Preheat oven to Gas 6, 400F, 15 minutes before baking pies. Peel carrots, parsnips and cooking apples. Discard apple core. Grate carrots, parsnips and apples coarsely and place in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the currants,
sultanas, raisins and mixed peel. Chop almonds fairly small and add to mixture with the sugar, suet and spices. Stir well.
Scrub the lemons and orange well and dry thoroughly. Then grate the rind finely and squeeze out the juice. Add to the mixture with sufficient brandy to give a moist consistency. The exact amount of brandy will vary slightly
as this will depend on the amount of juice obtained from the lemons and orange.
Stir well, then pot in clean dry jars, packing the mixture down with the back of a spoon. Cover with a waxed disc and cellophane covers. Label clearly. Leave in a cool dry place for two weeks to mature. When ready, make your
Minced Pies. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut into 18 x 3 in rounds with a fluted pastry cutter. Use to line 18 bun or patty tins. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut out the same number of 6.5cm fluted rounds and reserve for lids.
Place a heaped tsp of mature mincemeat in the center of each of the pastry lined tins. Dampen edges with a little water then place lids in position and press edges together. Brush tops with a little water and sprinkle them with a little caster sugar. Make a small slit in the center of each mince pie to allow steam to escape. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked.
Dredge with a little extra sugar before serving. This mincemeat should be used within eight weeks of maturing. To press edges of pies together, turn an egg cup upside down, dust the opening with flour then place on top of mince pies and press down lightly.
Christmas just wouldn't be the same without Minced Pies ! So why not give everyone a real treat by making your own mincemeat with this deliciously rich but healthy recipe, which is also suitable for vegetarians.