Monday, December 15, 2008

My New Love of Mince Pie

My newest love is minced pie....I will admit I was a skeptic at first when I moved here. I thought minced pie? How gross.
However, it seems that every time I am out lately at the coffee shop or grocery store, someone is ordering a mince pie or purchasing one or a dozen for a party. They are advertised everywhere and people go nuts over them. Since we are living in England, I thought I should be more open to doing as the locals do....

So this past week while I was touring the country with my in-laws, I decided to take a chance, and I purchased a mincemeat pie at a bakery in Stratford. I took one bite and knew it was love. MMM....the short butter crust, the gooey filling with hints of cinnamon, fruit, and the sugar on top....
I had one little pie (about the size of my palm) and I tried to save half of it for Scott to try. I did let him try it, but by the time he got it, there was only about 1/10th of the pie left! It was just enough of a temptation for him to ask what it was and where could he get more. Then, on our trip to the Cotswolds, I popped into a few different bakeries, picking up individual minced pies along the way so we could "taste-test" the various versions of such sweetness.  From these testings, I conclude that I prefer the brandy infused mince pies with a good short crust pastry (tastes almost like shortbread). I have not made these pies myself yet, but I am guessing that it will be on my list of things to learn in the new year. 

***If you are like me, I did not know what was in a mincemeat pie before I moved to clarify, here is a description of them courtesy of Wikipedia: 
"A mince pie (sometimes also minced, minced meat, or mincemeat pie) is a British festive sweet pastry, traditionally consumed during the Christmas and New Year period. Mince pies normally have a pastry top, but versions may also be found without the top in which case they are known as mince tarts. Mince pies are filled with mincemeat- a preserve typically containing apple, dried fruits such as raisins and sultanas, spices and either suet or vegetable shortening. Modern mince pies do not contain any meat, but because suet is raw beef or mutton fat, mince pies made with suet are not suitable for vegetables. Individual mince pies are usually 6 - 7.5 cm in diameter, although larger mince pies, suitable for slicing, may also be baked."

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