Mince pies








Mincemeat (makes lots so store in sterilised jars for the whole season!): 

  • 250g grated Bramley apple (around one fruit)

  • 25g each of walnuts and almonds, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp mixed spice

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (or more if you love it!)

  • Good grating of fresh nutmeg

  • 3 slugs of Brandy or Amaretto

  • 120g of suet (beef suet or in health shops you'll find vegetable suets which use sustainable palm oil or no palm oil at all)

  • 150g raisins, 100g sultanas, 100g currants, 100g currants, 100g dried cranberries, 50g chopped dried apricots

  • 150g candied peel, finely chopped

  • 150g soft brown sugar

  • Juice and zest of one lemon

  • Juice and zest of 3 clementines

  • Packet of filo pastry

  • Chestnut purée or marzipan



  • Add all of the ingredients, except the booze, to a big bowl and, taking advice from the tremendous Delia Smith, leave to mingle for at least 12 hours. Cover and leave in a cool spot. It will smell SO MUCH like Christmas. Don't worry if you don't have time. 

  • Then tip the ingredients into a big saucepan and warm over a medium heat. Stir. Lots. 

  • Once the sugar and the suet have begun to melt, reduce to heat to extremely low and cover. Leave for around 2 hours but do keep an eye on it so it doesn't catch and stir occasionally. Alternatively, pop into an oven-proof covered dish and leave in the oven at around 110-120 degrees for up to 3 hours.

  • Remove from the heat and leave to cool. 

  • Once cool, chuck in the booze and stir through thoroughly. 

  • Spoon into your sterilised jars, seal with lids and store, or use straight away. 

  • To make the pies, cut a strip of filo and fold to make a pocket, as per the pictures. 

  • Spoon in a dollop of chestnut purée or marzipan, a dollop of mincemeat and then fold over the remaining flap to make a triangular samosa shape. Use skimmed milk to seal it.

  • Glaze with more skimmed milk and bake at 180 degrees fan for around 12-15 minutes.