Traditional Mincement


  • 8 ounces currants – minced (chopped quite fine)
  • 8 ounces raisins – minced
  • 8 ounces sultanas or golden raisins – minced
  • 12 ounces shredded granny smith apples
  • 8 ounces shredded beef suet
  • 2-4 ounces mixed peel minced
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • juice of one lemon or one orange
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1tsp vanilla or homemade bitters
  • 2-4 ounces brandy


  1. The amount of apple in this recipe is not a typo. In fact sometimes, I add more because this is close to what I grew up eating. I have added a scan of a fairly typical recipe from the 17th century and you can see that it calls for far more apple than most modern recipes.
  2. Secondly, this is mincemeat. I grate the apples when I grate the suet and I give the apples, suet, and dried fruit a whirl in the food processor before I put in on the heat. You may chop yours as much (or as little) as you like, but if you have never made this before I suggest mincing things not just chopping them.
  3. After chopping put all of the ingredients in a saucepan and heat them over medium heat until the suet melts and the mixture takes on a glossy sheen. As an aside, all of the spices are optional. I like a good deal of spice in mine.
  4. Let the mixture cool completely and then add the brandy.
  5. Put this in a container with an airtight lid and let it sit for at least a week. The longer it sits the more the flavor matures.
Cleland, Elizabeth. A New and Easy Method of Cookery. Edinburgh, Scotland: W. Gordon, C. Wright, S. Willison, J. Bruce, 1755. pp 81.