Anyone who loves British books and culture has heard of mince pies, but they’re not really a thing here in the States. A few years ago, Henry and I bought a bottle of mincemeat and made our own version of mince pies. They were very good. This year, since I’m feeling energetic enough to make Christmas treats, I wanted to make mince pies but I couldn’t find mincemeat in any stores so I made my own. I combined and tweaked a few recipes and made my own version of mincemeat. My recipe is easy and tasty and uses ingredients you can find in any store.
Here’s my recipe. Note: mincemeat contains no meat.
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 cup each raisins, golden raisins, and dried cranberries, roughly chopped (you can substitute other dried fruit if you want, but keep it heavy on the raisins)
- 2 tablespoons marmalade (should be bitter)
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 green apple, peeled and grated
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp salt
Melt the butter in a saucepan, mix everything else in, cover, and simmer over very low heat until the liquid is mostly absorbed and the fruit is plump and soft, stirring frequently. Add another big splash of brandy if you want! It’s only once a year. This turned out SO good — way way better than the bottled stuff. The bottled stuff probably didn’t have brandy in it ;-)
Let the mincemeat sit overnight or so.
Ok now you can make the PIES.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Make piecrust or, if you’re like me and don’t want to bother, buy some ready-to-use raw pie dough. Roll it out a bit thinner and use a glass or something to cut circles that are a little bigger than the bottoms of your muffin tin cups and press them into place. You don’t want the dough to go all the way up the sides of the cups — maybe a 1/2 inch or so.
Fill with just a spoonful of mincemeat. Not too full! The mincemeat will boil and you don’t want it to boil over the edges of the dough.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool before trying to remove from muffin pan. Devour. Make more.
Save some for Santa!