½lb (250g) cooking apples (prepared weight),
½lb (250g) currants
½lb (250g) raisins
¼lb (125g) sultanas
¼lb (125g) mixed peel
1oz (25g) chopped almonds (or a little more)
½lb (250g) soft brown sugar
½lb (250g) suet
grated rind and juice of 1 large lemon
1 level teaspoon mixed spice (or your choice of spices)
¼ pint (150ml) brandy
Mix ingredients together, stirring well, and cover closely in clean dry jars. Keep for at least 2-3 weeks to allow to mellow before using.
This recipe comes from ‘Mrs Beeton’s Everyday Cookery’, probably the first cookery book I ever bought when I was seduced by book clubs as a student. I have had this copy for 40 years and will have been making this recipe for at least 36 of them! I recommend turning the jars periodically for the first few weeks to allow the brandy to filter through and soak into all the ingredients, and stir before use to ensure a good distribution. It easily keeps for at least a year, improving as it does so.