A quick vegetarian no-suet mincemeat recipe with a much shorter mature time compared with traditional mincemeat. It also makes a fabulous filling for gluten free mince pie macarons – without the pie.
Feeling Festive 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. Seeing prompts on social media reminded me about Stir-up Sunday. What is it? Stir-up Sunday takes place the last Sunday before Advent. Traditionally, it’s the day that good British home cooks get stirring the Christmas pudding and top it up with more Brandy. The whole family gets to stir it around, making a wish while doing so.
At home in France, however, Antoine isn’t a fan of Christmas pudding. So, instead, I get around this catastrophe of keeping a little bit of my Britishness by stirring up some homemade mincemeat and finding ways to French it up a bit.
No-Suet Vegetarian Mincemeat Recipe
Whilst Christmas pudding needs time to mature before Christmas, the bonus is that this mincemeat doesn’t need as long to mature. It only requires a few days and can keep for up to a year – although I haven’t even tried it as it disappears pretty quickly! Moreover, as traditional mincemeat uses beef suet, I prefer making this vegetarian version, using butter instead. So it has all the traditional ingredients of mincemeat without the suet.
My daughters are absolutely nuts about mincemeat and mince pies – especially when homemade with this mincemeat. So we can make pies with more filling rather than more pie dough, so they are lighter than store-bought mince pies. It’s also great for filling these deliciously quick and easy Mincemeat Pinwheels.
Mincemeat Macarons (Vegetarian & Gluten-Free)
Now that we have homemade British-style mincemeat, it’s time to French them up a bit. Consequently, we said Bonjour to mincemeat macarons! Make a batch of dark coloured macarons (adding 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon in 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. Moreover, it’s also like a light gluten free Christmas pudding! It’s festive. It’s fruity. It’s spiced. Healthy too with apples, pecan or walnuts.
When you follow the mincemeat macaron filling recipe below, there are two versions:
- Either blitz the filling to make a smooth paste, making it easy to pipe out using a piping bag.
- Alternatively, just spoon it on (like in the photo). Don’t forget, however, to let your mince pie macarons mature patiently in the fridge for at least 24 hours. What? The macarons are patient or are you?
As this uses butter instead of suet, this is suitable for vegetarians and, like all macaron recipes in my books, are gluten free.
Quick No-Suet Mincemeat - Macaron Filling
- 275 g (10oz) Apples (about 2-3) peeled, cored and grated (I used Granny Smith)
- 200 g (7oz) Golden sultanas
- 200 g (7oz) Cranberries
- 100 g (3.5oz) Raisins
- 100 g (3.5oz) Currants
- 100 g (3.5oz) Dates chopped
- 50 g (2oz) Slivered almonds broken
- 100 g (3.5oz) candied orange peel
- 25 g (1oz) pecan nuts (or walnuts) chopped finely
- 200 g (7oz) soft dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp mixed spice pain d'épices
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 orange (grated zest and juice)
- 100 g (3.5oz) butter unsalted
- 10 tbsp Cognac Brandy, apple or orange juice
- Throw all the ingredients and 8 tbsp of the Brandy (or apple juice) in a heavy-based pot with a lid and cook on a low-medium heat for about an hour.
- Allow to cool, stir in another 2 tbsp of Brandy, then fill sterilised jars with the mixture
- For filling macarons, 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.
This post was originally published December 1st 2016 but is now republished to include new images and updated text.