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In Search Of Mincemeat Pie

m
mochapj Oct 9, 2009 10:58 AM

Hi all,

I know it's a little early, but I was wondering if you had some suggestions of good places to get mincemeat pie once December rolls around.

It's something I've always loved, but it seems to be getting scarcer every year.

Would love any suggestions you might have.

For those who are unclear on what mincemeat is, it's a sweet dessert made of ground up apples, raisins, candied fruits and spices that is baked into a pastry shell.

Thanks!

  1. l
    longolame Oct 9, 2009 01:44 PM

    Real traditional mincemeat actually does contain meat, but still has that sweet dessert taste.

    Here's a recipe that will help describe the contents of mincemeat:
    http://www.bisonbasics.com/recipes/gr...

    Haven't seen any pies for sale, but the jars of 'fruit' mincemeat are commonly available.

    4 Replies
    1. re: longolame
      Kagemusha Oct 9, 2009 02:11 PM

      Commercially-made mincemeat is both available and avoidable.Crosse and Blackwell jarred mincemeat is usually carried by Loblaws. Some the Brit food merch shops might have some, too. Homemade is best and not hard to do. Beef suet is necessary and usually available for free or very little from butchers who actually cut meat. Keeps well in the fridge in a sealed Mason jar.

      1. re: longolame
        Paulustrious Oct 10, 2009 05:22 AM

        Traditional mincemeat pies do not contain meat. Ánd by traditional I mean over the last hundred years, not some 17th century recipe. Meat is an old English word that means food, but now means flesh. The best mince pies frequently contain suet, but your recipe is the first I have ever seen that actually contains beef. I'm a Brit so there may be a different take here in Canada.

        I have some issues with the Wikipedia entry for Mince Pies. Incidentally, mince pies is rhyming slang for eyes.

        1. re: Paulustrious
          l
          longolame Oct 10, 2009 08:59 AM

          The meat content of these pies gradually declined over the centuries until by the late 19th century pretty much only the beef suet was left. The word 'mince' can also refer to ground meat. The mincemeat pie originated around the medieval era. Maybe I should have just said 'for most of its history' rather than 'traditionally'.

          Following is a link to a much better article than the Wikipedia entries:
          http://www.deplicque.net/articles/min...

          btw, the recipe I pointed to in my first post uses ground bison rather than beef. I've tasted them and they're great. You'd only know they contained meat if you were told.

        2. re: longolame
          m
          mochapj Oct 16, 2009 08:51 AM

          Thanks for the clarification Longolame - my family actually makes the traditional kind with the meat in it; it just seems that it's more common without it nowadays.

          I was just wondering if there were any bakeries around that still prepare either version :)

        3. a
          Apple Oct 9, 2009 07:40 PM

          It's probably not available until December or so --- but I have bought bite size mincemeat tarts there when I wasn't up to making them myself

          1 Reply
          1. re: Apple
            a
            Apple Oct 18, 2009 05:54 AM

            d-oh - there is Dufflet's.

          2. a
            Abbeshay Oct 11, 2009 03:12 PM

            Okay, I guess you can make it at home yourself after reading all of these other posts but I get the feeling you just want to buy a pie from somewhere else. I used to work in a bakery that made it's own mincemeat pie so I know what you're looking for. Nothing beats a slice of warm mincemeat pie topped off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, after a big Christmas dinner on a cold, snowy day. Now that this bakery no longer exists, I buy the Farmer's Market Mincmeat Pie, which tastes quite similar to the old fashioned one. I'm also a label reader and this pie contains suet, a type of animal fat from the kidney, so I know it's in keeping with the ancient English recipes. When you start to see the Christmas decorations at any Loblaws store, start asking for it in the bakery section. My advice is to buy a frozen, unbaked pie and bake it yourself at home, that's what I do. This pie is pretty good, although it's a little sweeter than my favorite one.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Abbeshay
              m
              mochapj Oct 16, 2009 08:55 AM

              Thanks Abbeshay!

              Actually, the reason I've been asking is I'm doing an article to review mincemeat pies around town - but being that I've never seen them other than in the jars at the grocery store, I was kind of at a loss as to where I could get them.

              I know it's still early, I just wanted to get my research in so that when December rolls around, I'm ready!

              Thanks!

              Coincidentally, I made my batch of my gram's homemade version this week, and it's set for Christmas, but I can't review it, unfortunately!

              1. re: mochapj
                jayt90 Oct 18, 2009 06:30 PM

                From your OP, you are looking for a dumbed down mincemeat pie. I hope you can find the real thing with meat, suet, spicy fruit, and spirits, and report on it.

            2. l
              longolame Oct 16, 2009 01:23 PM

              I know it's another homemade solution, but Ferdzy, at Seasonal Ontario Food has a great sounding recipe for a green tomato mincemeat pie.

              http://seasonalontariofood.blogspot.c...

              1. a
                AverageJo Oct 16, 2009 01:56 PM

                Dufflet makes decent mince tarts--not sure if she makes a full-sized pie. Vegetarian mince--no suet.

                I'd bet that Brick Street Bakery (Distillery District, Queen & Logan, and Queen St. E.) makes mince pie but I don't know for a certainty.

                1 Reply
                1. re: AverageJo
                  Full tummy Oct 16, 2009 04:15 PM

                  Judging by Brick Street Bakery's excellent, dark fruitcake, if they did have mincemeat pie, it would be fabulous. Let's hope that they do!!!

                2. Olivia Oct 17, 2009 06:18 AM

                  Mrs. Bridge's in the mall at Vic Park and Eglinton might have pie--call to double check, as I've definitely seen mincemeat tarts.

                  1. m
                    mochapj Oct 17, 2009 01:02 PM

                    Awesome, thank you all so much!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mochapj
                      Kagemusha Oct 18, 2009 05:07 PM

                      Maybe it was an "off" batch but I found Dufflet mince tarts to be borderline awful--tasted more like raisin-y jam. Sorry but the vegetarian version is just wrong. BTW, mochapj, you might end up evaluating tarts rather than pies. Enough quality--as opposed to industrial--mincemeat to fill a pie would produce a pricey pie, indeed.

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