Choose a new cookbook worth up to £28 when you subscribe to our magazine.
Wash the dried fruit thoroughly in a colander under the cold tap (you may find it easier to do this in batches) - whatever it says on the packet, washing the fruit is something I've (Ruth Watson) always done. Tip the fruit on to clean tea towels and dry by patting in the cloths.
Put the dried fruit in a very large bowl with the apples, suet, almonds, sugars and spices. Grate the zest of the lemon into the bowl, then squeeze in the juice. Tip in the peel and the alcohol.
Mix all the ingredients very thoroughly - it's easiest to do this with your (very clean) hands.
Cover and leave to stand for 24 hours, asking the family to stop and give it a good stir with a spoon when they pass by.
Pack the mincemeat into sterilised or dishwasher-clean jars (Kilner jars are ideal) and top with greaseproof paper jam covers. Seal the jars tightly and store in a cool place. The mincemeat will last from one year to the next, but's best used within 6 months.