Monday, May 20, 2024

A No-Meat Mincemeat Recipe Versatile Beyond Pies, Tarts, and Cookies

As the legendary B. Smith has shown, mincemeat can (and should!) be incorporated into much more than just pies and tarts. While excellent in B. Smith’s mincemeat cookie recipe, as well as the status quo pie, pancakes and oatmeal would gladly welcome this well-seasoned mixture of tart apple and fresh pear doused with maple syrup, spices, and merriments.

My approach to the recipe, which I describe in more detail in this personal essay, is a dose of Christmas nostalgia. By cooking the mince rather than jarring it, you’ll get to take in delicious whiffs that are something like a holiday bonus. For topping on ice cream, yogurt, or peanut butter toast, warm before serving. Bring to room temperature before adding to cookie dough.

Meat-Free Mincemeat Recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 14 to 17 minutes plus 24 hours resting
Yield: Makes about 3 cups


2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, diced
1 medium Bartlett pear, peeled, cored, diced
⅓ cup (50 grams) dried unsweetened cranberries
⅓ cup (55 grams) dried dates, pitted, chopped
¼ cup (45 grams) dried tart cherries, chopped
¼ cup (43 grams) golden raisins
¼ cup (37 grams) currants
¼ cup (40 grams) candied orange slices, chopped
½ inch fresh ginger, finely grated
1 medium lemon, zested and juiced
¼ cup (2 fl oz) maple syrup
¼ cup (2 fl oz) brandy
2 tablespoons sweet vermouth or sweet fortified wine like madeira
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (53 grams) brown sugar, packed
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon Morton kosher salt
¼ cup unsalted butter

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Step 1: In a large bowl, combine fruit, lemon zest, lemon juice, ginger, maple syrup, brandy, vermouth, vanilla extract, sugar, spices, and salt, stir well. Set aside.

Step 2: In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat.

Step 3: Add the fruit mixture and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently until the liquid thickens slightly, 14 to 17 minutes.

Step 4: Remove from heat, let cool.

Step 5: Transfer mixture to an airtight container, refrigerate for 24 hours before use.

Step 6: The mincemeat can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Related: Mincemeat has a storied place on Black American holiday tables. It took losing my dad to make it to mine. >>

Angela Burke is a freelance food writer based in Chicago.
Dina Ávila is a photographer in Portland, Oregon.
Recipe tested by Ivy Manning

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