Mincemeat Pies (Based on a Medieval Recipe)


The history of the mincemeat pie is quite old. It can be traced back to the 12th century when crusaders brought back spices from the Middle East. The spices then where introduced into the medieval diet and used for various things including spiced meat and fruit. This popular mix is what began the little pies that we know today. Mincemeat pies.

I derived most of this recipe from a course I took in 2014 from FutureLearn. I had to do some improvising, as I did not have all the ingredients available to me at the time.

What you will need:

  • 1 cupcake tin (I made a dozen with this recipe)
  • a medium size pot to cook down the mincemeat
  • bowl for dough
  • pastry cutter

Shortcrust Pastry Dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour (I like King Arthur flour the best)
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter
  • good size pinch of salt
  • 4-5 Tbsp of cold water


  • 2 pork chops –optional- (If you want to place meat in them… original pies did have meat!)
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup of dried currants
  • 1/2 cup of dried cherries (could even use dates. But my store didn’t have any)
  • 1/2 cup diced dried plums
  • 1/2 cup of red wine
  • 1/3 cup of rum
  • 1 tbs of molasses for color
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • a few dashes of salt
    (when measuring out the spices I was quite generous. But I cook like “throw it all in a pot”)
  • two large tbsp of marmalade
  • 1 slice of orange
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs for binding agent
  • 1 table spoon of olive oil

Take the two pork chops, with no bones and place them in the pot. Dust them with cloves and put the olive oil in to tender the meat. Add about a 1/2 cup of water to steam them. Cook them until they are just done. You want the meat tender and easy to chop up into fine pieces.

Chop the meat up once it is cooked through and return to the pot. Next, with all the liquid still from the pork chops, add all the fruit, sugar, orange slice, marmalade, bread crumbs, wine, and spices all into the mix. Put the mixture on low and cover with a lid. Add the rum to flavor. Taste periodically, to see if you need to adjust any of the spices or add more. It takes about a good 3 hours for the mix to cook down at low heat. It should have a consistency of thick jam. When done, let it cool. Mincemeat can be stored for up to a year if canned in a jar with sealed lid, if the mix is made without meat. Brandy or rum is excellent to preserve the mixture.

Preheat oven to 176 C -180 C.

Grease cupcake the tins with lard.

Mixing the shortcut pastry and final prep for the oven:

In a bowl, add the flour and salt mix well. Chop up the butter and add that as well. I don’t have a food processor, so I used a pastry slicer and blended the butter and flour together. I next used my fingers to get the mixture to a consistency like bread crumbs. Then add the water and kneed to form a soft ball of dough. You can refrigerate over-night or just roll it out.

Cut the dough large enough to fit in the cupcake tins and fill with the mincemeat mixture. Cut another circle to use as a top. Don’t forget to poke with a fork for ventilation. Cutting the pastry in shapes such as stars or Fleur de Lis for the top is a popular decoration for this treat. I just made mini pies.

Cook for 20 minutes or until crust is baked and a tiny golden. Lift out with a fork or knife and cool on a plate. If you love mincemeat pies and other holiday treats you will love these. Homemade is always better than store bought! These tasty pies can be stored in an air tight container or tin for a good two weeks. Refrigerate or freeze. Enjoy!


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