Preheat oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7 and lightly grease a baking tray.
Mix the flour, salt and mixed spice together in a mixing bowl and then rub in the butter, being careful not to warm the mixture too much – tiny pockets of cold butter will melt when baking, creating steam and producing a perfectly crumbly scone.
Stir in the sugar and most of the orange zest (reserving a little to decorate) before adding the milk, orange juice and brandy or Cointreau, if using, to combine into a soft dough. Add the mincemeat to the bowl and lightly knead to combine it with the dough, adding a little more flour if the dough becomes too sticky.
Turn out onto a floured work surface and roll out the dough to approx. 2.5cm thick. Cut out rounds using a 5cm cutter and place on the baking tray. Continue until all the dough is used up.
Brush the tops of the scones with milk and then bake for 12-15 minutes, until well risen and golden. Once cooked, leave to cool on a cooling rack.
To assemble the Christmas Cream Tea, slice the scones in half and spread with 1 tbsp of mincemeat per half. Top with 1 heaped tsp of clotted cream and dust with ¼ tsp of mixed spice. Finish with a sprinkling of orange zest and serve with a warming drink – a classic cup of tea or a glass of mulled wine, the choice is yours!