Lucy's Friendly Foods

Nut-free Homemade Mincemeat

You can certainly tell that Christmas is just around the corner – this week we’ve got a Nativity play, a Christmas party, a carol service and a Christmas market to attend. Little S is making mince pies at school next week and we had some difficulty finding a nice nut-free mincemeat that she could use, which is of course the perfect excuse to make some. Adding some brandy would be the traditional thing to do, but since this was to use at school on a class of 5 and 6 year olds, I used apple juice.

Ideally it should ‘mature’ for at least two weeks before using so this batch will be ready just in time for this Christmas, or very ready for next year!

Homemade Mincemeat (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan) warning: to ensure gluten-free, check the vegetable suet pack to make sure it doesn’t contain wheat flour


makes 2 jars

  • 1 cooking apple
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 200g vegetable suet
  • pinch of salt
  • 50g mixed peel
  • 110g currants
  • 200g sultanas
  • 450g dark muscovado sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple juice or brandy

– Core, or cut in half the cooking apple and bake for 30 minutes until the flesh is soft and pulpy


– Wash and sterilise the glass jars

– Mash the apple in a large bowl and add all the other ingredients. Mix well.


– Spoon into the jars, cover the top with a waxed disk and seal.

– Preferably keep for at least two weeks before using.

– Will happily keep for a year in a cool, dark cupboard.

8 Responses

  1. I made mine last weekend–I love making mince pies, even here in California! I use a Sainsbury’s mag recipe, and use a lot of more “California” fruits, like dried cherries and cranberries instead of sultanas. No allspice in yours? I love that smell–smells like English Christmas!! Happy Christmas to you and yours. 🙂

    1. It’s true mine isn’t very spiced… Maybe I’ll make another ‘spicy’ batch and do a blind tasting! Enjoy those mince pies… Must be rather different eating them in nice weather! X

      1. Well, it’s not always nice here, but yes, Christmas is very different over here. But I was laughing with my friend when we were making the mince. I said “Now THAT smells like English Christmas!” She sweetly agreed. 🙂

    1. It’s like a granular hard vegetable fat. Traditionally mince pies have beef suet in…. I think it’s from the days when the mincemeat was supposed to fool people that they weren’t eating meat! Not that they taste ‘meaty’ at all!

  2. Obviously I am not vegan but looking for a way to lower my cholestorol, but there are so many terms in regards to items used makes it difficult. Help!

    1. I’m not an expert on cholesterol but since vegetable suet is basically a hard solid vegetable fat I’m thinking it wouldn’t be the best option if you’re trying to lower cholesterol. The fat is there cos it’s a traditional ingredient to make the filling moist. Perhaps you could try without?

      Dark Muscovado sugar is soft, dark brown sugar.

      I Hope that helps! 🙂

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