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Father Christmas kissing elderly lady


Having been asked on several occasions what "mincemeat" is I thought the following recipe may be useful.



These amounts will make 2.5 kg. (5 1/2 lb)


1.6 kg. (3 1/2 lb) dried mixed fruit


Put the dried fruits, apples and almonds in a large bowl.  Add the sugar, suet, spices, lemon, orange rinds and juice and brandy or sherry.  Mix together thoroughly.

Cover the mincemeat and leave to stand for 2 days.  Stir well, put into jars and cover.  Allow at least 2 weeks to mature before using.

Note:  For mincemeat that will keep well use a firm, hard type of cooking apple.  Juicy apples may make the mixture too moist.


225 g (8oz) cooking apples, peeled, cored and grated
100 g (4oz) chopped blanched almonds
450 g (1 lb) dark soft brown sugar
175 g (6 oz) shredded beef suet
5 ml. (1 tsp.) grated nutmeg
5 ml. (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
  grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  grated rind a juice of 1 orange
300 ml. (1/2 pint) brandy or sherry


Having made the mincemeat for the mince pies, then you may like to try a Christmas Pudding.



These amounts will make 2 puddings serving
approximately 6 people each.


113 g (4 oz) plain flour  

Sift flour, spice and nutmeg into large bowl.  Add breadcrumbs, suet, sugar, raisins, sultanas, peel, finely chopped walnuts or almonds and grated orange peel.

Toss well together.

Combine with beaten egg, brandy or sherry, almond essence and milk.   Mix well.

Leave overnight in a cool place.

Divide between two buttered 2-pint basins.

Cover securely with buttered greaseproof paper or aluminium foil.

Steam steadily for 6 hours replenishing water as it boils away. This can be steamed by placing in a steamer over boiling water or by placing bowl in boiling water ensuring the water does not reach top of the basin. It is most important to keep a close eye on the water levels during cooking.

Cool for 15 minutes in basins, turn out and leave until completely cold.  Wrap in aluminium foil and store in cold dry cupboard until needed. Puddings may be stored in the basins in which they were cooked if preferred.

To serve, unwrap pudding return to buttered basin, cover and steam for a further two hours.  Turn out on to a warm dish and serve with sweet sauce, brandy/whisky butter or cream.


2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) mixed spice
1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) grated nutmeg
227 g (8 oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
284 g (10 oz) finely shredded suet
(beef preferably)
227 g (8 oz) soft brown sugar
340 g (12 oz) seedless raisins
340 g (12 oz) seedless sultanas
57 g (2 oz) mixed chopped peel
57 g (2 oz) shelled walnut halves or blanched almonds finely chopped
  peel of 1 small orange - finely grated
4 large eggs - beaten
1/2 wine glass brandy or dry sherry
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp.) almond essence
142 ml (1/4 pint) milk




What is a Christmas Pudding without Spiced Brandy Butter?


Spiced Brandy Butter



227 g (8 oz) unsalted butter

Cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is pale yellow.  Add the cinnamon and brandy and blend thoroughly.

Chill the brandy butter in the refrigerator and serve with mincepies or Christmas pudding.

Brandy butter may be frozen for 4 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator.


227 g (8 oz) caster sugar
5 ml. (1 tsp.) ground cinnamon
45-60 ml (3-4 tbls.) brandy


Christmas Biscuits

from Camilla at 



  170g plain flour
60g cold butter, cut into small pieces
85g brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar cane syrup, or golden syrup
2 tablespoons milk
1 egg yolk
1/5 teaspoon powdered ginger
teaspoon cinnamon
teaspoon mixed spice


Preparation Preheat oven to 350F (180C).

Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon and spices together in a large bowl.

Add the butter and rub in thoroughly with fingers until mixture has consistency of breadcrumbs. Add brown sugar.

In another bowl, mix syrup, milk and egg yolk and add to mixture. Stir until you have a smooth paste.

On a floured work surface, knead pastry for a few minutes, then roll out to a thickness of 5mm and cut into shapes with a Christmas biscuit-cutter.

Place on a baking tray and chill for 10 minutes.

Bake at a medium heat for 12 minutes or until biscuits are golden.

Leave to cool and place briefly under grill.

Add the icing sugar little by little to the egg white, in a small bowl, add food colouring.

Ice biscuits with a piping bag.



There are many more pages on site with a Christmas theme such as -

Christmas tree decorations from across the world

Christmas tips, gifts and recipes

How to make economical presents and gifts to give them that personal touch.

Gifts to make and Buy

Tips on how to hang holiday / Christmas lights

Christmas decorations to make and buy





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