I made my very first mincemeat pie over Thanksgiving. I had heard of it before, but never seen, tried, or attempted to make one on my own. One of our Thanksgiving celebrations was with my husband’s dad, stepmom, and grandma. I always make his dad a pecan pie when I see him, but this year I decided to make them each a pie, so I made a mincemeat pie for his stepmom and a chocolate/French silk pie for Grandma Z.
I found out later that they sell mincemeat pie filling in a jar. Really?! Nobody told me. It’s not in true Kim-fashion anyway to use a jarred mix of sorts. So, per usual, I scoured the interwebs in search of what sounded like the best recipe. I ended up adapting this one from Allrecipes.com for the filling. This ended up to be really tasty! I had no idea what to expect, but it was so flavorful and received rave reviews from even the toughest critics.
I should note that this is a sweet pie, not savory as you might expect. It’s definitely for dessert, but I may or may not have eaten the leftovers for lunch. Hey, it has fruit, meat, and carbs in it, so it’s a perfectly suitable meal if you ask me… Enjoy!
For the Filling:
1-1/4 pounds lean ground beef
4-1/2 cups apples – peeled, cored and diced
2-1/4 cups dried fruit (I used dried cherries and cranberries)
1/2 cup and brandy
- 1/4 cup pickle juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-1/4 cups and 1 tablespoon white sugar
orange zest to taste (I used the zest of half a softball sized orange)
For the Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
1/2 cup water
Make the dough for the crusts:
1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough in half, and shape into balls. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Make the filling:
2. Make the filling. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef thoroughly, being sure not to over-brown it.
3. Place chopped apples and the cooked ground beef in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is made up of pea sized chunks.
4. In a non-reactive skillet combine the apple and ground beef mixture with the dried fruit, half of the brandy, the pickle juice, ground cinnamon, ground allspice, ground nutmeg and the white sugar. Simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Cool filling to lukewarm and store in covered container in the refrigerator for a week, or freeze. Continue to add brandy to the filling and mix it up every few days.
Assemble your pie:
6. Preheat your oven to 325°F
7. Roll out the dough for the two crusts on a floured surface, making sure not to overwork it.
8. Put one crust in the pie pan. Pour in the filling. Top with the second crust. (I chose to do a lattice top for mine, but you could just cover it and put a few slits in the top if you prefer.)
9. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Cool and serve!