The upmarket version of Mrs Beetons classic
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Victorian British


  • Mixing bowl
  • wooden spoon
  • muffin tin
  • knife
  • table spoon
  • rolling pin
  • Chopping
  • Sauce pan
  • chopping board


  • 3 Large lemons
  • 3 Large apples
  • 1 lb Stoned raisins
  • 1 lb Currents
  • 1 lb Suet
  • 2 lbs Moist sugar
  • 1 oz Sliced candied citron
  • 1 oz Sliced candied orange peel
  • 1 oz Sliced candied lemon peel
  • 1 teacup Brandy
  • 2 tbsp Orange marmalade
  • Butter (soft) for baking


  • Grate the lemons, set rind aside. Then squeeze the juice into bowl.
  • Boil the lemons in water in the saucepan till soft and then chop them finely.
  • Skin and core the apples. Bake until soft then chop them finely.
  • Mix lemon choppings and apples
  • Now add all the ingredients to the bowl, and mix thoroughly.
  • Store in a clean jar in the fridge for 1 week till ready to bake.
  • Get your pastry (either home made or shop bought), and roll to desired thickness (suggested 4 cm)
  • Grease the muffin trays with butter
  • Cut the pastry into circles and add to muffin tray
  • ⅓ or ¾ fill subject to your taste. Put light pastry lid on top.
  • Bake in oven for 20 mins (or till golden). Sprinkle with ice sugar if desired.


Keyword Christmas, Mince Pies, Traditional, Victorian


Merry Christmas everyone. What a year, so lets round it off in comfort. This special episode features.

  • Thank you’s.

  • Quick chat about Victorian Christmas Cards

  • Introducing Mrs Beeton, and the standardisation of recipes.

  • Why running a household really was difficult.

  • A valet or a butler?

  • Hints of gender conflicts and the danger of left over Turkey.

  • Order above all – Spit Spot.

  • Mince pies, and extraordinary mince pies

  • What would the neighbours say?

  • The birth of sweets

  • Dying for a humbug

  • Pass the arsenic.

  • A Christmas Ghost story.

You can find the full mince pie recipe here

Thanks for your listening. I hope you enjoy. If you want to get in touch, I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at ageofvictoriapodcast@gmail.com, follow me on twitter @ageofvictoria, visit the website at www.ageofvictoriapodcast.com. The show also has a facebook page and group. Just search for Age of Victoria. Don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes, it takes less time than making a coffee. If you want to support the show on patreon, just click here, or you can go to Patreon and search for age of victoria podcast or my name.



Mrs Beetons ordinary mince pies

The classic recipe from Mrs Beetons original Household Management
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Victorian British


  • bowl
  • wooden spoon
  • muffin tin
  • rolling pin
  • knife
  • table spoon
  • chopping board


  • 2 lbs raisins
  • 3 lbs currants
  • 1 ½ lbs lean beef
  • 2 oz citron
  • 2 oz candied lemon peel
  • 2 oz candied orange peel
  • rind of 2 lemons
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ pint brandy
  • 1 nutmeg
  • Puff pastry (shop bought or home made), or filo pastry or sweet crust pastry.
  • Butter
  • icing sugar to decorate
  • suet


  • Stone and cut the raisins once or twice across, but do not chop them; wash, dry, and pick the currants free from stalks and grit. Set aside
  • mince the beef and suet, taking care that the latter is chopped very fine. Set aside.
  • slice the citron and candied peel
  • grate the nutmeg
  • pare, core, and mince the apples
  • mince the lemon-peel, strain the juice
  • when all the ingredients are thus prepared, mix them well together, adding the brandy when the other things are well blended
  • press the whole into a jar, carefully exclude the air, and the mincemeat will be ready for use in a fortnight. (I'd recommend that you store it in a refrigerator for no more than 5 days as it has meat in it, or you properly seal it in a sterilised preserve jar).
  • Roll out the pastry to desired thickeness, allowign for it to expand during cooking.
  • Cut circles from the pastry.
  • Grease the muffin trays, then insert the circles, being sure to make sure the sides come to the top of the muffin holes.
  • Find willing street urchin to fill the muffin holes with your mince meat. Have them stoke the coals of the oven.
  • Put a layer of pastry on top of the mince pies.
  • Place in the oven and have the urchin watch them to ensure they are not over cooked.
  • After 30 mins remove from the oven and show them to the urchin.
  • Cool and serve with sprinkled icing sugar.


The key to Mrs Beetons ordinary mince pies is the home made mince meat including the beef. You can get fresh beef suet at the butchers, or shop bought pre-packed. She would have made her own pastry of course, and cook would doubtless siphon off a little more brandy than was strictly needed. What sets this recipe apart from modern mince pies is the use of beef.
Be careful with the storage as this recipe contains raw meat; you probably want to be a bit more careful with it than the Victorians were!
If you marinate it over night in the fridge and cook the next day then it is fine. If you want it to last longer, keep in fridge overnight. The next day sterilise one or two air tight preserving jars. Preheat the oven to 110°C. Wash the jars and lids well in hot clean water and place on a baking tray (do not put any plastic or rubber seals in the oven). Put the jars and lids in the hot oven for 10 minutes. After leaving the jars to cool, divide the mincemeat between the jars, seal and label. You can store the mincemeat in a sterilised jar in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Or try her Extraordinary Mince Pies that don't contain meat.
Keyword Christmas, Mince Pies, Traditional, Victorian