Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mince Pies

Paul made mince pies for David. 
It was an English recipe that David knew about, and which Paul experimented with since David had mentioned them to him as something he remembered from his childhood, and he ended up making several batches as the rest of the household enjoyed them as much as David did, and Paul found that he thoroughly enjoyed making mincemeat. The smell of the spices permeated the house for days, sweet with cinnamon. 
~ Keeper's Yard


Mincemeat takes 4 weeks to mature. If making this recipe from scratch please plan ahead and be prepared to start in November.



1 1/2 cups raisins
1 1/2 cups sultanas
1 1/2 cups currants
3/4 cup mixed peel (chopped small if in big bits)
large cooking apple peeled and grated
1/2 cup butter
zest of 1/2 a lemon and 1/2 and orange
a pinch each of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice (more is optional if that suits your tastes)
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup brandy or dark rum

Short Crust

3 cups flour
1 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon of salt
13 oz. unsalted butter, cold, cut up
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cold water

Egg Wash

1 egg
1 tablespoon milk

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Jar sterilization
  1. Fit a large pot with a rack, or line with a folded kitchen towel. Fill 2/3 with water and bring to a boil. Add canning jars and boil for 10 minutes. 
  2. Place canning rings in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. 
  1. Dissolve the sugar in the alcohol and set aside. 
  2. Chop apple, and mixed peel if necessary. 
  3. Ensure all the fruit is now approximately the same size. 
  4. Mix raisins, sultanas, currants, mixed peel, apple, butter, lemon and orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice together in a bowl 
  5. Pour the sugar/alcohol mixture over the fruit and spice mixture and combine well. 
  6. Cover and leave to stand for 24 hours, and stir again. 
  7. Place into clean, sterilized jars and seal. 
  8. Mincemeat takes about 4 weeks to mature. 
Short Crust
  1. Sift together the flour, cornstarch and salt. 
  2. Rub in the butter until it resembles fine crumbs can be done in a processor; use high speed. 
  3. Dissolve the cream of tartar in the water, and add to the crumbly mixture. Again you'll need high speed to bring the mixture together into a dough. 
  4. Turn out into a bowl if you used a processor. 
  5. The pastry should be very easy to handle. If at all necessary, add a few drops more water, but be careful. When the consistency is right, it does not stick to your hands and feels silky soft but firm. 
  6. Cover with saran wrap, and refrigerate until 15 minutes before you need it, or otherwise about 20 - 30 minutes. 

Mince Pies
  1. Preheat Oven to 350 F 
  2. Roll out between saran wrap or sprinkle flour on a granite board and roll out 1/2 the pastry to start with -- easier to control. 
  3. Cut it into rounds for tartlet tins. 
  4. Cut a top round for each pie. 
  5. Gather the leftover bits together, press into a ball, and roll out again. 
  6. Use dough to line loose-bottomed small pastry tins or jam tart pan 
  7. Put a spoonful of mincemeat into the middle of each 
  8. Dampen the edge of the pastry with egg wash 
  9. Place pie top on and seal the edges. 
  10. Cut a little slice in the top of each pie to release the steam out of each pie. 
  11. Brush the top of pie with more egg wash. 
  12. Bake for 15 -20 minutes.

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