Cranberry Mincemeat: Recipe Advent Calendar Redux

I posted this recipe last year, but it’s so good, I figured it needed a repost for this year’s Recipe Advent Calendar. I mean, I am making this juicy, ruby delight again this year, so why not?

Cranberry Mincemeat

  • 130ml Ruby port
  • 200g Dark soft brown sugar
  • 600g Cranberries
  • 100g Dried cranberries
  • 125g Dried mixed fruit and peel
  • 1/4 tsp Ground cloves
  • 2tsp Ground ginger
  • 2tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1 Clementine or 6tsp orange juice
  • 6 tbsp Honey
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Almond extract
  • 50ml brandy
  • Optional: 3 drops Orange extract

Over a low heat, add the sugar and port to your pan and stir gently until the sugar dissolves.

Add the cranberries and coat in the port syrup, stirring as needed until the berries begin to pop. If you are using frozen fruit straight from the freezer, allow a few minutes extra for the fruit to defrost.

Add the spices and dried fruit to the mix and stir in.

If you are using the orange juice, just add and mix it in. If you use a clementine, squeeze the juice into the pan and add the juiced halves of the fruit to the mixture. Stir to combine.

Let the mixture simmer over a low heat for 15-20 minutes until nearly all the berries are popped and the mixture is a deep, dark sultry red. Check it frequently in this time to make sure it doesn’t stick.

Take the pan off the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 15-20 minutes. It will become quite jellied.

Beat the honey, extracts and brandy vigorously into the mix until it becomes runnier and pot up, if storing, or pour into a storage bowl if you are going to use it within two weeks, and have fridge space. This recipe makes one good litre of Mincemeat- I filled a Kilner jar, with one pie’s worth left over.

If you are going to give the mincemeat as a gift, or store in jars for more than a month or so, add a splash of brandy to the top of the jar to help keep if preserved.


Cranberry and Port mincemeat blends have become very popular in recent years, to the point where pre made mixes have become available in some supermarkets. I think this is wonderful, and great help for those who simply don’t have time to make their own but still want to enjoy festive goodies. I think, however, the foodie community can take the idea further. Swap out liquors for your favourites, providing they have a similar consistency (I don’t recommend cream liqueurs for example, but who knows, you could make it work!). Play with the spices- why not try a fruit pink pepper, or fragrant cardamom? Be brave and try new fruit combinations.

And of course, share, dears. I do so like to chat cooking.



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