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Mince Pies

Makes 1 9-inch pie or 8-12 muffin-sized pies

For the mincemeat:  

Makes 3 quarts  


  • 3 lbs shin of beef (a chuck roast can also be used)  

  • 2 cups (1 lb) suet or shortening  

  • 1 cup dried currants  

  • ½ cup raisins  

  • ½ cup sultanas  

  • ½ cup candied orange peel, chopped coarsely  

  • 1 lb apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped  

  • juice and zest of 1 lemon  

  • juice and zest of 1 orange  

  • ½ tsp ground ginger  

  • 2 cups sugar  

  • 1 tsp mace  

  • 1 tsp ground cloves  

  • 2 tsp nutmeg  

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon  

  • 1 tsp salt  

  • ½ cup apple cider  

  • ½ cup brandy  

  • ½ cup red wine


For the pastry:  

Makes enough for one 9-inch pie  


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour  

  • ¾ tsp salt  

  • ½ cup (1 stick) chilled butter  

  • ½ cup shortening  

  • 6-8 tbsp ice water


To make the mincemeat:  

  1. Cover the shin of beef with water in a pot, cover with the lid, and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for two hours or until the meat falls off the bone.  

  2. When the meat is finished, take it out of the pot to cool. When it is cooled off enough to handle, remove all of the meat from the bone, discarding the fat and gristle.

  3. ALTERNATIVELY: Sear the roast on all sides in a cast iron pan. Cover with foil, and bake in a 350ºF oven for 1 ½ hours (or ½ hour per pound of meat), until the meat is cooked through and falls apart with a fork. Shred when cool.   

  4. Mix the shredded meat with all of the other ingredients.


*Traditionally the mixture is sealed in a container and allowed to “ripen” in a cool place for 2 or more weeks. But it can be used immediately, if needed.  


To make the pastry:  

  1. Sift the flour and salt together, then rub in the butter and shortening until it resembles breadcrumbs.  

  2. Add enough cold water to the flour and butter mixture to bring the dough together (be careful not to add too much water, or it will make the dough tough).  

  3. If you have the time, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for ½ an hour.  


To assemble the pies:    

  1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. 

  2. Divide the dough in half. Roll out one half into a 12-inch circle and lay in the pie dish.   

  3. Then fill the dish almost to the rim with the mincemeat mixture.  

  4. Next roll out the second piece of dough to an approximately 12-inch circle and cover the mincemeat, sealing and crimping the edges of the dough, and making four small slits in the center of the dough for the steam.  

  5. Bake the pies for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350ºF and bake for another 20 minutes. (Watch the edges of the crust, as they may brown. If they do, cover them with a pie shield or foil.)   


*Alternatively, the dough can be cut into smaller discs and the pies baked in a muffin pan. This is a fun option for a party or ball.

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