On today’s menu? Mince Pies!
Now back in the day, mincemeat pies were made with a mixture of beef and suet (which is animal fat), and some mixture of dried fruit like raisins and apples. I found some fun vintage mince pie recipes from the 1500s, but some of the directions and ingredients were, um, well…interesting. Like this recipe for mince pie made with eggs:
Take the Yolks of two dozen of Eggs hard boyled, shred them, take the same quantity of Beef-Suet, half a pound of Pippins, a pound of Currans well washt, and dry’d, half a pound of Sugar, a penny-worth of beaten Spice, a few Carraway-Seeds, a little Candyed Orange-peel shred, a little Verjuice and Rosewater; fill the Coffin, and bake it with gentle heat.
Seeing how I was fresh out of verjuice to fill my coffin, I decided to make the modern version of mince pie, which doesn’t involve any meat (or verjuice).
I found a very simple Mince Pie recipe, and it only requires few ingredients –
- 2 cups of flour
- Pinch salt
- Full stick of butter, cubed
- 1 beaten egg + a little water, as needed
- Jar of mincemeat
Would you believe I found mincemeat in bulk at WinCo Foods? Oh yes I did! I ended up buying 1/2 of a pound and it was enough for 12 mini pies.
Start by mixing the flour and salt and working the butter in with your hands.
Once you have your dough ball, wrap it and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
But before you add the lids, you’ll want to fill the bottom of each crust about 2/3 with mincemeat.
This wasn’t called for in the original recipe, but I added a little brushed egg white and granulated sugar on the tops of my pies to give them a pretty crust. (A trick my grandma taught me years ago!) Bake at 400° for about 15 – 20 minutes.
Here are my completed pies! Aren’t they adorable?
They were also crazy tasty. You know you’ve got a winner when your picky preschooler dives right in. (Note she’s still going through her “dress phase.” On this particular day, she was wearing an Easter dress or something.)
My son loved these so much, I actually packed one in his school lunch yesterday. I was hoping he’d come home and tell me some story about how everyone thought his mom was soooo cool to make him a mincemeat pie, but all he told me was that he’d spilled part of it on his coat and pants and it had made a huge mess. But also it had dried in 7 seconds. (Phew, that was a close one.) So if you pack these? Send napkins.
I topped mine with homemade brandy butter (hey, I had brandy leftover from figgy pudding!), but I left my kids’ plain. If you’ve been on the fence with some of my other recipes in this series due to the ingredients or complexity, I hope you’ll give this one a try. It was easy, not time consuming, and the result was pretty awesome. I think you’d impress the crowd.
Join me tomorrow when I’ll be tackling a festive drink.