If you are looking for an authentic mincemeat pie recipe I have that for you but we must start with the mincemeat filling which takes weeks to cure and what I will show you how to prepare today.
Well it’s the second week of November and I am now prepping for Christmas before all the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping gets under way in our house.
I love Christmas and miss spending it with our families in Scotland since we’ve moved to Canada.
We still Skype on Christmas day but it’s not the same although we cherish every moment that we can during the holiday season just because there isn’t a day we don’t think about our loved one’s back home. Christmas is still a big celebration in our house though, and it’s time spent with good food and friends that are more like family.
Over the next couple of weeks I will be bringing you some family favorite holiday recipes that I always make at Christmas.
One of my personal favorites is mince pies. They really only come out at Christmas time and there is so much history behind how they came about.
Mince pies are an essential part of the British culinary tradition, enjoyed throughout the Christmas holidays, and then rarely, if ever, offered again until the following year.
What is mincemeat?
Good question and one that many people ponder because they simply don’t know the answer, well I’ll tell you today it’s a delicious blend of goodness that you will love.
Originally mincemeat was, as its name implies, made from minced (ground) meat, as a way of preserving the last scraps of meat culled in the autumn so that it would last throughout the winter.
How to make mincemeat?
The traditional mixture which also included fresh and dried fruits, spices and sugar was simmered for several days and then stored in sealed jars in the cellar or in an outhouse.
Today’s mincemeat no longer contains meat or poultry, except in the form of suet. Those of you who don’t wish to eat animal fats can substitute it with vegetarian suet, or margarine. I don’t make homemade suet as I buy it pre-made but if you are wondering how to make suet you can easily find recipes all over the web.
How to use mincemeat?
This mixture can be used to fill tray bakes (bars) such as mincemeat slices, mincemeat cookies, open lattice flans or pies, spooned into partly baked individual tart shells topped with fancy cut-out pastry shapes (those are my favorites with a cuppa tea of course) or when baked and cooled, drizzled with glazed icing.
I usually dust mine when cooled with icing sugar for that snow effect!
So without further ado here is my recipe for the first part of mincemeat pies. Since the mincemeat has to sit for 4 weeks I will give you the second part closer to the time when we actually make the double crusted pastry and have the final finished individual pies in a flaky pastry shell.
Just in time for Christmas!
Prep Time: - 20 mins
Mature time: - 4 weeks
Quantity: - approx x6 250ml jars
- 8oz/11/3 cups currants
- 8oz/1⅓ cups sultanas (golden raisins)
- 1lb/2⅔ cups seedless raisins
- 1lb cooking apples peeled, cored and chopped
- 8oz/1⅓ candied citrus peel chopped
- 4oz/ ⅔ cup blanched almonds, chopped
- 8oz/1 cup shredded suet, or vegetarian suet, or margarine
- 8oz/ 1 cup soft dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- Grated rind and juice of 2 oranges
- Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
- About ⅔ cup brandy or port
- Place all of the ingredients except the brandy or port in a large mixing bowl.
- Stir well, cover the bowl with a cloth and set aside in a cool place overnight.
- The following day, stir in enough brandy or port to make a mixture moist enough to drop from a spoon.
- Spoon the mixture into sterilized jars, store in a cool, dry place.
- This will take about 4 weeks to mature before its ready to use in mincemeat pies
You will need storage jars to keep the mincemeat in until it matures and is ready to use in order to make the individual mincemeat pies.
Depending on the size of pies you want to make 1 jar will make 1 pie or 1 dozen pies if you use 1 ½ teaspoon of mixture in each one.
This mincemeat recipe would make a great homemade present for anyone even if you add some bows and ribbon and present it in the jars as filling.
Keep me posted if you make your mincemeat then stay tuned for part two making pastry and turning that mincemeat into spectacular individual pies for all your friends and family to enjoy!
What other ingredients do you put in your mincemeat?
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