When I was growing up, at holiday time everyone in my family ate up all the pumpkin pie first. I was the one
who claimed the mincemeat pie since nobody else in the family loved as much as I did. Here is my mother’s easy
recipe. I use frozen pie shells for the time that they save plus I do not have a good pie shell recipe yet.
Mincemeat pie is a very old recipe in the British
tradition. The traditional recipe actually calls for minced
game meats to be added to a fruit filling. I use mincemeat
fruit filling in a jar from the grocery store that actually does
not contain meat so this recipe doubles as a vegetarian
recipe. The fruit filling I use is composed of apples, oranges
and spices and is delicious.
1 jar of mincemeat filling, 29 ounces (I use Crosse & Blackwell - see photo)
2 frozen 9" pastry pie shells (you can try fresh pre-made pie crusts too)
1 egg, beaten, as an egg wash for the top crust, cut with a little milk or water
Now, I always have trouble with defrosting frozen pie crusts and laying the top one out to cover over this pie. It
seems that the top defrosted crust will not behave and cover the top without flaking and breaking no matter how hard I
Here is a trick I recently learned: First, pour the filling into the bottom pie crust. Carve off the topmost ridge
from all around the top edges of the bottom crust to make a good landing zone and sealing surface for the top crust to
Then take the still-frozen top crust and peel it out of its foil container using a sharp knife to work between the
crust and the foil. Place the still-frozen crust over the filled crust, right side up, and let it defrost there. As it defrosts,
work the top crust to cover the filling evenly. The crust will defrost fairly quickly at room temperature since it contains
so much fat, which defrosts faster than non-fat foods.
When the top crust is well seated over the filling, crimp all around the edges with your fingers or use the tines of
a fork so that a good looking seal is made.
Use a pastry brush and coat the top crust and edges with the beaten egg. This will make the pie look
spectacularly browned when it is done. I also think that the egg wash helps protect against excessive browning or
burning. Finally, take a knife and cut several short slashes in the middle of the top shell so that some steam can
escape while cooking.
If you are not happy with this top crust method, try using the streusel topping from my apple pie recipe.
You can also make your own homemade crusts if you have a recipe. As soon as I get a good recipe for
homemade crusts I will post it here.
Place your finished pie on a cookie sheet for stability and bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for about 25-30
Extra step: For a flakier bottom crust, pre-heat the cookie sheet alone for a few minutes before placing the
unbaked pie on it to bake in the oven. Otherwise, the bottom of the crust will become soggy as it bakes. This really
Watch for excessive browning and adjust baking time and perhaps temperature, since your oven may be a bit
cooler or hotter than mine.
With my oven I need to cover the pie with a “tent” of aluminum foil for about half of the total baking time. This
keeps the crust from browning too much while the rest of the pie bakes through.
Like an apple pie, this pie tastes great with vanilla ice cream – enjoy!