These small, sweet delicacies originate from the Middle Ages in Britain. Traditionally associated with Christmas and the Christian celebration, mince pies were baked in small, rectangular tins, shaped like the crib that the baby Jesus slept in. The ingredients included three spices: cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves - to represent the gifts bought by the three kings.

I've read that these pies originally contained minced meat and were intended as a way of preserving meat for the winter. Perhaps people substituted fruit as a cheaper alternative and that's how the mincemeat we know today came about.

It is thought to be lucky for you to eat a mince pie on each of the twelve days of Christmas, provided that each one is baked by a different person. Presumably this was to lengthen the odds of getting food poisoning!

This is my Mom's recipe for mince pies. You'll never look at Store-bought ones the same way again.



250g Flour 250g Butter (very cold) 1/2 and egg, or 1 egg yolk 90ml Ice Cold Water 2 tsp. Lemon Juice Cut Butter into small blocks. Rub the butter into the flour, but not too much, the chunks of butter should still be visible. Beat egg, water and lemon juice together. Add egg mixture to flour mixture, and stil until just blended. Refrigerate before rolling out. Makes 3-4 dozen.


Mix 1 unpeeled grated apple into 1 jar of fruit mincemeat.

To make the pies, cut out rounds with a cookie cutter, and place them in the bottom of a patty pan. Put one heaped teaspoon of mince into each one. Brush the edges of the lids with beaten egg, so it 'glues' down the lid. press another round on top, and press down the edges. Brush the top with beaten egg, and prick a hole into the top of each pie.

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 190 degrees centigrade. Personally, I like them much better when they're room temperature, not hot at all, but some people seem to prefer them hot. In any case, careful eating them when they come out of the oven, that mince stores heat really well.

Written for The Ninjagirls Christmas Special.

Mince" pie` (?).

A pie made of mince-meat.


© Webster 1913.

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