8 (2 1/2-inch) pie shells (small pies can be made in patty pans)
1 1/2 cups mincemeat
1/2 pound beef suet, chopped fine
4 cups seedless raisins
2 cups dried currants
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1/2 cup coarsely chopped candied citron
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried figs
1/2 cup coarsely chopped candied orange peel
1/4 cup coarsely chopped candied lemon peel
4 cups coarsely chopped, peeled and cored cooking apples
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2 1/2 cups brandy
1 cup dry sherry
Combine the suet, raisins, currants, almonds, citron, figs, orange peel,
lemon peel, apples, sugar, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves in a large
mixing bowl and stir them together thoroughly.
Pour in the brandy and the sherry and stir with a large spoon until all
the ingredients are moist.
Cover the bowl and set the ingredients aside in a cool place (do not refrigerate)
for at least 3 weeks. Check the mixture each week and replenish the absorbed
liquor with more brandy and sherry, using about 1/4 cup each time.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place about 3 tablespoons of mincemeat into each pastry shell and cover
with sheet of pastry, crimping the edges with a fork.
Place the stuffed pies on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 20 minutes or
until the crust is golden brown.
Sprinkle top with castor sugar while hot.
Let pies cool, then remove from tins and serve with whipped cream or Brandy
Small pies can be eaten warm, on their own.
Mincemeat Filling yields 3 quarts.
* Any unused mixture will keep for a long time if stored in sterilized jars.