Mincemeat Pie

Mincemeat Pie

Mincemeat recipe:
1 pound of anjou pears, peeled cored and chopped finely (can use apples here)
1/2 cup of dried sour cherries (dried blueberries are good too)
1/2 cup dried currants
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup brandy or Grand Marnier
2 tsp finely grated fresh lemon peel
2 tsp finely grated fresh orange peel
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup of walnuts or pecans toasted and finely chopped

Put all ingredients in an airtight container and chill stirring once a day for at least 3 days. If you do a double recipe you can bake two pies staggered up to 2 weeks. I always grate the fruit zest over the bowl to get the essential oils they release.

Double crust pastry dough:
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 sticks butter cold: cut into 1/2" cubes
1/4 cup of cold shortening ( I use lard)
1/2 tsp of salt
7 to 9 tsp of ice water

Blend fats, salt and flour with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse corn meal. this can be done in a food processor in short bursts. Add ice water and stir with a fork until it just holds together in your hand, depending on the humidity you will use more or less to get to this point. Divide dough in half and on a lightly floured board, smear with the heel of your hand a few times to distribute the fats. Chill at this point if it is warming up.

Roll out half the chilled dough on a floured board and place in a 9" pan. Add filling and spread out evenly. Roll out second piece of dough and cut into 1" strips and make a lattice top for the pie. Brush with cream or milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Place baking sheet in the oven and heat to 425°F. Place pie pan onto hot sheet, bake for 20 minutes and then lower temp to 375°F and bake for an hour. (you might want to line the baking sheet with foil, this pie tends to bubble over). When center bubbles and the crust is brown, remove and cool.

Great with a rich french vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream with a dab of vanilla paste and a tablespoon of powdered sugar or 3 in it. (Get vanilla paste at Trader Joe's.)



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