Mincemeat is a mixture of dried fruits, spirits and spices. The most commonly used ingredients are raisins, currants, apples, citrus peels, brandy, nutmeg and sugar, though ingredients vary depending on the recipe.
Mincemeat originated in 15th century England as a method for preserving meat and animal fat for consumption during winter. Its name is derived from the finely chopped texture of the ingredients, which are usually baked into a pie. Though mincemeat pie was originally a savory dish intended to be eaten as a main course, the recipe evolved over time to become sweeter. Today, most mincemeat recipes do not actually contain meat at all, and the pie is eaten as a dessert. Mincemeat pie remains an extremely popular yuletide dessert in Western Europe and former colonies of England.