Traditional Mince Pies
Yields 12 pies
Original mincemeat pie filling was a mixture of minced meat, fruits and spices, but by the Victorian era, the recipe had become much sweeter. Most modern-day recipes don’t include any meat at all. Kimberly Killebrew of Daring Gourmet shares her recipe for traditional mince pies, and she recommends always making your own mincemeat rather than buying store-made: “The real stuff is vastly superior, and your taste buds will agree once they’ve tried it,” she says.
1 pound finely chopped beef steak (optional)*
1¼ cups raisins
1¼ cups currants
½ cup golden raisins
2 cups tart apple (about 1 large apple),
200 grams shredded beef suet
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons candied lemon peel
2 tablespoons candied orange peel
1½ tablespoons blanched almonds,
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground mace
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoons dark rum
Pie crust dough (enough for two crusts)
Combine all ingredients except for the brandy, rum and pie crust in a medium- size pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and gently simmer uncovered for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the brandy and rum. (If you prefer to have the alcohol cooked out, add them at the same time as the other ingredients.)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin or mini tart tins.
Roll two-thirds of the pie crust out onto a floured surface to 1/8" thickness. Cut circles out of the pie crust to fit into the tins. Roll out the remaining pie crust to the same thickness and cut out circles or star shapes to form lids over the tarts. (If using circles, cut a small slit on the top of the pie crust.)
Carefully press the pie crusts into the tins and fill them with mincemeat filling. Place the pie crust lids on top and press the edges together to seal them. Lightly brush the tops with milk or an egg wash.
Bake the pies for 10–15 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully remove them from the muffin or tart tins, transfer them to a wire rack and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Best served gently warmed.
*Kimberly highly recommends using beef steak in this recipe, but you could use an extra 1½ cups of raisins or currants instead.