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Cranberry Mincemeat

Cranberry Mincemeat

I wish I could just bottle up the smell of mincemeat on the stove. It smells festive, warming and sweet, all at the same time! It would be like encapsulating the essence of Christmas. To get that smell again and again, I just tend to make mincemeat two or three times between mid-November and Christmas day.

I cannot stand raisins, so traditional mincemeat is out of the question. The mere thought of the brown sticky mixture filling most mince pies makes me feel sick. A few years ago, I decided to make my own mincemeat that would not be a raisin paste.

Cranberry Mincemeat - Ingredients

Cranberries seemed like the ideal substitute and I found a nice recipe by Nigella Lawson. I adapted it to end up with even less raisins and focus on flavours we really liked. It will be my third year making the recipe as described below, and I have made a fair few batches. As soon as we run out, I just have to make some more! Be warned: it is addictive!

Cranberry Mincemeat - Simmering

Cranberry Mincemeat

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 jam jars


  • 3/4 cup dark brown muscovado sugar 100g
  • 1/3 cup ruby port 80ml
  • 3 cups cranberries 300g
  • ½ cup currants 75g
  • ½ cup raisins 75g
  • ½ cup dried cranberries 75g
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 satsuma
  • 2 tbsp . rum 30 ml
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract 2ml
  • 2 tbsp honey 50g


  1. Mix the sugar and port in a large pan and place on a medium heat for a couple of minutes to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Add the cranberries, dried fruit, spices as well as the grated zest and juice of the satsuma.
  3. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
  4. In the meantime, start sterilising several jars. Wash both the jars and lids well in hot, soapy water. Rinse them well. Preheat your oven to gas mark 1 (135 degrees Celsius / 275 degrees Fahrenheit).
  5. Squash any cranberries that have not broken down with the back of a wooden spoon. Most of the liquid should now have been absorbed by the dried fruit.
  6. Remove from the heat and leave the mixture to cool down a little.
  7. Place the jars upside down on a baking tray in the oven for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven using a clean tea towel to handle the jars. Sterilise the lids by immersing them in boiling water for a few minutes. Dry thoroughly.
  9. Add the rum, vanilla extract and honey to the pan and stir well with a wooden spoon to mash the mixture down into a paste.
  10. Spoon the mincemeat into the sterilised jars and store in the fridge once it is at room temperature. It will keep for several weeks in the fridge.

Here is a visual summary:

Cranberry Mincemeat - Easy Recipe


  1. 14/11/2014 / 11:55 am

    Thanks for this recipe – I don’t like traditional mincemeat either, but maybe I’ll give this a go this year 🙂

    • Mel
      15/11/2014 / 1:08 am

      Please let me know what you think if you do. x

  2. detoutcoeur Limousin
    14/11/2014 / 3:10 pm

    lovely festive ingredients – love the addition of rum and port – fab! Saying bonjour from http://detoutcoeurlimousin.blogspot.fr/ and festive foodie friday. Happy to have found your lovely blog 🙂

    • Mel
      14/11/2014 / 3:35 pm

      Bonjour, et merci pour l’adorable commentaire!

  3. 14/11/2014 / 6:37 pm

    Ooh that sounds yummy. I love the smell of mincemeat too and am not that keen on too many raisins either so might just have to give this a try too. Have pinned it in the hope I might find time to do homemade mincemeat this year 🙂

    • Mel
      15/11/2014 / 1:07 am

      It is really quick and easy to make. If you use cups, I am sure Jessica would love to help you measure the ingredients. x

  4. 14/11/2014 / 9:49 pm

    Oh Mel, these photos are beautiful. They just sum up Christmas food and baking for me. Totally lovely. I will be putting all over Pinterest for you! I don’t cook my mincemeat so it’s really nice to see different versions. I do hope you weren’t up all night doing this! Thanks so much for linking to #festivefoodfriday. Big kisses xx

    • Mel
      14/11/2014 / 11:46 pm

      Thanks for giving me the motivation I needed to write this post, my lovely Sarah. I am really pleased I managed to link up. First Linky, that is a big thing! x

  5. Eva
    14/11/2014 / 11:59 pm

    J’ai presque senti l’odeur d’ici tellement tu le décrivais bien ! C’est un super recette pour accompagner tout types des plats à Noël! J’aime beaucoup Mel !

    • Mel
      15/11/2014 / 12:05 am

      Merci Eva! La “mincemeat”, c’est ce qu’on met dans les “mince pies”, de petites tartes traditionnelles au moment des fêtes. J’essaierai d’écrire la recette pour le reste la semaine prochaine.

  6. 15/11/2014 / 5:35 pm

    Looks delicious. I might try a sneaky batch to go with my traditional mincemeat.

    • Mel
      22/11/2014 / 10:01 pm

      Let me know if you do, Charlotte!

  7. 18/11/2014 / 1:32 am

    I have no problem with raisins but I love the sound of your alternative too, cranberries are so yummy, they should be around all year!

    • Mel
      23/11/2014 / 1:01 am

      We always have a few packs of dried cranberries around here. Love them!

  8. Becky
    18/11/2014 / 12:35 pm

    Wow, delicious, Mel! Puts my sad little jar of Sainsbos mincemeat to shame- must have a go at making some of the proper stuff, and I love cranberries too so no excuses here! #tastytuesdays

    • Mel
      23/11/2014 / 4:50 pm

      The only reason I make my own is because I am not fond of raisins. It is quick and easy, really.

  9. pottymouthedmummy
    18/11/2014 / 12:47 pm

    Yum, I made mine at the weekend. I think cranberries are essential to mincemeat xx

    • Mel
      18/11/2014 / 2:14 pm

      They are, aren’t they?

    • Mel
      19/11/2014 / 11:49 pm

      If you try making it, let me know what you think, Steph! Thanks for the link to your fudge. It looks yummy!

    • Mel
      23/11/2014 / 4:38 pm

      It really is delicious, Kirsty!

  10. pollymixtures
    19/11/2014 / 7:02 am

    This looks incredible! #TastyTuesdays

    • Mel
      23/11/2014 / 5:01 pm


  11. 19/11/2014 / 11:46 am

    Your mincemeat looks delicious, I love cranberries. #festivefoodfridays

    • Mel
      23/11/2014 / 5:04 pm

      Thanks Sarah, me too!

  12. 19/11/2014 / 5:04 pm

    That’s got my mouth watering! And humming Christmas carols!

    • Mel
      23/11/2014 / 5:03 pm

      He he!

  13. 19/11/2014 / 10:54 pm

    Just gorgeous Mel, your photos are dreamy and you are making me feel all festive! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays

    • Mel
      19/11/2014 / 11:42 pm

      Always a pleasure my lovely!

  14. Mummy Tries
    24/11/2014 / 2:16 pm

    Wow I bet this tastes amazing hon, photos are fab as always #recipeoftheweek

    • Mel
      24/11/2014 / 3:41 pm

      It really tastes yummy. All gone now. I must make some more!

    • Mel
      03/12/2014 / 11:54 am

      You should; it is really easy and the smell that comes from the kitchen is amazing!

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