Suet-Free Herefordshire Apple & Cider Mincemeat

If you’ve not made your own mincemeat before then please do give it a go. As with most homemade foods it’s so much more delicious than shop bought versions, and you’ll probably never buy it again. Mincemeat genuinely is surprisingly quick and straightforward to make and makes a delightful homemade christmas present. Store in the fridge in tupperware or in sealed sterilised jars for a gift. Our recipe uses lots of apples to bind and preserve the mincemeat instead of suet, so it’s naturally a good deal healthier for you too. 

Mincemeat isn’t just for mince pies either. It’s particularly delicious cooked in baked apples, Pat likes to add stem ginger too, homemade strudels, apple tarts or pies,  stirred into ice cream or mixed into cake or muffin mixtures.  


  • 200g soft dark brown sugar
  • 250ml medium dry cider
  • 1kg cooking apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 250g currents
  • 250g raisins
  • 75g glace cherries, roughly chopped, or dried cranberries
  • 75g blanched almonds, chopped
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 90ml brandy


  1. In a large saucepan gently heat together the sugar and cider until the sugar dissolves. 
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients except the brandy and simmer for about 30 minutes until the mixture looks pulpy and the apples are cooked. 
  3. Take off the heat and allow to cool a little before stirring though the brandy. Spoon into sterilised jars or tupperware.