The traditional British homemade mincemeat recipe used to fill Christmas mince pies takes it’s name from the beef suet used to coagulate the spicy fruit together and give that delicious mouth-feel taste to mincemeat tarts. Vegetarian mincemeat can easily be made by substituting the beef suet for vegetarian suet, which is widely available in most supermarkets.
Mary Berry uses butter in place of suet in her Christmas mincemeat recipe, melting all the ingredients except the spirits together in a saucepan to combine for 10 minutes. The spirits are added after the mixture has cooled, to ensure that the alcohol which helps preserve the fruit doesn’t evaporate off. If you are using butter instead of suet, use just over 1/4 lb/ 125 g/ or just over half an American cup.
This easy mince pie filling without currants or sultanas can be adjusted according to your favourite dried fruits – we like raisins and Bramley apples in our mince pies, but throw in whatever you fancy; some people even add chopped glace cherries. Dried cranberries are good too, and swap the peel if you really don’t like it.
If you have any mincemeat left over you could dress the jar up with a little Christmas ribbon, label it, and give it to someone who likes to bake as a last-minute Christmas gift.