One of my favorite memories of Christmases of my youth, in Birmingham, England, is of the exquisite baked edibles that are mince pies. Either home baked, with melt in your mouth short crust pastry, using jarred mincemeat, sometimes from the local bakery (And every neighborhood had a local bakery once upon a magical time- typically next to the traditional butchers and greengrocers) or more typically in a box of six.
They are individually sized and typically a blend of raisins, currants, cherries, apricots, candied peels, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves walnuts, almonds and, occasionally suet. Suet is the fat around the kidneys of a cow, and is used to add flavor, texture and body to a great variety of traditional English recipes and puddings, including Spotted Dick, Steak and Kidney, and the ever popular and personal favorite, Treacle. But that is another story…Rum or brandy is also conventionally added to the scrumptious blend of fruits or seasoning.