Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Authentic Mince Meat Pie

Here's an authentic vintage mince-meat pie recipe, including the use of suet! From "Woman's Institute Library of Cookery"

Mince meat, which is much used for pies during the fall and winter season, is a concoction that finds favor with most people. It may be comparatively simple or it may contain a large variety of ingredients, and in accordance with this variation it may be cheap or expensive. However, the ingredients generally used in this mixture are apples, dried fruits, sugar, molasses, cider, and chopped beef and suet. Other fruits, such as quinces, oranges, and citron, and various spices are also often used for flavoring. The cheaper cuts of meat, such as the neck, shoulder, brisket, etc., are suitable for this purpose, because the meat is ground so fine in making the mince meat that the fact that it was at all tough can be very readily concealed. Such expensive material as citron can be omitted altogether if desired and greater quantities of apples, which are the cheapest ingredient, used. A slight variation in the ingredients does not make any material difference in this mixture and the recipes given are submitted merely as a basis from which to work. If used just as they are given, they will be found to be excellent; but if it is necessary to practice greater economy or if it is not possible to secure all the ingredients called for, they may be varied to suit conditions. The juice from pickled fruits, jelly, or the juice from preserves or canned cherries may be used in any desired proportion in the making of mince meat to replace some of the cider.

Mince pie is most palatable when served warm, but it is entirely permissible to make several pies at a time and then warm them in the oven before serving. In this way they may be kept over for several days. Pie of this kind made with the usual ingredients is a heavy dessert, for it contains a certain amount of protein material and is high in fat and carbohydrate. This fact should be taken into consideration in meal planning, so that the dessert may balance properly with the other food.

* 4 lb. beef
* 15 medium-size apples
* 4 quinces, chopped
* 1/2 lb. citron
* 3 lb. raisins, seeded
* 6 oranges
* 2 c. suet
* 1 lb. sugar
* 1 c. vinegar
* 3 c. cider
* 1-1/2 c. molasses
* 2 Tb. cinnamon
* 2 tsp. cloves
* 2 tsp. nutmeg

Let the beef simmer in sufficient water to cover it well until it is tender, and then allow it to cool in the water in which it was cooked. This broth may be used as part of the liquid in the mince meat if desired. Chop the meat very fine with a chopping knife and bowl or put it through a food chopper. Chop the apples and quinces, cut the citron, and wash the raisins. Squeeze the juice from the oranges and grate the rinds. Force the suet through a food chopper or chop it with a chopping knife. Mix all these ingredients, add the sugar, liquids, and spices, and place in a large vessel. Simmer slowly for 1 hour. Stir frequently to prevent scorching. If the mince meat is cooked in the oven, it is less likely to scorch. Seal in fruit jars the same as for canned fruit and store for future use.

To bake mince pie, fill the lower crust with the mince-meat mixture, place the upper crust in position, and put the pie into a hot oven. Gradually reduce the heat, baking the pie for about 45 minutes.

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