Homemade Mincemeat for Mince Pies

Mincemeat is always a word which appears to get people confused! Yes, mincemeat is a term used for shredded meat (usually beef or lamb), but it should probably be minced-meat as technically, that is what it is! Simple solution, adopt someone else’s word for it – we go with ‘Kiyma’ which is what hubby calls it at home! Sorted! Oh, well, except when I went to buy some (yes, I’m plant-based but do buy meat for the boys)! and said ‘Can I have a kilo of kiyma please?’ The poor butcher looked so confused! 😛


Anyway, back to ‘mincemeat’ 😀 Traditionally when mincemeat was first created, (I’m talking way back centuries ago)! it was used as a way to preserve meat without curing, smoking, salting or drying! Adding the dried fruit and some preserving liquid to finely chopped meat (I’m thinking hunted rabbits, deer, birds) and popping it into a pie became a great way of making meats last longer. This method also created foods which could be easily transported (on horseback, on long treks, in boats etc.). The mince pies were still a Christmas food but were used more as a main meal than a dessert or sweet treat!

Homemade mincemeat


Fast forward and mincemeat became more refined, the meat disappeared but suet was added, along with some delicious spices to eventually make the mincemeat as we know today! 🙂

For sure, you can go and buy a jar or two from the supermarket or local shop, but there are so many different varieties it can be hard to please everyone! Most mincemeat these days contains some form of alcohol – rum, brandy, whisky, even cider and if that’s not your tipple and you take a bite of a crumbly flaky mince pie you could be more than disappointed! Solution… make your own family friendly mincemeat – children will love it too! Hooray!

Crumbly, flaky pastry stuffed with homemade mincemeat


The other great thing about making your own mincemeat is that you can leave out anything you don’t like (glace cherries for example); anything which people are allergic too (such as nuts); or of course, you can do the opposite and add in things you love!

Here’s a recipe I have posted previously, but it’s so good it’s the one we use often! The mincemeat will keep for ages in or out of the fridge – that is, if you can resist making all your pies at once! I’d make enough so you can be munching mince pies from now until New Year and beyond!

5 from 1 vote
Homemade Mincemeat

Fruity spiced mincemeat which is much easier than you think… for delectable mince pies every day!

Keyword: Christmas, mince pies, mincemeat, recipes, Seasonal
Created by:: Laurena @LifeDietHealth
  • 100 g raisins/sultanas/currants (any mix)
  • 100 ml hot liquid – apple juice/orange juice/fruit tea/earl grey tea/alcohol (choose your flavour)
  • *2 drops orange extract (optional)
  • 100 g dates (the softer the better)
  • 100 ml boiling water
  • 2 medium dried figs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
  1. Put the raisins in a heatproof bowl and pour your chosen liquid over (with the extract if using). Cover and leave for the fruit to plump up.

  2. De-stone the dates and pour the boiling water over them.

  3. Chop the figs into small pieces and sprinkle the cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice over them.

  4. Drain the raisins and add to the figs (reserve the liquid).

  5. Blend the dates (a mini food processor is ideal for this) or mash very well with a fork. Stir the dates into the fruit mixture and stir well to combine.

  6. Check the consistency (it should have a bit of liquid in it) and add a bit more liquid if required (reserved from the raisins).

  7. Spoon into a sterilised jar (wash with boiling water and allow to dry in a warm oven) and seal. Use to make your delicious mince pies! Enjoy!

Of course, once you’ve made the mincemeat you need a great pastry to put it in! Have a look at the recipe here – it is so popular and everyone loves it!

So, now you have your mincemeat and your pastry you’ve no excuse not to have that delicious smell of seasonal-ness in your house! 😛 These make great gifts when visiting friends and family, or just great to have at home for a quick snack, dessert or alternative to biscuits with your coffee! 😀

Photo by Katherine Sousa


This weekend apart from having friends over and the obligatory football match, I will probably be seeing if there are any bargains about as it is Black Friday and Cyber Monday! If you’re shopping, make sure it is something you really need before you buy it though and think about all that unwanted plastic! Oh, and I’m also going to be visiting loads of other blogs this weekend as I’m co-hosting Fiesta Friday for the lovely Angie. I’m also visiting a relatively new blog party at a Big Green House! so hopefully that will be a fun one to attend too! 🙂 You should pop over and have a look – there will be loads of delicious foods you might not have thought of, sometimes crafty ideas, great people and new blogs to check out! 🙂 Come and join the parties! 🙂

We love comments so please don’t run away before at least stopping to say hello! 😀 We read all comments personally and always reply to everyone! Comment on the recipe, your day, your weekend plans or ask a question, suggest a recipe or just tell us how you found our website! Thank you!

Speak soon (and see you at the Fiesta)!

Laurena x


  • Jhuls | The Not So Creative Cook 29th November 2019 at 15:15

    I don’t know but I can’t like your post.?

    Anyway, I haven’t eaten mince pies, I think. I bet it is a tasty pie. I love that they are served in minis – so very easy to eat and super cute.? It is so lovely to have you back, Laurena.

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 29th November 2019 at 19:03

      Jhuls! 🙂 Hello! Thank you! Oh, do I have gremlins again?! I can like it? 😛 I’ll get someone else to have a look! Oh gosh you need mince pies! Sweet spiced fruit in a crumbly buttery pastry with a dusting of icing sugar… served warm on their own or with cream, ice-cream or custard! You should make some! 😀 Lovely to see you over here again! 😀 I hope you’re well xxx

  • Eva Gallon 29th November 2019 at 20:19

    Gosh, has it already been a year since your last tasty mincemeat post?☺ I must admit I’m expecting some mince pies in the post from family so that’s definitely cheating haha. I also grew up with ‘kiyma’?Have a lovely weekend (enjoy the footie!). It’s our village Xmas market this weekend, I’m already thinking of the Lebkuchen (spiced cookies) and hot Apfelpunsch x

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 29th November 2019 at 20:27

      Ooo Eva we love Lebkuchen… maybe I should try making some!? ?Yes… a year (or two?!) since mincemeat so most definitely time to make it again! Mince pies from home in the post- homemade or in a box? Football ⚽️???

      • Eva Gallon 30th November 2019 at 22:50

        Good old Mr Kipling?Even if Mum wanted to make them from scratch she can’t really use the kitchen at the moment (can’t think of anyone else who would make them lol). It took me a little while to get used to Lebkuchen (tastes rather different to what we know as gingerbread in the UK) but I love it now. It may turn out that way with marzipan too (still not a massive fan). Do you know it’s normal to mix cola and fizzy orange here? I’d better stop in case I start any food/drink arguments?

        • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 30th November 2019 at 23:05

          Say what? Cola & fizzy orange!? Does it go greeny-brown (or is that just cola & orange juice!)?‍♀️? Mr Kipling… we made some more today- you should try making some! Oh my- there’s a Fitbit for dogs called a PitPat (off on a tangent before you are?!)

  • Petra 30th November 2019 at 22:06

    When I moved to the UK from Sweden I did believe for years that mice pies actually had meat in them!
    This sounds delicious with the fruit and the spice ?
    Thank you for co hosting Fiesta Friday!

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 30th November 2019 at 22:23

      Thank you Petra ? I think most people think that when they first hear of them! Have you tried mince pies now? If so, do you like them? I thought it was about time I co-hosted again! ?

  • Angie | Fiesta Friday 6th December 2019 at 04:05

    I’ve never had mincemeat pies!! They sound so good, at least yours do (without actual mincemeat in it). I don’t think adding meat in a fruit pie would improve the taste, lol. So, I’ll take mine without meat, pls. Thanks for cohosting!

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