Do you dare to try a Georgian Mince Pie?!

Do you dare to try a Georgian Mince Pie?

The idea of mixing fruit, meat and spices in one pie is believed to have been brought from the east to the west by returning crusaders. Anyone who has been on holiday to Morocco or Algeria may have tried a ‘pastille’ – a sweet spiced meat pie. The fruit and spices offered a way of preserving meat without smoking, pickling or salting it. Slowly the meat component of mince pies disappeared, and today the only meat based ingredient is the suet. Why not try and make this Georgian mince pie from Hannah Glasses’ ‘receipt’. Even here the meat is optional.

To make Mince-Pies the best way

Take three pouts of suet shred very fine, and chopped as small as possible; two pounds of raisins stoned, and chopped as fine as possible; two pounds of currents nicely picked, washed, rubbed, and dried at the fire; half a hundred of fine pippins, pared, cored and chopped small; half a pound of fine sugar pounded fine; a quarter of an ounce of mace, a quarter of an ounce of cloves, two large nutmegs all beat fine; put all in a great pan, and mix it well together with half a pint of brandy, and half a pint of sack; put it down close in a stone pot, and it will keep good four months.

When you make your pies, take a little dish, something bigger than a soup plate, lay a very thin crust all over it, lay a thin layer of meat, and then a thin layer of citron cut very thin, then a layer of mincemeat and a layer of orange peel cut thin, over that a little meat, squeeze half the juice of a Seville orange or lemon, lay on your crust and bake it nicely.

These pies eat finely cold, if you make them in little patties, mix your meat and sweet-meats accordingly. If you chose meet in your pies, parboil a neat’s (cow’s) tongue, peel it, and chop the meat as fine as possible, and mix in the rest; or two pounds of the inside of a sirloin of beef boiled. Buy you must double the quantity of fruit when you use meat.

Hannah Glasse, 1747

mince pie


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