A quick vegetarian no-suet mincemeat recipe with a much shorter mature time compared with traditional mincemeat. It also serves as a delicious filling for gluten-free mince pie macarons.
Embracing the Festive Spirit on Stir-Up Sunday
As Stir-up Sunday falls upon us at the end of November, it's a time to start thinking about being festive in the kitchen.
So what is Stir-up Sunday? It is the last Sunday before Advent, traditionally dedicated to making and stirring the Christmas pudding while making a wish.
However, this mincemeat recipe can be made even on the Sunday before Christmas without the need for extensive maturation.
At home in France, my Frenchman, Antoine is not a fan of British Christmas pudding, but he absolutely loves sticky toffee pudding with apple. To embrace a touch of British tradition, I make homemade mincemeat and use it as a French macaron filling.
No-Suet Vegetarian Mincemeat Recipe
Unlike Christmas pudding, which requires a longer maturation period, this mincemeat recipe needs only a few days and can be stored for up to a year (although it usually disappears quickly!). While traditional mincemeat contains beef suet, this vegetarian version uses butter as a perfect substitute, maintaining all the traditional flavours without the suet.
Why is it Called Mincemeat When there's no Meat in it?
Centuries ago, mince pies in Britain were savoury and actually included meat, ranging from mutton to beef. Over time, the meat disappeared, and the pies became sweeter, but the beef suet remained. Read more on mince pies' fascinating history.
To make mincemeat, all the ingredients are finely minced or chopped. However, in this recipe, there is no suet, so it's suitable for vegetarians.
Is there Alcohol in Mincemeat?
Typically, a generous splash of Cognac is added to the mincemeat, and I often enjoy the addition of Grand Marnier for its delightful orange flavour. However, if you want to avoid alcohol, you can use apple or orange juice instead.
Healthier than Store-Bought
My daughters adore mincemeat and mince pies, especially when homemade, as we can control the sugar quantity and quality of ingredients. To make the best homemade mince pies, follow this shortcrust pastry (pâte sucrée) recipe and press into 12 buttered muffin moulds.
Additionally, the mincemeat is perfect for creating deliciously quick and easy Mincemeat Pinwheels.
No-Suet Mincemeat Macarons (Vegetarian & Gluten-Free)
Now that we have our homemade British-style mincemeat, let's give it a French twist with mincemeat macarons!
Create a batch of dark coloured macarons, adding ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon to the shells, and fill them with this vegetarian mincemeat. If you close your eyes, you'll discover the taste is just like a mince pie without the pastry.
As a Macaron Filling
When using the mincemeat filling for macarons, you have two options. Either blend the filling into a smooth paste for easy piping, or simply spoon it onto the macarons as shown in the photo.
Regardless of your choice, remember to let your mince pie macarons patiently mature in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Are the macarons patient, or are you?
This recipe, using butter instead of suet, is suitable for vegetarians and, like all macaron recipes in my books, is gluten free.
What Can I Make with No-Suet Mincemeat?
Besides using it as a macaron filling, this no-suet mincemeat offers countless other possibilities. It is perfect for making your own mince pies. Spoon over creamy French rice pudding or use as a base in this almond tart (le Saint-Germain).
Alternatively, top on Palets Bretons (French butter biscuits) for a French style mince pie.
Quick No-Suet Mincemeat
- 275 g (10oz) Apples peeled, cored and finely chopped (2 Granny Smith)
- 200 g (7oz/ 1¼ cups) Golden sultanas
- 200 g (7oz) Cranberries
- 100 g (3.5oz/ ⅔ cup) Raisins
- 100 g (3.5oz) Currants
- 100 g (3.5oz) Dates chopped
- 50 g (2oz/ scant ½ cup) Slivered almonds broken
- 100 g (3.5oz) candied orange peel
- 25 g (1oz/ 2 tbsp) pecan nuts (or walnuts) broken into fine bits
- 200 g (7oz / 1¼ cups) soft dark brown sugar (or unrefined cane sugar)
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice pain d'épices
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 orange (grated zest and juice) unwaxed/organic
- 100 g (3.5oz/scant ½ cup) butter unsalted
- 150 ml (10 tbsp) Cognac or Brandy or apple/orange juice without alcohol
- Throw all the ingredients and stir in 120ml/8 tablespoon of the Brandy (or apple/orange juice) in a heavy-based pot with a lid. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes then reduce to low for about an hour.
- Allow to cool, stir in the other 2 tablespoon of Brandy, then fill sterilised jars with the mixture.
- For filling macarons, or pinwheels, blitz the mixture in a food processor (or hand blender) until a smooth paste. Leave to cool then fill your macaron shells with the mincemeat paste and sandwich them together. Leave to mature in a container in the fridge for 24 hours, to let the macaron magic do its work.
To sterilise jam jars, see details in this fig jam recipe. Storage: As long as this mincemeat is kept in sealed, sterilised jars, it can keep for a year in a cool, dry place. Once opened, keep refrigerated. Measures: Please note that all my recipes are best made using digital kitchen scales in precise metric grams. Both ounces (and cups) are given as an approximate guide. Nutrition: 408 calories per large 140g portion (a third of a pot); 3g protein; 68g carbohydrates; 11g lipids; Glycemic Index: 42.
This post was originally published December 1st 2016 but is now republished to include new images and updated text.