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Chestnut Christmas Mincemeat

Chestnut Christmas Mincemeat

“My mincemeat is inspired by some of the ingredients from the famous 13 Christmas desserts of Provence and made exotic by the addition of balsamic vinegar syrup in place of Brandy. Eating a little of each ingredient is said to give you good fortune and I’ve mixed them all up so you can’t help but have a little luck! Brandy is the traditional soak for mince pies but the balsamic also makes a cosy partner that brings the mincemeat alight in terms of taste if not literally! If you are using the mincemeat within a couple of weeks, there is no need to cook it before you cook your pies, just mix all of the ingredients together and store in the fridge. To save time you can roughly chop the chestnuts, figs, dates and prunes in the food processor.”

By Merchant Gourmet Cook, Alex Mackay

  • Serves 8

  • 1 hour

  • 1 pan

  • Proficient

Whole Chestnuts


  • 180g Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts, chopped to the size of the cranberries
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 120g dried figs, tips trimmed then chopped to the size of the cranberries
  • 100g dates, chopped to the size of the cranberries
  • 100g prunes, chopped to the size of the cranberries
  • 100g suet, or vegetable suet, depending on your preference/dietary requirements
  • 100g candied peel
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Grated zest and juice of 3 large tangerines or oranges
  • 150g dark brown sugar
  • 1 large Bramley apple, unpeeled, coarsely grated
  • 5 tablespoons Merchant Gourmet Vinegar Glaze or brandy or rum


Makes approximately 1.2kg, enough to fill about 80, 7cm mince pies

Prep ahead The cooked mincemeat will keep almost indefinitely, so feel free to double the recipe or just scale the recipe up to use all of the dried fruit from whichever your size your packets come in. The uncooked mincemeat will keep for at least a couple of weeks

1.Preheat your oven to 120C/Fan 100C/Gas 1/2

2.Get an oven proof bowl or baking dish with raised sides. Add all of the mincemeat ingredients. Mix them together. (If you are doing the uncooked version, just mix and put in the fridge) Cover with foil. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 2 hours

3.If you are putting the mincemeat in jars, do so while it is hot, you will then have a thin layer of suet that rises to the top, which will effectively seal the mincemeat inside the jars

4.If you are using the mincemeat in the near future just leave it to cool in the baking dish, give it a good stir, then cover it with clingfilm and put in the fridge

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