Traditional mincemeat always contained ground meat (it was accurately named!) It was meant to be served as part of a meal, bridging a savoury dinner with the sweetness of dessert.
After cooking, it was left to age for at least two weeks and was considered ready to eat when the apples were sparkling. So clearly fermentation was part of the ageing process!
I’m not sure about fermenting anything with meat in it. This version is entirely vegan and is made without any of the additional fats that are usually added to replace the meat in modern mincemeat. Comprised of dried fruit and nuts, it is also a naturally sugar-free treat.
Ways of Serving 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 are a few ways to enjoy it.
- For a traditional pie, fill tart shells and bake for 15-20 min at 400F.
- If you have fermented your mincemeat, then make a probiotic tart by precooking your tart shells and adding a few spoonfuls right before serving.
- It is delicious with cheddar cheese, so serve it on a cheese platter in a seasonally-inspired sandwich.
- This fruit and nut mixture 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
- Diet: Vegan
- 1/2 lbs chopped dates (1 cup)
- 5 oz currents (3/4 cup)
- 10 oz raisins (1 3/4 cup)
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- 2 oz chopped walnuts (1/2 cup)
- 1/2 lbs of apple (1–2 apples, grated with the peel on)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
Options for finishing (choose one option)
- 4 tbsp brandy
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 6 tbsp culture (see notes)
- Mix all of the ingredients except for the finishing options in a large bowl.
- For a quick mincemeat, stir in the brandy and/or lemon juice. Store the mincemeat in the fridge, and allow the flavours to blend for at least 2 days before serving. Use within 1 month.
- To ferment the mincemeat, mix in 4 tbsp of a cultured liquid (see notes for recommended options).
- Pack the mincemeat into jars for fermenting. Be sure to press the fruit down so that all the air is squeezed out.
- Divide the remaining 2 tbsp of culture between the jars to keep the mixture below the liquid.
- Ferment in a dark location for 24 hours. Store in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks before using.
- If you would like to add a bit of alcohol, stir in some brandy right before serving.
- I usually ferment mincemeat with cultured apple cider vinegar. There are a number of brands that contain live cultures (affiliate link). Just look for brands that are unpasteurized or contain a mother. Mincemeat can also be fermented with kombucha tea or ginger bug.
- Mincemeat makes a great gift. Tie a ribbon around a jar of fresh 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