AIP,  Dessert,  Fruit,  Holiday,  Paleo,  Plant-based,  Recipes,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Winter

Merry Mincemeat | Sweetly Spiced + Suet-Free

Mincemeat, or fruit mince, is a true wonder – this spicy, rum-soaked, jammy fruit compote is the epitome of Christmas treats! Bursting with deeply luscious flavours and sweet spiciness, mince tarts have a long history, and were not always quite the sweet treat. Traditionally made with ground meats, they have morphed over the centuries into the tarts you may be familiar with – all fruit, booze, and flaky pastry goodness. Many recipes continue to use suet, which is a hard fat from beef or mutton, quite like pork lard. This Merry Mincemeat recipe is suet-free, as suet is a little harder to come by here in Canada, and to make it vegan-friendly if that’s your thing.

To me, nothing could be more cozy on a cold, snowy night than a mincemeat tart and some tea, or perhaps a festive cup of eggnog, by the light of the fireplace. Here is my humble take on the utter gloriousness that is mincemeat. I have also linked below to some fantastic pastry recipes, as my pastry game just isn’t quite internet worthy…

Merry Mincemeat with Winter Gingerbread Cookies
Recipe Notes

This recipe can be made teetotaler-friendly by using apple cider instead of spiced rum or brandy. Even water would do just fine! I suggest increasing your spices to ensure you get that dark and warming spicy end result.

Really, any mixture of fruit will do! This is the combination I have liked the best over the years. Dark raisins are my favourite for that molasses-y flavour, but any variety of raisin will do. Try more fresh fruit like plums, cranberries, extra apple or pear, pomegranate arils, etc. What combinations do you like best?

Can be made AIP-friendly – try using more fresh fruits as indicated above, replace nutmeg with mace or increase the ginger, use apple cider instead of rum or brandy, use coconut oil instead of butter, and utilize an AIP pastry recipe.

If you tolerate butter, it pairs beautifully with the spiced rum and can be substituted for the coconut oil if desired.

The coconut oil will harden when stored in the fridge – to serve alone, heat in a saucepan until glossy again; to serve as tarts, et al, remove from the fridge about an hour before you plan to eat.

Merry Mincemeat

Merry Mincemeat

Recipe by Emily HardingCourse: AIP, Dessert, Fruit, Holiday, Paleo, Plant-based, Recipes, Snacks, Vegan, Winter


Total time



Makes approx 4 cups mince.


  • 1 large apple, grated or finely chopped

  • 1 pear, finely chopped

  • 2 c. Thompson raisins

  • 1 c. currants or dried cranberries

  • 1/2 c. candied lemon and/or orange peel

  • 1/2 c. marmalade or other chopped fruit – apricots, figs, plums, etc.

  • 1/3 c. coconut oil (or butter)

  • zest and juice of 1 orange

  • 1 c. spiced rum or brandy (or apple cider for alcohol-free)

  • 1 tsp. cinnamon (add more spices if not using rum!)

  • 1/2 tsp each ginger, nutmeg, cloves

  • pinch salt


  • Simmer all ingredients together in a large pot over medium-low heat, stirring regularly to avoid sticking or burning.
  • In 15-20 minutes, mixture should be getting thick and syrupy. Add a little additional liquid if sticking. Once nice and jammy, turn off the heat and allow to cool.
  • Once cool, store in the fridge in an airtight container until ready to use.
  • Use Merry Mincemeat with your favourite pastry recipe to make tarts, hand pies, or a puff pastry roll. Serve atop some Winter Gingerbread Cookies. Mincemeat also goes nicely alongside a charcuterie spread of meats, cheeses and tangy pickle.

Recipe Notes

    Merry Mincemeat with Winter Gingerbread Cookies, surrounded by pine and cedar bits
    Some wonderful pastry recipes to try:

    Perfect Pie Crust by The Paleo Mom
    AIP Pie Crust by Wendi’s AIP Kitchen
    Puff Pastry by Jamie Oliver
    Flaky Vegan Pie Crust by The Spruce Eats

    More holiday recipes to enjoy from New Moon Holistic:

    Winter Gingerbread Cookies
    Rosemary + Lavender Hot Cocoa
    Savoury Prosciutto Date Cups

    One Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *