• 1 lb. (½ k.) raisins
  • ¼ lb. (120 g.) sultanas
  • ½ lb. (240 g.) dark chunky marmalade
  • ½ lb. (240 g.) suet
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 large glass brandy
  • ½ lb. (240 g.) currants
  • ½ lb. (120 g.) candied peel
  • ½ lb. (240 g.) demerara sugar
  • 1 lb. (½ k.) good cooking apples
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • a good pinch ground ginger


Wash all the dried fruit. Grate the rind of the lemon. Peel, core and slice the apples. Put all the dry ingredients through the mincer. When minced, stir well, add lemon juice and brandy, stir again, fill into jars and tie down so they are airtight. Keep in a dry cool place.

All mincemeat should be prepared at least a fortnight before Christmas, and to make it in November is better still. Mincemeat keeps almost indefinitely, and some people prefer it when it has been kept from the year before. If it is last year’s, it may be a little dry and crumbly-looking. In this case turn it into a bowl and mix it with a little brandy, which will restore the consistency and improve the flavour.

For 24 mince pies, 1 lb. (½ k.) puff pastry or lb. (¾ k.) short or rough puff will be needed. Roll out very thin; cut rounds at least ½ inch (1 cm.) larger in diameter than your patty pans and lids exactly their size. Use glasses if your cutters are not of the right sizes. Moisten the pastry edges with milk after you have filled the lower cases, and press on the lids, crimping the upper and lower edges well together. Brush each one over with beaten egg and bake at 400° F., gas mark 6, for 8–10 minutes.