Mince Pie à la Conor

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Mince pie is a traditional Christmas dessert on the British isles. I had never had mincemeat pie before, and always thought it was a savory pie containing meat. I had not decided on a dessert for Christmas this year, and when I read about Conor’s Mince Pie I decided that would be my Christmas dessert this year. We all loved the very full flavor of the mincemeat, so it was a big success. This is another great example of a blog-inspired new dish that I probably never would have made without Conor’s post. So thanks Conor! I’ve never had mince pie before so I’ve nothing to compare it with, but it was delicious. This pie isn’t really hard to do. Most of the work is in finding and measuring out all the ingredients for the mincemeat.

Ingredients

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For a 24 cm (9″) springform pan, 10-12 servings

180 grams (.8 cup) large raisins

90 grams (.4 cup) golden raisins

120 grams (.6 cup) sultanas

280 grams (1.9 cups) currants

50 grams (1/4 cup) candied lemon peel

50 grams (1/4 cup) candied orange peel

280 grams (1 3/4 cups) soft, dark brown sugar

1/2 nutmeg, freshly grated

1 tsp 5 spice powder

2 tsp mixed spice (I used Dutch “speculaas” spices, which is very similar)

zest and juice of 1 orange

zest and juice of 1 lemon

100 grams (1 cup) fresh cranberries (Conor said to reduce them in a tiny amount of water and sugar until soft and I forgot to do this, but tasted great anyway)

1 large cooking apple, peeled and chopped small

6 Tbsp of brandy or cognac

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200 grams (.44 lbs) beef suet, shredded

dough for 1 pie crust made with 250 grams (1 1/2 cups) flour, 125 grams (1 stick + 3 Tbsp) butter, 2 Tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 egg (leave 1/4 of the beaten egg for brushing the top of the pie)

Preparation

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Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. It is easier to grate the peel of the citrus…

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…before juicing them.

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Freshly grated nutmeg is much better than the stuff from a jar.

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Add the apple last and mix straight away to prevent it from turning brown. (The citrus juice will prevent that.)

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Stir until homogeneous. Cover the mincemeat with plastic wrap (or a Norwegian moose-themed tea cloth) and let it rest for 24 hours.

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Cover the bowl with foil and put it in the oven at 110C/230F for 2 1/2 hours. This will allow the beef suet to melt and the flavors to blend even more.

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Stir to distribute the beef suet evenly. Allow to cool, stirring now and then.

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Add the brandy when it has cooled and stir again.

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Butter a 24 cm (9″) springform pan and line it with 2/3 of the pastry dough. Transfer the mincemeat into the pie.

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Cover the top with the remaining pastry dough. Since I was still feeling a bit under the weather when I made this, I didn’t feel up to doing a proper lattice.

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Brush the top with beaten egg. If you don’t make a lattice, cut slits with a sharp knife to let the steam escape.

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Bake for 45 minutes at 180C/350F or until the top is golden.

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Remove the sides of the springform pan and allow to cool.

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A trick to make a pie look nicer is to sprinkle it with icing sugar.

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Be careful when cutting the pie, because the filling spills out easily.

Wine pairing

Because of the raisins and citrus, the first wine that came to my mind was Passito di Pantelleria “Ben Ryè” from Donnafugata, Sicily. This wine is made from dried moscato grapes (locally called zibibbo) from the small island of Pantelleria that lies between Sicily and Tunisia. This wine has amazing depth and complexity with notes of raisins and citrus that goes great with the mince pie. I’m not sure if dried figs would be allowed in a mince pie, but that would certainly go well with this wine as well. The Ben Ryè was indeed a success with the mince pie, although the pie was almost too sweet for the wine.

19 thoughts on “Mince Pie à la Conor

  1. A traditional mincemeat pie did contain meat as well as the fruit mix. Some people still make it that way 🙂 Yours looks good. My mother always made little tarts rathar than a big pie.

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  2. I love it Stefan. The deep pie must have been wonderful. People tend to make mincemeat pies far too small. The filling is the star of the show and plenty is the way to do it!
    Best,
    Conor

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  3. Oh, my goodness I found someone on WordPress who knows more about Sicilian wine than I do, and I am Sicilian doc. 🙂 I love zibibbo and passito and as you can imagine we have lots of it here in Trapani. Pantelleria is so close. Have you tried the authentic Pantelleria raisins? They are HUGE! My husband is Japanese and he loves them. I am a new follower and that’s because I can learn from you, even though my friends think I am a great cook. I am better at making sweets actually. You can see pictures of Trapani and its food on my other blog http://www.saucysiciliana.blogspot.com in case you are interested. Buon Anno from Sicily!

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    1. Ciao Francesca, thanks for following my blog and leaving such a nice comment!
      I have never tried Pantelleria raisins, but I think I will when I visit Sicily and Pantelleria in April 🙂
      I have just checked out both of your blogs. Mi piaciono le tue ricette e penso che tua figla canta molto bene! Vi auguro un buon anno! Alla prossima, Stefan

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  4. Never had this before. Looks succulent!! That last picture could kill a sugar addict like me just by looking at it…

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  5. When I first moved to England, I also didn’t know this was a sweet dish but I grew to like it and look forward to it every Christmas. Yours looks like the real thing!

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  6. We make this in New Zealand too, even though our Christmas is in early summer. Many people make the small individual pies – about 2 inches in diameter – and every visitor you have has one with coffee or tea. The more different pies you eat, the more luck you will have 🙂

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  7. I made this mincemeat using extra lemon instead of oranges, (intolerance to oranges in family) and blueberries instead of cranberries (I am on warfarin). I think the best mincemeat that I’ve tasted.

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