Mincemeat – Tasty Pasty

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Last weekend I made some mincemeat pastries or as the British say “pasty”. Basically, a small pie made without a tin just bakes on a cookie sheet with the crust supporting itself. Very tasty. Smells wonderful too,  sort of like apple cider. Generally, it is a fall or winter dish. I had it hiding in the back of my pantry and some left over pie dough in the freezer from November.

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Mincemeat is a mixture of dried fruit like raisins, apples and cherries with spices like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Originally, most contained finely chopped meat (thus the name) and were more on the savory side being that sugar was a bit of a luxury back in the 16th century. I’m using a pre-made package that actually does contain beef according to the ingredients (but I saw no real trace of it). Mostly it is brown sugar.

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How it looks straight out of the package.

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Step 1: Open box, crumble contents into a sauce pan.

Step 2: Add water (I recommend less than the instructions say about 1 cup)

Step 3: Bring to a boil, let boil for 1 min and then simmer to reduce liquid until proper consistency is reached.

Step 4: Let cool (should thicken slightly)

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Step 5: Roll out pie dough and cut into smaller circles or squares on a cookie sheet.

Step 6: Put filling in the middle (don’t overfill or have too much liquid)

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Step 7: Fold over dough and pinch to close (use a little water or egg wash to seal if you choose) and cut vent hole.

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I find the traditional circle (half moon) shape was best for keeping sealed and the correct proportion of filling to crust. Maybe not the prettiest but is the most practical shape. By the way, I’m sort of new to pie-making as this is only my 4 or 5 attempt. Therefore, my pinched edging is awful. If you are creative you can use a bit of left over dough to make a decorative leaf shape to put on top of the pasty.

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Step 8: Bake in oven until crust is golden, about 10 minutes. (I put a little butter on the outside a minute before it is done to get the perfect color.)

Step 9: Let cool for as long as you can stand and then devour.

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A little bit oozed out during cooking but certainly still good. The taste is somewhat like an apple pie but with lots of flavors of clove and cinnamon.

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