Traditional mincemeat always contained ground mince meat (it was accurately named!) It was meant to be served as part of a meal, bridging a savory dinner with the sweetness of dessert.
After cooking, mincemeat filling would be left to age for at least two weeks. It was considered ready to eat when the apples were sparkling, so clearly fermentation was part of the aging process.
I’m not sure about fermenting anything with meat in it, so this homemade mincemeat is entirely vegan and is made without any of the additional fats that are usually added to replace the meat. Comprised of dried fruit and nuts, it is a naturally sugar free treat.
Ways of Using Mincemeat
Homemade mincemeat is more than just a pie-filling, it a delicious sugar-free treat that will help you stave off the cold dark winter. Here’s a few different ways to enjoy mincemeat.
- For a traditional mincemeat pie, fill tart shells and bake for 15-20 min at 400F.
- If you have cultured your mincemeat, then serve a probiotic tart by precooking your tart shells and adding a few spoonfuls of the sparkling mincemeat right before serving.
- Mincemeat is delicious with cheddar cheese, so serve it on a cheese platter on in a sandwich.
- Mincemeat is a delicious all purpose topping. Serve it on ice cream, waffles or as a topping for a warm bowl of oatmeal.
This sugar-free and vegan mincemeat is made without any additional fats or sweetener. Perfect as a pie filling or served with cheese.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 25 tarts 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: British
- 1/2 lbs chopped dates (1 cup)
- 5 oz currents (3/4 cup)
- 10 oz raisins (1 3/4 cup)
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- 2 oz chopped walnuts (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 lbs of apple (1–2 apples, grated with peel on)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground clove
- 2 tbsp brandy (optional -for finishing)
- 4 tbsp cider vinegar (see notes)
- Mix all of the ingredients except for the cider vinegar and brandy in a large bowl.
- Stir in half of the cider vinegar.
- If you don’t plan on fermenting the mincemeat, then stir in the brandy. There is no need to add the cider vinegar, unless you want a tangy-sweet condiment.
- Store the mincemeat in the fridge, and allow the flavours to mingle for at least 2 days before serving. Use within 1 month.
- To ferment the mincemeat, mix in 2 tbsp of cultured cider vinegar (see notes for options).
- Pack the mincemeat into jars for fermenting. Be sure to press the fruit down so that all the air is squeezed out.
- Top each jar with the remaining cider vinegar to keep the mixture below the liquid.
- Ferment in a warm, dark location for 24 hours. Store in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks before using.
- The brandy can be stirred in before serving.
- To ferment the apple chutney, use an apple cider vinegar that contains a mother. A few examples include: Viva Naturals, Braggs and Dynamic Health (affiliate links.) Other yeast-based ferments like kombucha tea and the ginger bug (my personal favourite) can also be used to ferment mincemeat.
- Mincemeat makes a great gift. Tie a ribbon around a jar of fresh, fermented mincemeat, or use a water bath canner and process 1 cup jars for 30 minutes.
Keywords: Christmas, winter, holiday, tarts, pie, cookies, probiotic, sugar free, vegan, gluten free, meat free, lard free, fat free