We enjoy a good throwback, so in 2015 we re-created BA’s Thanksgiving menu circa 1974—Jell-O mold and all—and found a sleeper hit: this mincemeat pie recipe. Its crust is golden brown and flaky and the filling is deeply fruity and laced with warm spices.
And before you ask, no, you do not need to make it with meat. Mincemeat pie, more commonly called mince pie in the UK, boasts one of the more confusing recipe names out there. In the Middle Ages, chopped meat, liver, or fish, along with chopped hard-boiled eggs and ginger were tucked into small pastries called chewette, according to the “Oxford Companion to Food.” Dried fruits were commonly added and by the 16th century, the name changed to minced or shred pies, which were made for Christmas as they still are today. Fast-forward to the 19th century and meat had mostly disappeared from mincemeat.
Some traditional recipes still call for beef suet (fat from around a cow’s kidneys); but here we use schmaltz or butter—everything else is vegetarian. The mincemeat filling ingredient list is lengthy, but the steps are simple and if you don’t like one of the many dried fruits, you can easily replace it with more of the ones you do like. The filling produces enough for two pies. If you plan to make both at once, you’ll need four batches of this Actually Perfect Pie Crust so you can finish the pies with a lattice-top crust. Serve them warm with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy a slice at room temperature the next morning for breakfast.