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Christmas Mincemeat // 1900s

This recipe for a rich fruit mincemeat was taught to students of the National Training School for Cookery between 1909 and 1912. Who can say how many Edwardians across the land made (or had made for them) mince pies at Christmas that tasted just like this?
The great thing about mincemeat is that it keeps for AGES. Providing that it has been correctly jarred and stored, it'll keep for at least a year in a cool, dark cupboard, maturing away to perfection.
Original Recipes: 'Mincemeat' (Book 2, 1909)
Speed: 10 mins | Makes: 1 ¼ litres (enough for about 60 mince pies)


  • 450g Currants

  • 340g Raisins

  • 110g Mixed Peel

  • 1 Cooking Apples

  • 1 Lemons

  • 1 tsp. Mace

  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon

  • ½ saltspoonful of Salt

  • 20g Caster Sugar

  • 2 Cloves

  • 225g Beef Suet

  • 70ml Brandy

  • 70ml Port



1. First of all, have a large jar, several small ones or a combination of the two ready. They should be completely clean and washed more than a day before you make the mincemeat so that they are bone dry. Any hint of moisture = your mincemeat can grow moldy.

2. Prepare the fresh fruit. Zest and juice the lemons and then peel, core and then chop the apples very finely.

3. Pound together the spices (the cloves, mace and cinnamon) until all are finely ground and combined well.

4. Put the dried fruit (raisins, currants and peel) into a large bowl with the pounded spices and half a saltspoonful of salt. Add in the suet, then the pounded spices, then the lemon zest and juice and chopped apple. Finally, pour in the brandy and port. Mix this all together very well until everything is combined.

5. Jar the mincemeat and keep either in a cool, dark part of the house or refrigerated. You can use it right away, but it will get better if given some time to mature. In these conditions the mincemeat can last for a year, possibly longer.

Note: We really wanted to make some mince pies in time for Christmas so used our mincemeat the day after making it and it was lovely. We'll see how good it is in December 2021 when it's matured!


Original Recipes for 'Mincemeat'

'BOOK 2': High-Class Cookery Recipes for the National Training School of Cookery, 11th Edition (1909)

Author: Mrs Charles Clarke, Principal of the National Training School of Cookery

Publisher: William Clowes & Sons Limited (23 Cockspur Street, S.W. London, England, U.K.)

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