By Pip Spence
Mixed spice is usually a festive blend of allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg (or sometimes ginger, allspice and cloves). It’s traditionally used to flavour sponges or Christmas pudding, but works really well as a cheaper and more convenient alternative to using all three spices over the festive season.
It is sometimes mistaken for allspice, also known as Jamaica pepper, which actually comes from the allspice berry, which confusingly is often thought to taste of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. This spice is a staple of West Indian flavours and usually found in jerk seasoning and barbecue sauces.
Mixed spice offers a flavour more suitable to baking and roasting. It’s a perfect match for carrot and ginger cake, and a must in Christmas and fig puddings. You could mix ½ a teaspoon into sweet pastry or cookie dough, add a dash to pumpkin or sweet potato pie fillings, or mix it with sugar to sprinkle over doughnuts, pies or roasted figs. For something more savoury, add it to stuffing mixes or shake 1 teaspoon over a chicken before roasting.