Cookbook:Mincemeat Tart

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | United Kingdom

Mincemeat is a spiced fruit preserve that does not in fact contain meat, although it may contain animal suet. The name is a throwback to Middle English from when "meat" was a word for all food, or to Victorian and earlier recipes that did combine minced lamb or beef with the spiced, preserved fruits.

Mincemeat Tarts are large (8 inch (20cm) diameter or more) open pastry tarts, sometimes with a lattice pastry top, and occasionally also containing baked or stewed apple. The smaller pastry topped tarts traditionally served at Christmas are known as Mince Pies.

Traditional British Mince Pies are made using shortcrust pastry.



For 4½ pints (2.25 liters):




  1. Wash and dry currants. Set aside.
  2. Put citron, orange peel, lemon rind, raisins, apples, and suet through a meat grinder using the course grinder blade.
  3. Mix in the currants, brandy, and spices.
  4. Store in a tightly covered plastic container in the refrigerator (do not freeze) for up to one year.


  1. Let the pastry warm slightly to almost room temperature. Place on a floured cutting board and roll it out as necessary.
  2. Use a doughnut cutter with the center removed or a 2½ inch round cookie cutter to cut out tart shells. Gently press into 1½ inch (4 cm) tart pans.
  3. Fill shells with mincemeat and top with a 1 inch (2.5 cm) round piece of pastry cut with the doughnut hole cutter. For added decoration, cut or press a design into the 1 inch pastry round before placing in the center of the filled tart.
  4. Lightly brush the pastry lids with milk, or a mixture of milk and beaten egg.
  5. Bake at 425 °F (220 °C) for approximately 20 mins or until pastry is lightly browned at the edges.
  6. Allow to cool on a wire rack, and dust with icing sugar.

Notes, tips, and variationsEdit

  • If you don't want to make your own pastry, store-bought pie crust will work well.
  • Candied orange peel and citron can be found in most markets around Thanksgiving.
  • Suet is pure beef fat and can be obtained from a butcher (they will grind it on request.) Vegetarians can substitute a solid vegetable fat such as Pura Vegetable Suet.
  • People wanting a more alcoholic kick to their Mince Pie may also want to inject them with a little extra Brandy.