Day 9: Mince Pies

I’ll bet that mince pies is not a thing that most of you have to have on your holiday treats table.  But, I’ll also bet that most of you have never tasted a mince pie.  Well, up until yesterday, I would have been with you on both of those counts.

I don’t really remember how I first heard of this traditional treat, but from the beginning, I think the associations with it were negative.  That could be because traditionally (like from a long time ago when there were serfs and lords), mince pies had meat, meat fat, nuts, and dried fruit in them.  All those things are minced up, mixed with spices and baked in a pie.  The combination is not one that fits most modern food cravings.

However, nowadays, most mince recipes do not call for any meat or meat fat.  There’s just butter, dried fruit, nuts, and spices.  It all sounded good to me and besides, can anything in a pie be all that bad?

Well, as it turns out, it’s quite good and I think most of us are missing out on this lovely treat.

To make this, I first started by making mincemeat.  Many recipes call for store bought mince, but I wasn’t sure about those mixtures.  So, I used the mince recipe from here, except for the fruit, I used some of my Rummy Fruit Mix that had already been marinating for a few weeks.  Also, I only made half the recipe of mince.

For the pastry, I used a basic Pate sucree (sugar pastry dough) recipe from Baking Chez Moi.  Fitting the dough rounds into the muffin cups was the trickiest part.

I ended up cuting out a wedge to help them fit better.  This dough is really great for things like this because it patches really easily and it has a lot of butter which will help it to release from the pan.

For the top, I opted for some cut out snowflakes to make them look festive.

They baked for about 30 minutes, and then came out of the pan with no trouble at all.  Aren’t they pretty?

I am really pleased with how they turned out.  But how do they taste?  They taste great!  The filling is sweet and fruity, with a strong rum flavor.  It’s like eating fruitcake without the cake, so if you like fruitcake, you will definitely like mince pies.  It’s a little concentrated, so I think a few more nuts or making smaller pies might be a better balance.  Oh, and the pastry goes just right with the filling.  I love that dough and will be using that again for future pies for sure.

This is one of the things I love about trying new recipes and techniques–It’s exciting to discover something new and unexpectedly yummy.  The only think I regret is halving that mince recipe because it only made twelve.  Between the four of us, those will last about a day if we aren’t careful.  These are supposed to keep well for a long time, so now I wish I had made dozens!

Are you trying anything new this Christmas?  Tell me about it in the comments and get another entry into the Christmas Treat giveaway.


Posted on December 15, 2016, in Baking, Holiday, Inspiration and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Not trying anything new this Christmas, but you’ve inspired me to start a list for next year!

  2. I remember when my mom used to make meds pie for Christmas. Thanks for bringing back that memory. I like the pies baked in the muffin tin. They are really pretty!
    What I did different this year was to buy a pencil tree to put up in the kitchen. Rather than digging out the pact ornaments, I just bought some simple balls and snowflakes to decorate.

  3. These look so pretty! Makes me want to try mince pies (for probably the first time in my life!).

    Something new this year? Our son and his fiancee are planning to be w/us for Christmas. We have had them w/us before, but never for Christmas. I am really looking forward to their visit, and just hope the weather cooperates for them to drive up from central Oregon.

  4. Wow! They’re beautiful! I am very tempted to give them a try. You make them look every doable and everyone loves pie:)

  5. Very clever to cut a wedge from the crust to fit in the muffin tin! I’m not a fan of mince, but of course you make yours look very tasty! I make the same ginger cookies every year. I think there would be protests from my family if I stopped.

  6. I tried Wassal for the first time. I admit it wasn’t my thing

  7. Your mince pies are beautiful!
    My father-in-law loved mince meat pies at Christmas

  8. I made black licorice caramels this year, as a gift for my dad. And they are surprisingly delicious! And a bit addictive. ….

  9. I married a mince pie lover! As a Southern gal, I found the very idea to be verrrry strange until I had one! The jar stuff can be improved with some helpful additions, but I’ve made it from scratch, both traditionally with suet and without before. But the tarts…oh, those have the best filling to crust ratio! Your tarts look like the first ones I ever had in Australia, no less, but I think the Aussie ones are based on the British ones. I always think, “I eat just one more…”

    WHat will I be trying new this Christmas? To make a meal without the usual heavy appearance of garlic. FIL isn’t a garlic fan so I’m going to curb my usual free hand with the garlic for boosting the flavors in other ways.

  10. these are so pretty! i remember mince pies.

    not trying anything new for Christmas this year – unless i decide to try making one of your holiday goodies!

  11. Mmmmm. I just love mince pies! I’m glad you gave them a try!

  12. I have made mince cookies, never the pies, except I’ve heated up some little ones that i got in a specialty store once, and I topped them with whipped cream. They were very tasty. Yours are so pretty! I’m not doing anything new, except I’m thinking of mixing up the Xmas day meal a little and maybe trying a few different recipes.

  13. I’m thinking about trying this recipe and the cheese crackers.

  14. thecrazysheeplady

    These posts have been so fun! Thank you for going to so much trouble to share interesting recipes! I’m am going to try the Springerles and maybe the truffles. Oh and the pizzelles! I’ve had a maker forever and never used it.

  15. I’m not being adventurous at all this year! I don’t have the mental energy to go outside the box right now. Sometimes classic is best 🙂

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