Mincemeat Pie

I’m NOT asking whether anyone likes it or why.

I’d like a really great mincemeat pie recipe for Thanksgiving.


Honestly? Go find yourself a jar of Robertson’s classic mincemeat (made in the UK) – it’s as good as anything I’ve had, and used by all my UK friends - even those who have the skill and know-how to make their own use the stuff for mince pies. I was a little surprised to find not one person makes their own mince pie filling.

Crosse & Blackwell is nearly as good. Nonesuch? Not so much. :smile:

I haven’t had a lot of mincemeat but I did randomly decide to try my hand at it awhile ago and I was really happy with the result. I mostly followed this recipe http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Traditional-Mincemeat-Pie
I didn’t have the citron but I had some apricots so I substituted those and I used lard to make the crust. It can out pretty good

Thanks, Sunshine. A quick search on The Google reveals that there’s no meat (or suet) in this mincemeat. What cut do your UK friends use?


You could check out the BBC food website. They have some great cooks with their recipes, and mincemeat pies are very big, I’ve found, over here in the Mother Country.


In some 30 years of making mince pies for Christmas, I have only made my own mincemeat once. Frankly, it isnt worth the hassle. I now buy whatever is the supermarket’s premium quality one (they will have a range of 4 or 5 around now). I’ll be buying it in a few days and adding a good splash or two of sherry and/or brandy to it and let it mature until the week before Xmas, which is when we do most of our prep work.

Mince pies are usually individual affairs, rather than a single large pie. I use this Josceline Dimbleby recipe for the pastry which makes 24:

500g plain flour
125g icing sugar
375g butter
Grated rind and juice of 1 large orange

I use a 7.5cm cutter for the main part of the pie which is filled with a rounded teaspoon on mincemeat. A 5cm cutter does the top. The tops get a brush with milk and around 12 minutes in the oven at 220C.

I probably roll the pastry thinner than Ms D did as I always seem to have leftovers. All sort sof things you can do with orange flavoured pastry.

Just to add to Harters’s excellent post. I do pretty much as he does, but add a chopped, sharp eating apple to the mincemeat mix when adding the sherry.

If you can get your hands on Craig Claiborne’s “New York Times Cookbook,” there is an excellent non-vegetarian recipe for Mincemeat Pie. Best I’ve ever had.

the cut is down to personal preference – some folks use the small cut, others like the chunkier stuff.

And yes, it’s pretty normal for there to be no meat – somewhere in the handing down between generations, the meat part has disappeared

The jar of Robinson’s in my pantry says “vegetable suet” (which I suspect to be similar to Crisco-- but you can see the bits (it’s cut into small but visible chunks) and the total amount is pretty minimal.

As sunshine indicates, the mince pie is in the British tradition of mixing meat, fruit and spices. Back in Elizabethean times, it would almost certainly have had minced beef or lamb in it. Nowadays, the only meat content in the jars comes from the suet. I have tried the vegetarian “suet” versions and prefer the more common omnivore one

By the by, I’m also surprised that Robinson’s “Classic” mincement uses a vegetarian suet (label describes it as palm oil, sunflower oil and rice flour). I’ll be paying close attention to labels when I go shopping in a few days.

This is a disappointment–I want beef and its suet in my pie.

I am wondering how much “vegetable suet” there can be in Robinson’s, considerin how far down the label’s ingredient list it its. The Saveur recipe callls for 2 cups of suet.


There will not be much - basically flecks of suet, rather than anything more. Jarred mincemeat is an almost entirely sweet affair - don’t expect a savoury counterpoint. Same goes for most homemade recipes. On the one occasion that I mentioned when I made my own, I used this recipe (looking at the original book’s publication date, I see this will have been 1990) - http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/cuisine/european/english/home-made-christmas-mincemeat.html

OK, thanks everyone.

I went with the jarred Robertson’s as a base. Then I added:

3 oz of minced fillet mignon
1T minced walnut
a tart grated apple
zest of one lemon and 1/2 orange
a handful of dried Montmorency cherries and
2 tablespoons of Cherry Heering.

