Like plum pudding, mince pies are a traditional Christmas treat throughout the United Kingdom. Making mincemeat was a way of preserving meat using sugar and alcohol rather than smoke or salt. Historically, mince meat pies were made primarily with mutton. Today's pies are generally chopped meat with dried and fresh fruits, nuts, spices, and brandy.
Make your mincemeat filling when you make your fruitcakes: the longer the mixture sits, the better. If you are making traditional mincemeat, store the meat mixture in the refrigerator. Stir and refresh with brandy to cover every week. For fruit-based mincemeat, the mixture can remain at room temperature; stir occasionally and add more brandy, if necessary.
See our complete collection of mincemeat pies.
- Decorate the top of the pie with a star to represent the Star of Bethlehem
- Stir the mincemeat mixture in a clockwise direction--counterclockwise brings bad luck in the coming year
- Make a wish on the first mince pie of the season
- The pies were originally cradle-shaped for the Christ child
- If you bake small pies, it's considered lucky to eat one mince pie on each of the twelve days of Christmas
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