Cranberry ‘Mincemeat’

  • Cranberries – in Polish – żurawiny – grew in the area around where my father used to live – the part in the North East that was Poland before WW2.
  • Lingonberries – in Polish  – borȯwki – its smaller rounder ‘cousin’ also grew there.
  • My aunties who now live in Białystok had many memories of going out to pick baskets of these fruits.
  • In fact it is one of these aunts that gave me the recipe for Cranberries & Pears Sauce, which I posted some time ago.
  • The mincemeat’ here is a reference to the old English fruit & spice mixture, popular at Christmas time, that decades ago was made with meat, often mutton.
  • Nowadays in England the only meat reference is the fact that most of this fruit is mixed with beef suet.
  • There is no suet or any other fat in this recipe.
  • This with cranberries is a fresher tasting version but it will only keep in the refrigerator for around a month.
  • If you are worried about this keeping problem then just make it with half these quantities and use quickly


  • 600g fresh cranberries
  • Grated zest of 2 oranges or satsumas
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 150g currants
  • 150g raisins or sultanas
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 125ml sherry


  • Have prepared 4 – 5 sterilised jar jars.
  • Put the cranberries, sugar, zest and juice into a saucepan and heat till the fruit starts ‘popping’.
  • Add the dried fruit and spices and continue heating and stirring for around 5 minutes.
  • Add the sherry and continue heating and stirring for another 5-10 minutes until you have a thick liquid free mixture.
  • Leave to go cold and pot up into cold sterilised jars.
  • Keep in the fridge and use within a month.

  • Option – not tested – some dried cranberries to replace some of the currants or raisins.

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I love cooking and baking. I love trying out new recipes and currently am trying out many old favourites from my Polish cookbooks and family recipes. I am trying out many variations, often to make them easier but still delicious. I collect glass cake stands and china tableware, mainly tea plates, jugs and serving dishes, many of which I use on a daily basis. They are an eclectic mixture from the 20th & 21st century.

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