Since mentioning Dad’s delicious mincemeat in a previous post, a number of people have asked me for his recipe. I’ve decided to post several, so that people wanting to make mincemeat have some options.
Dad uses the Mincemeat Without Suet recipe from Mom’s 1960s edition of A Guide to Good Cooking with Five Roses Flour. Mom used to make it for years, but Dad has taken over the job, and does very well. He’s become quite a baker since he retired from teaching, and is known for his buns and mince tarts – both made entirely from scratch. His recipe is as follows:
Mincemeat Without Suet
2 cups (1 lb) butter
1 lb currants
1 lb raisins
1 1/2 lb chopped apple
1 lb mixed peel
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 nutmeg, grated
1 lemon, juice and rind
1 1/2 lbs sugar
Clean fruits and chop apple, raisins, and peel. Stir in currants, sugar, butter, spices, and lemon juice and grated rind. Pack in jars until ready to use. This mixture does not require pre-cooking. It contains no butcher’s meat and uses butter in place of suet. It is wholesome and appetizing.
From The Young Housekeeper’s Assistant, by Mrs. E.G. Follett, 1864 comes the following:
An Economical Mince Pie
Take your giblets of beefsteak or roast beef, chop fine, add double the quantity in fruit. If you have remnants of preserved or canned fruit, put all together; wet with some of the liquid from your sweet pickles, or boiled cider; sugar and spice to taste; much less of either is required if you use the liquor from sweet pickles. Broken pieces and crumbs of fruit cake are nice also; strew in a little dried orange peel, cut fine.
If you find yourself with more green tomatoes than you know what to do with, try Ruth Wakefield’s recipe from Toll House Tried and True Recipes, 1940. Yes, that’s the chocolate chip cookie lady!
Green Tomato Mincemeat
1 peck of green tomatoes fine, drain and rinse in cold water. Add
1 cup vinegar and
4 cups water and cook slowly for 2 hours, then add
2 lbs chopped raisins
3 lbs white sugar
1 lb brown sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp allspice
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp nutmeg
1 tsp clove
Cook 2 hours longer and seal in sterilized jars.
And finally, Bettina’s recipe from Bettina’s Best Desserts, by Louise Bennett Weaver and Helen Cowles LeCron, and illustrated by Elizabeth Colborne. The book is from 1923, and states that “Bettina makes her own mincemeat, and her mince pies are the best of their kind.”
(Eight quarts or filling for twelve pies.)
Two pounds uncooked beef, chopped fine
One pound suet, chopped fine
Three pounds raisins, well washed
Three pounds currants, well washed
Five cups brown sugar
One cup molasses
Three quarts chopped apples. (Twelve cups)
Four cups fruit juice, any kind
Two level tablespoons salt
Three level tablespoons ground cinnamon
Two level teaspoons mace
Two level teaspoons ground clove
One level teaspoon grated nutmeg
Two lemons, grated rind and juice
One-fourth pound chopped citron
Four cups meat stock
Wash the meat and cook in boiling water to cover, until tender. (Round, flank or shoulder of beef may be used.) Remove all the gristle and chop the rest of the meat. Reserve meat stock, measure out four cups of the stock, and add the rest of the ingredients. Cook slowly for one hour. Pour into glass jars, sterilized and boiling hot. Seal at once. Spiced peach juices, cider, jellies or fruit juices may be added when the mincemeat is used in pies.
I hope that some of you try some of these recipes, and if you do, please let me know how they turn out.