Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Holiday Treat!

We are well into December now, and thinking of holiday parties and festivities to come. At every Christmas gathering, there are the traditional dishes, some based on where one lives around the  globe, and some based on tradition, mostly German and English, like the "Dickens Christmas", for instance.

In 1773, noted English clergyman James Woodforde, was asked to organize a holiday meal at New College, Oxford, and of course, he included Mince Pies! Below is his recipe, that was recorded in 1795.

Parson Woodforde’s Mince Pies

For the mincemeat (2-2 ½ lbs):
¾ lb cooking apples;
8 oz currants;
8 oz raisins;
6 oz shredded suet;
8 oz dark brown muscovado sugar;
4 oz lean beef mince;
grated rind and juice of 1 medium lemon;
1/8 teaspoon ground mace;
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves;
1-2 drops cider vinegar to sharpen (optional);
3-4 dessertspoons brandy, to taste.
Peel and core the apples. Mince them, together with the dried fruit and suet. Then mix in all the other ingredients. Store in airtight, vinegar-proof pots in the refrigerator. Use within three weeks.
For the mince pies (about 20):
Do not use the mincemeat uncooked. Grease bun or patty tins and line with puff pastry. Fill with the mincemeat; the quantity above should fill twenty deep 2½ inch diameter tins. Cover if you wish, but remember that fatty meat may float off a little free during cooking; it can be blotted off open tartlets after cooking. If not covered, top each mince pie with a rosette of brandy butter before serving. 

By the way, Woodforde is the author of The Diary of a Country Parson. It is a rather detailed and meticulous record of his life. It provides an authentic look at the life of country life in England at the time. You might find it a tasty treat as well!

No comments:

Post a Comment