Welcome Back to Easy Desserts,
For this month I had to plan my post better so I could share my Halloween treat and this month dessert. Thankfully the dessert I decided on was towards the end of the month, so I was able to have the Halloween one posted first. Plus the recipe I’m sharing is a great one to add to our “Give Thanks for No-bakes Pie” collection; for the last couple of years we have done: Pecan, Pumpkin, and Sweet Potato Pies. This year I wanted to share this No-bake Pie in October since the National day is this month, but mainly because it would have been harder for me to make in November. As I’ve commented my family has seen our fair share of death (since 2012) and a lot of what I bake is made in memory of a loved one. This month I decided to try a No-bake version of my Grandpa’s favorite pie, Mincemeat complete with Rum Sauce. I will be and placing them inside SupaCute’s La Pelle cups.
As a Girlie that doesn’t eat red meat I never understood why my Grandpa would eat this pie especially for dessert. Growing up I thought it was made from beef and other meats and often wondered ‘why would Grandpa want a beef pie for dessert?’ Wasn’t until a few years ago I learn that it wasn’t always meat pie, but a sweet pie of British origin, filled with a mixture of dried fruits and spices called "mincemeat" (sometimes beef suet, beef, or venison was added), that is traditionally served during the Christmas season. (For some reason my Grandpa enjoyed it at Thanksgiving. I remember my Dad having to order one for his Dad and us picking it up on our way to Lake Havasu. My mom would make the Rum Sauce for it since most of the time the pie shop would forget to supply some.) Its ingredients are traceable to the 13th century when returning European crusaders brought with them Middle Eastern recipes containing meats, fruits, and spices.
photo credit: Pinterest
Mince Pie History:
The ingredients for the modern mince pie can be traced to the return of European crusaders from the Holy Land. Middle Eastern methods of cooking, which sometimes combined meats, fruits, and spices, were popular at the time. Pies were created from such mixtures of sweet and savory foods; in Tudor England, shred pies (as they were known then) were formed from shredded meat, suet, and dried fruit. The addition of spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg was, according to the English antiquary John Timbs, "in token of the offerings of the Eastern Magi. Several authors, including Timbs, viewed the pie as being derived from an old Roman custom practiced during Saturnalia, where Roman fathers in the Vatican were presented with sweetmeats. Early pies were much larger than those consumed today, and oblong shaped; the jurist John Selden presumed that the coffin of our Christmas-Pies, in shape long, is in Imitation of the Cratch although writer T. F. Thistleton-Dyer thought Selden's explanation unlikely, as in old English cookery books the crust of a pie is generally called 'the coffin”.
English recipes from the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries describe a mixture of meat and fruit used as a pie filling. These early recipes included vinegar and wines, but by the 18th century, distilled spirits, frequently brandy, were being used instead. The use of spices like clove, nutmeg, mace, and cinnamon was common in late medieval and renaissance meat dishes. The increase of sweetness from added sugars and those produced from fermentation made mincemeat less a savory dinner course and helped to direct its use toward desserts.
In the mid to late eighteenth century, mincemeat in Europe had become associated with old-fashioned, rural, or homely foods. Victorian England rehabilitated the preparation as a traditional Yuletide treat.
By the mid-twentieth century, the term was also used to describe a similar mixture that does not include meat, but that might include animal fat in the form of suet or butter, but could also substitute solid vegetable fats, making it vegetarian and vegan. Many recipes continue to include suet, venison, minced beef sirloin or minced heart, along with dried fruit, spices, chopped apple, and fresh citrus peel, Zante currants, candied fruits, citron, and brandy, rum, or other liquor. Mincemeat is aged to deepen flavors, activate the preserving effect of alcohol, which over time changes the overall texture of the mixture by breaking down the meat proteins. Preserved mincemeat may be stored for up to ten years.
Mincemeat can be produced at home, often using a family recipe that varies by region or ancestry. Commercial preparations, primarily without meat, packaged in jars, foil-lined boxes, or tins are commonly available.
Mincemeat is frequently consumed during the Christmas holiday season when mince pies or mincemeat tarts are served. In the northeast United States, mincemeat pies are also a traditional part of the Thanksgiving holiday, sometimes served with a piece of Cheddar cheese (I never saw my Grandpa eat it with cheese).
photo credit: https://www.telegraph.co.uk
Mince Pie Fun Dates:
National Mincemeat Pie Day October 26th.
What You’ll Need:
Nilla Wafer Cookies
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 jar None Such Mincemeat Pie filling
1 large Granny Smith apple, chopped - optional
1/4 cup dark raisins - optional
1/4 cup golden raisins - optional
1 teaspoon cinnamon - optional
1 teaspoon nutmeg - optional
1 teaspoon allspice - optional
Add cookies into mixer and pulse until well blended. Stir in the butter and pact the crumble in the bottom of the cups.
After tasting the Pie filling I decided to add more flavors to it. I cooked my apple, raisins, and spices then I heated the filling stirring the mixture every few minutes until everything was well combined and warm. Scoop filling into cups leaving about an inch or so from the top.
Drizzle Rum Sauce over each mini pie (See below bonus recipe).
Enjoy these treats for about a week when covered or in an airtight container.
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons of rum (more or less for desired thickness)
Mix powdered sugar and rum until well mixed.
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Until next time …