Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Getting to the Meat of It: Mincemeat Pie and Cookies

While we were visiting Thatmom, we decided to take advantage of Irvine Regional Park, a giant park with all sorts of fun things.  Including a train!

Per usual, Thatbaby fell asleep on the way there.  Really, the only time he stays awake in the car is when you're dying for him to fall asleep.  But as soon as he woke up, he shouted "Choo Choo!"  Guess he remembered where we were going.

He sat with Thatmom on the train, whom he gleefully refers to as "A-ma."  And they pointed out all the fun things to each other like the horsies, fishies, peacocks, and lakes.  And every few minutes Thatbaby called out "Alll Aboard!"

And he was ever so brave in the tunnel.

Afterwards, even though it was 1000000 degrees outside, Thatbaby wanted to explore the park, the playgrounds, the ducks, and the ponies.  He found a way to communicate with them.  He would neigh, and the pony would paw his at the ground with his hoof.  And then Thatbaby would paw at the ground with his foot.

Even with the heat, it's definitely feeling like fall.  I even saw some leaves changing color when I went on my run on Saturday.  I wanted to make a harvest type meal, and flipping through the Fannie Farmer cookbook had me land smack dab on Mincemeat.  I know it's typically a Christmas type thing, but with all the dried fruits and apples, it seems autumnal to me.

Mincemeat was originally a way of preserving meat.  Like keeping fruit fresh year round, mincemeat allowed meat to be stored for long periods of time (Thatmom's friend described it as "indefinitely").  Thatboy had a really hard time with the concept of eating meat for dessert.  And I'm not going to lie, the thought of it weirds me out a little too.  But then I started cooking it.  And the aroma of candied fruit, molasses, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg filled the house.  And you kind of forget about the meat, which is such a small part of the recipe.  And it doesn't taste like meat either, just sweet and spicy (but the cinnamon kind of spice, not the sriracha kind!)  Of course, this recipe makes a boatload of mincemeat (in fact, this is what I made, which cuts the recipe in third.)  And I still have a ton left.  So I'm taking suggestions for great uses for mincemeat!

Mincemeat  (From the Fannie Farmer Cookbook)
1 1/3 chopped lean beef
2/3 chopped beef suet
1 lb dark brown sugar
2/3 cup molasses
2/3 quart cider
1 lb dried currants
1 1/3 lbs raisins
1/6 lbs citron
1 lb apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/3 quart brandy
1/3 Tbsp cinnamon
1/3 Tbsp mace
1/3 Tbsp ground cloves
1/3 tsp nutmeg
1/3 tsp allspice
2/3 tsp salt
  1. Put the beef, suet, brown sugar, molasses, cider, currants, raisins, and citron in a large pot.  Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the sugar and citron melt.
  2. Add the apples and cook until tender
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and cook 15 more minutes, stirring frequently.  

Mincemeat Cookies (From the Fannie Farmer Cookbook)
1 cup shortening
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped nuts
1 1/2 cups mincemeat
  1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Cream the shortening.
  2. Add the vanilla, sugar, and eggs and mix well.
  3. Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda together and add to the first mixture, blending well.
  4. Stir in the nuts and the mincemeat.  Arrange by teaspoonfuls on the cookie sheets.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned.

Mince Pie (From the Fannie Farmer Cookbook)
2 balls of pie dough
1 pint of mincemeat
  1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a 9 inch pie pan with 1 ball of the pie dough.
  2. Fill the pan with the mincemeat.
  3. Roll out the other ball of pie dough and make a top crust.  Crimp the edges and cut vents.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Lower the heat to 350 and bake 40 minutes more, until browned.


  1. ThatBaby's obsession with trains just continues to be super cute!

  2. Oh my! Look at those trains! I have never made mincemeat before, but it is my grandpa's favorite. I'm going to have to give it a try and then make him a pie!