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Mince pie

Mince pies are a rich pastry generally associated with festive occasions, specifically Christmas and New Year's Eve. Originally, mince pies contained a mixture of meat, suet, dried fruit and spices, but today they usually omit the meat and suet and are made with fruitmince.

Recipe from the 1881 Household Cyclopedia

Mince Pies, not very rich -- Take 4 pounds of beef after it teas been boiled and chopped, 1 pound of suet, 2 pounds of sugar, 2 pounds of raisins, and 4 pounds of chopped apples, mix these together with a pint of wine and eider, to make it thin enough; season to your taste with mace, nutmeg, and orange-peel; if it is not sweet enough, put in more sugar. Warm the pies before they are eaten. Where persons are not fond of suet, put batter instead, and stew the apples instead of so much cider.

see Wikipedia Cookbook

Modernised (with meat):


  1. Sear diced beef in a pan till meat is well coloured (this can be done in batches). Set aside till cool.
  2. Wash, core and slice apples.
  3. Combined all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well (this step can be done in batches).
  4. Using three, greased, deep, pie trays (or five greased muffin trays, for tartlets), use the pastry to line the tray, to create a pie shell.
  5. Place tray, with shell, into oven and set to 150 degrees Celsius. Bake till lightly golden. Remove from oven. Rest pie shells till cool.
  6. Fill pie shells with mixture, till level or a slight mound above the rim. Trim with excess pastry.
  7. Bake at 150 degrees Celsius for forty five minutes per tray (thirty five minutes per muffin tray).

Serves 15 to 20 people.
Modernised, alternative version, also with meat:


  1. Pre - heat oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
  2. In a pot, simmer the wine, cider, orange, and lemon juice. Add mace, nutmeg and cinnamon quill. Slit vanilla pod and scrape seeds into pot. Discard vanilla pod.
  3. Wash, core and slice apples. Add to pot, and stir.
  4. Add fruit mix to pot. Stir.
  5. Line grease muffin tins, with pastry to make tartlets cases. Trim to fit.
  6. Place tray, with cases, into oven and set at 150 degrees Celsius. Bake till lightly golden. Remove from oven. Rest pie shells.
  7. Melt butter in a pan. Sauté minced pork till browned.
  8. Remove cinnamon quill from pot. Incorporate pork and butter into the mixture in pot.
  9. Using a tablespoon; fill tartlet cases with filling from pot. The filling will probably be mounded.
  10. (Optional) Trim with excess pastry.
  11. Bake each tray at 120 degrees Celsius for half an hour.

Makes 36 Tartlets.

Modern Meat-free version


Line greased tartlet pans with shortcrust pastry circlets
  • Spoon heaped teaspoons of mince into each pie
  • Top the tartlets with slightly smaller circles of pastry, preferably cut with a fluted cutter
  • Bake until golden brown.
  • (Optional) Just before serving, dust pies with a light sprinkling of icing sugar.

  • Ultra Modernised: Wait till Christmas. Purchase from shop.

    These recipes are untested. Adjust recipes as necessary.