Though I'll give the basic recipe, please remember there is room for virtually endless variety. Every year I look forward to preparing this recipe with its uniquely delicious aroma. I also encourage you to peek into your cupboards and clear out packages that have just a little dried fruit, or perhaps even some preserves not favored for use on toast. I've found such additions to our mincemeat only seem to add to its flavor.


4   Apple(s)Good sized, a type you would use for pies, such as Cortland, peeled, pared, and cut into approximately one-half inch cubes
1   Pear(s)Peeled or not, pared, and cut into approximately one-half inch cubes
1   Orange(s)Grate its zest and then squeeze its juice, and save both
3 cups Apple CiderFresh and full-bodied, if possible
¼ cup White Sugar
½ cup Dark Brown SugarWell packed
4 tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 cup CranberriesWashed and drained
1 cup Raisins, Black
14 fluid oz. Cherries, TartFound in the canned fruit section of some supermarkets; substitute as needed, but these should be the tart variety; may be omitted
½ cup Orange, Candied Peel
1 tbsp Cinnamon, Ground
¾ tsp Clove, Ground
½ tsp Allspice
½ tsp Nutmeg, GratedFrom the fresh nut is preferred
¾ tsp Salt
1 pinch Black Pepper
¾ cup Raisins, Golden


1 Find a good large pot or sauce pan. A large pot is important because there is some splattering during the simmering process.
2 Simply put all the above ingredients in the pot, set it over a burner, uncovered, with just enough heat to allow a slow simmer.
3 Let this mixture simmer, making sure to stir gently about every ten minutes or so. I usually let this cook for at least two hours, two of the most deliciously fragrant hours of the year in our home. Toward the end of the cooking, the mincemeat should become quite thickened, with most of the liquid evaporated. As it gets to this point, you need to be alert so that the mixture does not burn on the bottom. Keep the heat low, and stir more frequently. When the mixture has an almost marmalade-like consistency, the cooking is finished. Then, just remove the pot from the burner and set it aside to allow the mincemeat to cool uncovered.
4 As far as additions, this year I'll be adding some dried rhubard, and dried stawberry because I found them not very toothsome as is. I suspect, however, that they'll make wonderful additions to our holiday mincemeat. That's what I mean by being creative, and resourceful as well.
5 This recipe makes plenty for both a good-sized Thanksgiving pie, and also our Christmas holiday filled cookies. I'm enjoying just thinking about your preparing this wonderful recipe, a very fun way to anticipate the coming holidays.