December 21st, 2009


A Few Festive Treats with Homemade Sweet Mincemeat

I love making sweet mince pies, it’s the sign for me, that the festive season has arrived. I used to buy the sweet mincemeat from the supermarket until last year when I ashamedly discovered how easy and liberating it is to make your own sweet mincemeat. It’s one of those tasks that you do late September and come December it has beautifully matured and is ready to be used in the finest festive treats you could possibly dream up.

I made quite a few jars this year as I thought they would make pretty gifts. I filled 300g jam jars with the homemade sweet mincemeat and attached a recipe to the side of the jar for home made mini mince pies. 

I challenged myself  this festive season to develop a few alternative recipes using sweet mincemeat. I love the Festive Power bars and Luxury Mincemeat Biscuits  very much, they are completely my own creation and I’m very proud to share these recipes with you.

The Festive Power Bars are the perfect pick me up come 4pm when you have been working very hard to complete the years projects so you can make a fresh start for the new year. Alternatively they are great to start the day, nibble on one of these for breakfast for a powerful but festive start to the day.


The Luxury Mincemeat Biscuits are simply scrumptious! I wrote this recipe with two variations for cooking times, one for a soft eat and the second for a crispy and crunchy biscuit, perfect for dunking. I pack about 5/6 of these in a clear cellophane bag and tie a festive colorful ribbon round, attach a hand written tag and give a couple of bags to friends and family. I think they make pretty special and very thoughtful gifts.


Christmas Sweet Mincemeat for Keeps

  • 175g seedless raisins
  • 120g sultanas
  • 120g currants
  • 50g cut mixed peel
  • 50g chopped dried prunes
  • 175g soft brown sugar
  • 225g cooking apples - peeled, cored and grated
  • 115g shredded suet
  • 1 orang zest and juice
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 25g chopped almonds
  • 25g chopped pecan nuts
  • 10g mixed spice
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 75ml brandy

Mix all the ingredients together(use only half the brandy) in a large deep baking tray and cover and leave to stand overnight.

The next day, preheat the oven to 120°C cover the tray with foil and place in the oven for about 2 hours.

Leave the mixture to cool slightly, then mix in the rest of the brandy.

Sterilize clean glass jars in the oven and spoon the warm mincemeat into the sterilized jars, seal and leave to mature.

Makes 1.3 kg

Food Fanatics Tip:

This mincemeat needs to mature for at least two weeks before using. Once sealed, it can keep for at least 6 months.

Make the perfect  gift: Fill clean sterilized glass jars with 300g mincemeat and attach a recipe to the side for the pastry and baking method for  making mince pies at home.

Luxury Mincemeat Biscuits

  • 100g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 small free range eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 75g chopped walnuts
  • 200g sweet mincemeat

Preheat oven to 180 °C and line two baking trays with parchment paper.

Cream the butter, sugar and eggs together, then beat in the vanilla.

Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda together, and add to butter mixture.

Mix until well blended.

Stir in the nuts and mincemeat, mix well.


Drop 20g of the biscuit mix onto the prepared baking trays. Use a fork dipped in plain flour to press the biscuits down to even thickness. Please make sure you leave enough of a gap between the biscuits as they do spread.

Bake the biscuits for 8 to 10 minutes until light but golden brown for a soft eat, if you prefer a crispy crunchy biscuit bake them for 12 - 15 minutes, dust them with icing sugar and leave them to cool on a cooling rack.

Makes about 35 - 40 biscuits

Food Fanatics Tips:

Keep the biscuits in a airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

They make a very pretty gift and would be adored even by those individuals who do not normally enjoy a good mince pie. Pack 5/6 of these festive luxury mincemeat biscuits into a cellophane bag and wrap a festive and colorful ribbon round, attach a pretty hand written tag. I love these kind of gifts as they are so personal!

Festive Power Bars


  • 85g plain white flour
  • 10g icing sugar, sifted
  • 50g butter
  • 1/2 tbs ice cold water


  • 200g mincemeat


  • 30g butter
  • 25gwhite flour
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 25g rolled oats
  • 1tbs semolina
  • 20g caster sugar
  • 20g walnuts, chopped
  • 20g flaked almonds

Pre-heat the oven to 175ºC and line a 22cm x 12cm x 7cm loaf tin with parchment papaer.


Make the pastry: Measure the flour and icing sugar into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add sufficient ice cold water to firm the dough.

Roll out the pastry to a rectangle, line the base of the prepared tin with pastry.

Spread the mincemeat evenly over the pastry base.

Topping: Pour the flour, semolina, cinnamon, oats and caster sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the butter, use your fingertips to rub the butter in until lit looks like breadcrumbs. Add the nuts and run your fingers through to mix.

Scatter the crumble over the mincemeat. Press the crumble topping down firmly with your hands.

Bake in pre-heated oven for about 35 - 40 minutes until golden brown.

Let it cool completely before cutting into 4cm slices.

Makes 5 power bars

Food Fanatics Tips:

These power bars are the perfect festive pick me up treat come 4pm or  have one of these for breakfast.

Print Recipe Print Recipe with Photo

18 Comments to “A Few Festive Treats with Homemade Sweet Mincemeat”

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  1. Chris says:

    Do you have to process the jars in a boiling water bath, as you do with jams and chutneys or is the initial jar sterilization sufficient? Do you store in the fridge or can it be stored at room temperature? Questions from a relatively new (and somewhat paranoid) canner :)

  2. Madalene says:

    Dear Chris,
    Yes, sterilize the jars as for jams. I keep mine in a cool dark cupboard. Not necessary to keep it refrigerated.

    Happy Cooking

  3. Emily says:

    I love your website it’s fantastic, I have made loads of things you have suggested from the sweet mincemeat to your jam recipes! I am making food hampers for all my family for Christmas and even making the dog treats too!
    Keep up the fantasic work!!

  4. Wendy russell says:

    I’m thinking of making some sweet mince as gifts. Some of my jars don’t have lids. Is it ok to use wax discs and cellophane to seal the jars and should the mix be hot or cold when jar is filled either with a lid or cellophane

  5. mawgan says:

    hi i came across your site last year and wanted to make xmas hampers for family as gifts, i would like to say the luxary mincemeat is wonderful, i used it with the biscuit recipe and was loved by all and the smell when its cooking its just xmas around the house, i still have a jar sealed up for this year and would say to anyone to try it out, lovely to eat and lovely as a gift

    im off to try a few more of your recipes out xx


  6. Uncle Bubbles says:

    I always make my mincemeat, puddings, Christmas pickles and chutneys in December. But ready for the following year. Stored in the garage for 12 months really adds to the flavours.

  7. Alex says:

    Hi Maddy,

    Am I too late to make this mincemeat for this year?


  8. Madalene says:

    HI Alex,

    No it’s not too late. It will still be delicious but next year perhaps you should plan making it at the beginning of November.

    Enjoy making your mince pies, I find it very therapeutically and satisfying…and gratifying too!

    Lots of love,


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