Nothing says British Christmas like mincemeat. Originally mincemeat was made with ground meat, offals, eggs and whatever else was on hand. The first mince pies were prepared by the Crusaders in the 11th century. Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg) brought back from the Holy Land were added to the mince and baked into oblong cradled shaped pies, representing the gifts of the Magi and the birth of Christ.
By the Victorian era, savvy cooks like Mrs. Beeton were starting to make mince without meat, but the tradition of suet remains. You can substitute shortening to get a similar result. My local butcher gives it to me free so you may wish to give it a try.
Once you have made a large batch of mincemeat you can easily prepare a number of delicious sweets for visiting guests over the holidays.
Easy Holiday Mincemeat Oatmeal Squares
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¾ tsp. salt
- ¾ cup medium rolled oats
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 cup Not Quite TraditionalMincemeat
- 1 cup icing sugar shifted
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- 2–3 tbsp. milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9 inch square pan by lightly greasing.
- Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and rolled oats. Cut in the butter until it is thoroughly mixed in, then add the egg and mix thoroughly.
- Press half of the oat mixture into the pan. Spoon themincemeat on top of the crumble. Crumble the remaining oat mixture on top of themincemeat.
- Bake for 30 to 35minutes.
- While cooling mix the icing sugar and ginger, adding enough milk to thin to drizzling consistency. Drizzle over the warm pan. Cool and cut into bars.