(Nikki here) To begin this week’s pie, on Tuesday I did mostly prep work. As I had decided to cut shapes out of the dough for the topping in spirit of decoration week, and to facilitate the actual making of the crust, I used a larger recipe than in previous crust attempts, using ratios relative to 3 cups of flour and 2 and a 1/4 sticks of butter. I also added about a 1/2 cup of almonds to mix it up (and they seemed like they would go well with the mincemeat). Further prep work included looking incredulously at the chunk of fat (formally called suet) I was supposed to grate, which looked incredibly like mozzarella (but was sadly just white, slimy little slivers of animal goo. Too descriptive? My apologies to the weak stomached and the vegans). I also chopped up some apples while I waited for the 2 lbs of beef to simmer to tenderness in a small layer of water (roughly 20 min, covered in a large fry pan).
The meat had to cool in its liquid overnight, so I waited for the next day to assemble the ingredients and throw it all together. The filling had quite a lot of flavors: juice from a fresh orange and a fresh lemon, molasses (I think I would opt for a about 3/4 or 2/3 of what the recipe called for, but that’s just personal taste), cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, apple vinegar, apple cider, suet, meat-water from the cooking of the meat, and of course the actual edible stuff: apples, beef, and raisins. Simmer for 2 hours or until the liquid mostly goes away, add a bit of brandy, and store for a few weeks in a large jar! (I of course didn’t store for a few weeks, since the pie was due the next day). While I waited once again for the simmering filling I cut holiday-themed shapes, rather poorly, I might add, with a small paring knife and a pastry cutter.
I let the mincemeat filling sit overnight to further let the spices infuse the meat and fruit. I could hardly wait to put it all together I had been waiting and anticipating so long! I loved how the poinsettias and the ribbon turned out. How holiday-ish!
My only issues, I would say, involved slightly burning the molasses while the filling was simmering, forgetting to add the brandy until I had already dumped in the filling and lain on the topping, and forgetting to line the edges with tinfoil to prevent excessive darkening.
All in all, however, it turned out pretty well! I loved how the meat became somewhat candied, and the crust was really yummy. It was a very rich pie. 🙂 Perhaps not my favorite, but certainly a keeper! I think I might ask David for his recipe though, as I think his was even more delicious.