pudding, mix 1 jar mincemeat with 100g grated butter, 200g self-raising flour, 200g dark soft brown sugar, 4 tbsp golden syrup, 4 tbsp ginger wine, 1 grated apple, 2 balls chopped stem ginger in syrup, 2 eggs and 100g sultanas. Spoon into a 1.5 litre pudding basin (or 2 smaller ones) cover with greaseproof paper and foil and steam for 2½ hours or until cooked through (test with a skewer). Keep steaming if you want the pudding to darken.

  • STEP 6

    To make mince pies, roll out 500g shortcrust or puff pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin and stamp out 12 circles about 8cm across to line 8 bun holes. Put a small spoonful of mincemeat in each (don’t overfill or they’ll explode). Stamp out 12 slightly smaller rounds for lids. Seal the lids on with a little beaten egg and then brush the lids with beaten egg – sprinkle with golden caster sugar if you like. Bake at 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and cooked. These will freeze cooked or uncooked; to cook from frozen use the same temperature for 30 minutes.


Lulu GrimesManaging editor

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