Courtesy of Jessica Maher

"Traditional mincemeat can be somewhat intimidating. I admit that I was a bit horrified by it when I was a kid, but that’s because I didn’t know what a lovely, warm fruit and nut flavor it had. There are any number of ways to make mincemeat, which may or may not include suet, but almost all include brandy. This is a variation of a Fergus Henderson recipe made with all local fruits and nuts. It includes suet, which is good for depth and preservation, but it can be omitted if you prefer. Either way is delicious and makes a wonderful pastry or a stuffing for roasted meats."




For 1 Batch(es)


  • 2/3 cups suet, finely minced
  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 5 pears, peeled, cored and diced
  • 2 1/2 cups pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 cups candied citrus peel
  • 2 1/2 cups dried fruit (we used dried plums, but you can also use raisins, figs or cherries)
  • 3 Meyer lemons or oranges, zested and juiced
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoons ground clove
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground chili (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 generous pour of brandy (up your sleeve, as Fergus Henderson says it)

Mincemeat Directions

  1. Except for the brandy, combine all ingredients in a large container. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for a few days to allow the fruit to marinate.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or baking dish, bake the mincemeat for 4–5 hours at 275°, stirring every 45 minutes or so. The fruit and nuts will soften quite a bit and will become a very dark, mahogany brown.
  3. Once it is out of the oven, stir every 15 minutes or so until cooled, then add the brandy and stir well. At this point you can jar the mincemeat and process it in a hot water bath to seal, or set it aside until it’s time to make pie or stuff pork loin. Yum!

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