THE QUEEN is a traditional part of Christmas Day in Britain, with millions of families sitting down to watch her speech every year. But one tradition the royal particularly enjoys herself is indulging in mince pies – here’s how you can make the exact same ones.
Photographs of the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince Wiliam and Prince George making Christmas puddings for the Royal British Legion’s Together at Christmas iniative have warmed the hearts of the nation. But mince pies are not the only Christmas treats the Royal Family enjoys. The Queen’s pastry chef has revealed the secret recipe for the royal mince pies enjoyed each Christmas by the Royal Family. So for those hoping to make the Queen’s mince pie recipe, Express.co.uk has compiled an easy guide.
Historically mince pies, like Christmas puddings, were filled with meat, such as lamb, rather than dried fruits and spices as they are today.
Traditionally, mince pies were also made in an oval shape to represent the manger that Jesus slept in as a baby, with the top representing his swaddling clothes.
During the Stuart and Georgian ages, mince pies became a status symbol for the Christmas period, with the richest in society showing off her opulence by having pies made into different shapes.
A custom which dates back to the middle ages says if you eat a mince pie every day from Christmas to Twelfth Night (January 5), you will have happiness for the next 12 months.
In contemporary times, mince pies are commonly used as the treat left out for Santa Claus by children on Christmas Eve.
Mince pies are said to be Father Christmas’ favourite food, and children would leave one or two pies on a plate along with a glass of brandy, sherry or milk, and a carrot for the reindeer as a sign of gratitude for leaving presents in their stockings.
When it comes to the Queen’s mince pies, everything is handmade months in advance by a dedicated team at Buckingham Palace.
But how exactly can you make the Queen’s recipe?
For the Mincemeat
zest and some juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
zest and some juice of 1 unwaxed orange
2 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon of port
1 tablespoon of rum
1 tablespoon of sherry
120g (1 cup) suet
160g (3/4 cup) golden sultanas
100g (1/2 cup) raisins
100g (1/2 cup) mixed peel
100g (1/2 cup) currants
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1.2 teaspoon ground cloves
160 (6oz) russet apples, peeled and grated
500g (1lb 2 oz) sweet pastry
Egg washed for sticking lids on the bases
Granulated sugar for the top of the mince pies before baking
Icing sugar for dusting