Four days in the fridge to macerate. Then into a vodka based crust, 425F for 45 minutes.

I’ll report on how it tastes after our feast.


PS Even with all the extras, I ended up using 3 full (14.5 oz) jars of the base.

Ah. British mince pies are small…think cupcake tins. That’s why it took so much.

Well, not always. The Henrys (V and VIII) liked them big. And Cromwell had better luck banning Christmas than he did eradicating mincemeat pies.

President Taft once received a Taft-sized 92-pounder.

Some more history: http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/PieHistory/MincemeatPie.htm

you missed the verb tense – are, as in present tense.

The Henrys, their pal Oliver, and William Howard have all most assuredly attained past tense – and, well, I offer this on Taft’s epicurean sensibilities: http://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2015/11/president-taft-ate-a-lot-of-possums/417873/

I’m looking at Darina Allen’s mincemeat recipe in Good Food mag from 2001. She does use beef suet but no meat meat. The Irish chef’s recipe of mincemeat is online here.

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Well, it was a hit, even with those who icked over the meat. None remained, unlike with the pecan and pumpkin.

This one’s a keeper:

3, 14.5-ounce jars of Robertson’s Mincemeat Classic.
3-6 ounces of well-trimmed beef, minced into 1/8” cubes (e.g., rump steak).
One medium tart apple, either coarsely grated or minced to 1/8” cubes
Zest of one medium lemon
Zest of ½ medium orange
1-2 Tablespoons minced walnuts
¼ Cup dried Montmorency cherries
2 Tablespoons Cherry Heering or brandy

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, place in a covered Cambro, and macerate in the fridge at least overnight or for as long as you deem safe. I like 4-5 days just fine.

This is just my version of the ubiquitous vodka pastry crust, popularized by Kenji Lopez-Alt.

2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces, 350 grams).
12 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1.5 sticks), cut into ¼” cubes.
½ Cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into four pieces.
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar.
1 teaspoon salt.
¼ Cup cold vodka.
¼ cup cold water.

  1. If you haven’t already, chill the butter, shortening, vodka and water. Reserve 1 Cup of the flour.
  2. In your food processor (fitted with the regular cutting blade, not the dough one), mix 1 ½ Cups of flour, salt and sugar. Just a couple pulses.
  3. Distribute butter and shortening chunks in the workbowl, and process until the mix resembles cottage cheese and there is no loose flour, about 15-20 seconds.
  4. Scrape sides of work bowl, and add the reserved 1 Cup of flour. Pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl, and dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses.
  5. Empty mixture into medium bowl. Sprinkle vodka and water onto dough, folding to mix until the dough is tacky and cohesive.
  6. Separate dough ball into two portions as required for a top and bottom crust for a 9” pie plate. I make one for the bottom slightly larger. Form portions into 4” disks, and wrap in clingform. Refrigerate for at least an hour, and up to two days.

Assembly and Baking

  1. Remove filling from fridge and consider stirring in another tablespoon of liquor (c’mon, it’s a holiday after all). Let filling come to room temperature.
  2. Place rack in middle of oven and preheat to 425F.
  3. Roll out cold dough for bottom and place in 9” pie pan.
  4. Spoon filling into bottom crust and spread evenly.
  5. Roll out cold dough for top crust, place, crimp and flute edges. Cut slits for steam to escape and decorate and/or egg wash as you like.
  6. Shield edges with foil or guards.
  7. Bake 40-50 minutes. Remove shielding 10 minutes before finishing. Shield entire pie with foil if/when the top crust browns too quickly.
  8. Remove pie from oven and let cool. Serve warmed or at room temperature. Top with whipped cream ice cream or sharp cheddar.


I made a mincemeat impulse buy at the store this week and my choice was between Crosse & Blackwell and nonesuch. Glad to hear I picked wisely by going with C&B. I’ve never cooked with it before and I’m happy to report my mincemeat muffins came out beautifully.

I think it’s tasty spread on breakfast toast, too.

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
Credit: Juan Antonio Segal, Flickr