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.
While mincemeat tarts is a standard way to serve mincemeat, try this cute little pies.
Lovely Little Mincemeat Pies
- 1 batch Pie Pastry or puff pastry
- 1/3 cup Flour
- 4 cups Mincemeat check out my recipe
- 1 egg white
- 2 tbsp. caster sugar
- 1/4 cup Granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 400°F and lightly grease a 12 hole muffin tin.
- Roll out your pastry to ¼” inch thick and cut 12 circles 4 inches round, and 12 circles which measure 2 inches.
- Press the larger circles into the muffin tins, ensuring that the pastry slightly extends beyond the lip of the tin. Fill each cup with mincemeat.
- Moisten the edges of the smaller discs and place on top of each little pie. Crimp the edges of the pastry to ensure a good seal, preventing the mincemeat from boiling out.
- Whisk the egg white with the caster sugar, and brush the pies with the mixture. Sprinkle granulated sugar on each pie and make a little air vent in each to let air escape.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until well browned on top, then reduce the heat to 325°F and bake for another 25 minutes, or until the golden brown.
- Let the pan cool on a wire rack for a few minutes, and while still warm carefully remove from each tin, running a knife around the edge to loosen if you need to.
- Let completely cool on a wire rack before storing.