Too much mincemeat? 10 delicious recipes to make the most of it – or even reuse mince

Christmas is coming and, in a burst of uncharacteristic domesticity, you have decided to make your own mince pies. It’s a sensible impulse because the act of eating most shop-bought mince pies is roughly equivalent to force-feeding yourself dry pastry. However, you have mucked up the quantities and now you have buckets and buckets of leftover mincemeat. Whatever should you do with it all? Glad you asked. Here are 10 very good uses.

Mincemeat samosas

Obviously, your first instinct when presented with too much mincemeat is to simply make more mince pies. But this would be a tremendous error, partly because nobody likes mince pies as much as they say they do and partly because that mincemeat would be much better dolloped into a samosa. BBC Good Food’s recipe for mincemeat samosas is an active improvement on the traditional mince pie. The mincemeat is dolloped into thin filo, rather than smeared inside thick shortcrust, which seems like a much more sensible delivery system. Make these for guests this year and you’ll never go back.

Tangzhong mincemeat Chelsea buns by Patisserie Makes Perfect.
Tangzhong mincemeat Chelsea buns by Patisserie Makes Perfect. Photograph: Patisserie Makes Perfect

Tangzhong mincemeat Chelsea buns

If you break down mincemeat to its constituent parts – sugar, peel, suet – then you have something that quite closely resembles Chelsea bun filling. So the idea of a mincemeat Chelsea bun seems like something of a no-brainer. Patisserie Made Perfect’s recipe is absolutely wonderful, the softness of the bun perfectly complementing the festive filling.

Mincemeat and apple crumble

Nobody in their right mind would ever think to make a mincemeat crumble, because that would be far too punishing for even the most diehard Christmas-heads. But Easy Peasy Foodie has found a brilliant compromise: spooning the mincemeat into the filling of an apple crumble. Honestly, it’s genius. You don’t need much in the way of mincemeat – four spoonfuls should be enough – but its flavour blasts through the rest of the dish without completely overpowering the other elements.

Mincemeat sauce

What might overpower it, though, is the Epicurious recipe for mincemeat sauce. Heat a pile of mincemeat in a pan with sugar, orange and lemon juice, orange peel, half a cinnamon stick and brandy, wait for it to thicken and then stir in some whipping cream. It sounds heavy-going, and it is, so you definitely shouldn’t use it for a dish that already contains mincemeat. But over a bowl of frozen yoghurt? Delightful.

Claire Ptak’s mince pie blondies.
Claire Ptak’s mince pie blondies. Photograph: Kristin Perers/The Guardian

Mince pie blondies

Let’s pause and imagine a world in which you make too many mince pies and need to repurpose the whole thing. In this instance, I have two recipes that call for mincemeat and pastry. The first is for Claire Ptak’s mince pie blondies; not only is the blondie itself lightly mince pie-ish, requiring dried fruit, orange zest and brandy, but the finishing touch involves smashing up a load of mince pies and sprinkling the results over the top, like a crumble crust.

My Fusser Eater’s mince pie rocky road.
My Fusser Eater’s mince pie rocky road. Photograph: My Fussy Eater

Mince pie rocky road

My second suggestion for repurposing whole mince pies is mince pie rocky road from My Fussy Eater, which is ultimately a regular rocky road that – along with shortbread, Maltesers, glacé cherries and marshmallows – features bashed-up mince pies. Mince pies are a hard sell in my house, so the thought of hiding them away in something chocolatey, as one might hide vegetables in a spaghetti bolognese, is tremendously appealing.

Banana and mincemeat buns

But back to mincemeat proper. Spend any time online and you will be overwhelmed with recipes for mincemeat cakes. There are loaf tin cakes, bundts, muffins and sponges. But for the sake of simplicity, I am going to highlight Tin and Thyme’s recipe for leftover mincemeat buns with optional banana. Now, the thought of eating banana cake in 2021 might bring about horrible lockdown flashbacks, but the (overripe) bananas are hardly noticeable here. They work to keep the cake moist, while staying in the background to let the mincemeat hog the limelight. Lovely.

Mincemeat flapjack

Similarly, Food on the Table’s recipe for mincemeat flapjack is an enduringly sensible place for leftovers. There isn’t much to say about them other than that they are flapjacks, taste like mincemeat and are the closest you will ever come to eating a mince pie for breakfast.

Mincemeat ice-cream, by Gluten Free Alchemist.
Mincemeat ice-cream, by Gluten Free Alchemist. Photograph: Gluten Free Alchemist

Mincemeat ice-cream

We’ll end with a couple of blockbusters. Gluten Free Alchemist’s recipe for mincemeat ice-cream has two huge things going for it: first, it’s a no-churn ice-cream, so you don’t need to burden yourself with expensive specialist equipment. Second, it looks even more beautiful than it tastes. We have a coeliac in our family and, given the dismal range of gluten-free mince pies on offer, this is just screaming to be made for her this year.

Mincemeat sorbet

Claude Bosi’s variation on the blockbuster theme is his mincemeat sorbet. Bosi blends leftover mincemeat, then mixes it with mulled wine and freezes it, stirring every half-hour. It is, if there can ever be such a thing, a light and refreshing way to enjoy mincemeat. Merry Christmas, everyone.

Read More: Too much mincemeat? 10 delicious recipes to make the most of it – or even reuse mince

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