There’s no reason why something as fabulous as mincemeat has to be confined to one day out of the year.
Mincemeat pie is the crowning glory of Christmas dinner, and now that I’ve gotten the hang of stirring up my own mincemeat, I’m all about mincemeat cookies, mincemeat pie and mincemeat as an ice cream or yogurt topping.
Combined with a little brandy or rum, mincemeat anything takes any New Year’s Eve buffet up an entire notch.
Growing up, mincemeat came out of a jar, went directly into a pie crust, and was the go-to pie (along with pumpkin) for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Down here in Texas, pecan pie is more the thing. I’ve met more than a few people who have never had a single slice of mincemeat pie. That’s indeed a tragedy.
Mincemeat is essentially everything there is to love about holiday flavors packed delightful dish.
At one point, I got a little curious to learn a little more about where the name came from — and then I quickly decided that I did not need to learn any more. Never, in the history of the world has someone taken a bite of mincemeat pie and said, “This is good, but think of how much better it would be with a little kidney fat or suet mixed in.”
- Clover looking on and wondering, “Where’s the meat?”
My motivation for making my own mincemeat was largely a function of not wanting to pay more than $8 for a 32 ounce jar that contained high fructose corn syrup and nothing else that was particularly expensive.
Financial considerations aside, there is something wonderfully satisfying about combining apples, raisins, orange zest, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, along with a little apple juice concentrate and/or brandy — and then just letting the fabulous flavors work their magic.
- 5 tart apples (such as Granny Smith)
- 2 cups raisins (preferably a mix of yellow and black)
- 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
- zest of one large orange
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 Tbsp. apple juice concentrate
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup raw sugar
- 1/4 cup brandy (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. flour (only if making mincemeat pie–mix in flour prior to pouring into pie shell)
Peel and core apples. Add to a food processor and pulse a few times until apples are finely chopped.
Combine all other ingredients and stir. Enjoy immediately or add to a glass jar, refrigerate and allow the flavors to intensify for up to a week.
If making a pie, into a 10″ pie shell and top with either a lattice or traditional crust. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes and then reduce heat to 375 for another 30 minutes until crust is golden brown.