The ultimate homemade mincemeat! Packed full of dried fruit, spices, sugar, orange & lemon, plus there’s a generous amount of brown butter for a rich, nutty flavour. Level up your mince pies this Christmas!

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brown butter mincemeat

What Is Mincemeat?

A mixture of dried fruit, sugar, spices, alcohol & fat, famously used in mince pies at Christmas. The high level of sugar, fat & alcohol preserves the mincemeat which is what allows it to mature for several months before using.

Traditionally, this contained minced meat, such as beef, pork, mutton or game, as well as dried fruit. Nowadays, we make it with just fruit & without meat but with suet instead.

How To Make Mincemeat

For this recipe, we make brown butter first (my guide to this can be found here) then add in dried fruit, spices, sugar, orange, lemon, apple, mixed peel, brown sugar & suet. This mixture is then cooked gently until the fat & sugar has completely melted. This coats the dried fruit, preserving it.

Once cooked, we leave to cool then stir in the brandy. Adding the alcohol in when the fruit is cold means that it won’t be cooked off & lose any flavour.

Finally, we transfer the mix to a sterilised jar & leave to mature in the fridge for several months to mature before using.

jar of mincemeat

Brown Butter In Mincemeat

Suet is commonly used as the fat but in this recipe we are using a mixture of suet & brown butter. The brown butter adds a super rich, nutty flavour. You’ll notice that the butter turns the mincemeat cloudy when stored in the fridge. This is normal & will look normal once cooked.

mince pie centre

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Store Mincemeat

This mincemeat needs to be stored in the fridge. It will keep for 3-4 months.

Do I Need To Use Alcohol?

The amount of brandy in this recipe is important as it is what preserves the mincemeat. If you’d prefer a mincemeat without a brandy flavour, add it in whilst the fruit is still hot as this will cook off the alcohol.

Does The Mincemeat Need To Mature?

For the best flavour the mincemeat needs to mature in the fridge for several months. A couple of weeks will work if your short on time.

How To Sterilise A Jar

Before using, the jar needs to be sterilised. To do this, wash in hot, soapy water & rinse well. Then place into a 160°/320°f for 10 minutes. Soak any seals in boiling water for a couple of minutes.

Why Does This Mincemeat Look Different To Shop Bought?

This recipe uses butter as well as suet which makes the mincemeat cloudy when stored in the fridge. Once cooked it will look normal!

Can I Make This Recipe Vegetarian?

Of course! Simply use vegetable suet in place of beef.

Equipment Used

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Brown Butter Mincemeat

The ultimate homemade mincemeat! Full of dried fruit, spices & brown butter for a rich, nutty flavour. Level up your mince pies this Christmas!
Prep Time30 minutes
Active Time10 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: English
Yield: 1.5 kg
Author: Ben Racey


  • 2 Litre Kilner Jar (Sterilised)
  • Large Saucepan
  • Microplane/Grater
  • Juicer


  • 120 g Unsalted Butter
  • 200 g Raisins
  • 200 g Sultanas
  • 180 g Dried Cranberries
  • 180 g Currants
  • 1 Bramley Apple Peeled, Cored & Grated
  • 80 g Mixed Peel
  • 100 g Suet See Notes
  • 1 Orange Zest & Juice
  • 1 Lemon Zest & Juice
  • 250 g Light Brown Sugar
  • ½ tsp Ground Ginger
  • ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Ground Allspice
  • ¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 200 ml Brandy


  • Chop the butter into evenly sized pieces then place into a large saucepan.
    Place over a medium heat & allow to melt, stirring regularly with a spatula. Keep cooking, until the butter starts to foam, smells nutty & you can see that the milk solids in the bottom of the pan have turned golden brown.
  • Remove from the heat & add in all of the remaining ingredients into the brown butter (apart from the brandy).
  • Stir to combine then place over a low heat.
    Heat gently, stirring regularly until the suet has melted then allow to simmer for around 10 minutes. The sugar should have dissolved & the fruit will be completely covered in fat.
  • Remove from the heat & leave to cool to room temperature, stirring every so often.
  • Once cool, stir in the brandy then transfer to a sterilised jar.
  • Allow to mature in the fridge for at least a week before using. Leaving it for a couple of months is best.


To Cook In An Aga.
Brown the butter on the boiling plate then cook the mincemeat on the simmering plate.
Stored in the fridge, the mincemeat will keep for 3-4 months.
Either beef or vegetable suet can be used for this mincemeat. 

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