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No added sugar mincemeat

Posted on: 20th December 2015

Posted in: Children's Nutrition, Delicious Desserts, Main Meals, Snacks, Uncategorized

As you know from my previous post, I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes recently. I really wondered initially how I would cope with drastically cutting down my sugar intake (here I’m referring to added sugar rather than sugar naturally found in fruit and dairy products), especially with Christmas round the corner. I LOVE mince pies, especially the fresh warm ones my mother-in-law bakes on Christmas eve – so I started a quest to find a recipe for a no added sugar mincemeat that I could use for mine. When I looked at the nutritional information on the jar or shop-bought mincemeat I had in the cupboard, I was horrified to see that sugar (the white added stuff) was the first ingredient! This means there is more added sugar in there than dried fruit, which really surprised me. In fact the dried fruits themselves are pretty sweet, meaning you don’t even need to add any additional sweetness to the recipe (I did add a little of my erythritol sweetener but this is optional). I did some research online, and changed a few things around to come up with my recipe, which I am sharing with you. I wanted to make my mincemeat into little filo pastry twists, but unfortunately the shop didn’t have any filo at the time, so I used ready rolled puff pastry and made mincemeat parcels. Filo pastry is a lot lower in fat, so this would be my choice if I was making them again. I used about two-thirds of the batch in the recipe below  to make 24 mincemeat parcels. The mincemeat can be stored in at airtight container in the fridge for around two weeks.  I have kept the rest in the fridge and will ask my mother-in-law to use it with her fresh short crust pastry so I can have some ‘proper’ mince pies on Christmas morning.



  • 95g dried apricots (chopped – I used scissors for this)
  • 95g dates (chopped)
  • 95g raisins
  • 95g sultanas
  • 30g flaked almonds
  • 2 eating apples (peeled, cored and chopped)
  • Rind (grated) and flesh or a clementine
  • 125ml of spirit (usually brandy, although I actually used whiskey which worked fine)
  • 1 teaspoon of mixed spice
  • 2 teaspoons erythritol (or xylitol) sweetener (optional)


  • Weigh all the ingredients into a bowl


  • Add to a large saucepan and heat slowly until simmering point – simmer for 5-8 minutes until the apples are soft

IMG_20151218_115114 (1)

  • Remove from heat (optional: I pulsed the mincemeat a couple of times with a hand blender, as I wanted a slightly smoother consistency to spread over my pastry)
  • Use, or place in an airtight container (a jar is ideal) and store in the fridge for up to two weeks
  • I added two-thirds of my mincemeat to half a puff pastry sheet, and then folded the other half over, and sealed the edges


  • I then baked this at gas mark 4 (180 degrees C) for 30 minutes, until golden brown. I cut this into 24 pieces

IMG_20151218_123955       IMG_20151220_143838


Nutritional information

This batch of mincemeat contains a total of 330g carbohydrate, 19g protein, 1720kcal and 15g fat. This batch should make 30-40 mince pies / parcels depending on size. Based on it making 36 mince, each portion of mincemeat contains approx 10g carbohydrate and 47kcal. All sugar is naturally occurring in the dried fruit, apple and clementine. Adding this mincemeat to filo pastry, would result in each mince ‘pie’ containing approx 15g of carbohydrate (a similar amount to a slice of bread) – a perfect little treat.


  • Use 75g each of dried apricots, raisins, sultanas, dates and prunes (instead of 95g of the four dried fruits in this recipe)
  • Use juice of 1/2 a lemon, and the rind and juice of 1/2 an orange in place of the clementine
  • You can use a 1/4 of a teaspoon each of ground ginger, ground nutmeg, cinnamon, and all spice instead of the mixed spice

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