Monday, December 22, 2008

Meeting Mince

My dad is famous at Christmas time for his particular love for two foods: over-baked shortbreads and mincemeat tarts. And really, who am I to deny him the pleasure this time of year? I've mentioned Christmas traditions in earlier posts this year, and even though my dad was recently diagnosed as pre-diabetic I couldn't let this year go by without a few tokens of the holiday spirit gracing his table!

Mincemeat filling (which I'm sure you know no longer contains animal products for the most part... if you really search you can find some versions with suet) is notorious for it's high sugar content due to all the dried fruits that make it tasty... at the very least raisins and candied peel make an appearance, and the whole concoction is usually bound together with various sugary syrups (brown sugar and brandy in this mix, and not so nice corn syrups and glucose-fructose in the commercial kinds). Unlike previous years when I did resort to the jarred filling after making a scratch (but white-flour) pie dough to hold it all, this time around I was lucky enough to have several jars of a truthfully home-made, spicy mincemeat in my freezer begging to be used. Props to David of Wish I Were Baking for the recipe inspiration and basic formula - after (multiple) samplings I can assure everyone that it is fantastic both pre- and post-freezing, not to mention incredibly versatile (but more on that later!).

Armed with the wholesome blackstrap molasses, apple, carrot and tomato (!) filling, I set about making an equally delicious crust. All white flour was out the window, but I knew there had to be a little bit in the mix otherwise I'd have a fall-aparty mess on my hands... something I wasn't prepared to deal with in a sleepy haze this weekend! I settled for the addition of buckwheat flour and ground flaxseed and chilled the dough overnigh to make it more workable. In the twelve hours I let it rest I also came up with a new layer of fun for the pie - a base of sliced tart apples to break up the texture and sweetness of the heavier, spicy mincemeat, and a decorative top crust in place of a regular lattice or full-pastry crown.

It didn't take me long at all to whip this pie together, since both the dough and the mincemeat were pre-made... I was rewarded with a tender dough (from the lower gluten) that was more flavourful and healthier than the regular pastry I use, and I even got to make some extra tartlets with the leftover pastry and filling - luckily Andrew is a mincemeat fan too!

Thanks to Slashfood for featuring the below photo on their page today too, I'm honoured!!
Apple - Mince Pie
Serves 12
2 tsp ground flaxseed
2 tbsp hot water
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
2/3 cup shortening
1 tbsp vinegar
2-3 tbsp ice water
1 large tart apple, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cups prepared mincemeat
  1. Combine flaxseed and hot water in a small dish, set aside to cool completely.
  2. Place flours into a mixing bowl.
  3. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  4. Add cooled flaxseed mixture and mix in.
  5. Combine vinegar and ice water and slowly add it to the flour, mixing until it just comes together. You may not need all the water.
  6. Wrap dough in cling film and refrigerate 12 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 450F.
  8. Roll out 2/3 of the dough and line a 9" pie tin, trimming the excess dough and reserving it for decoration.
  9. Line the shell with a layer of the thinly sliced apples.
  10. Pour mincemeat overtop of the apples.
  11. Using the reserved pie dough, cut out a lattice or other shapes and decorate the top of the pie.
  12. Place into the oven and bake 10 minutes.
  13. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F and bake a further 30 minutes.
  14. Cool completely on a rack before serving.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 199.9
Total Fat: 11.9 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 5.0 mg
Total Carbs: 22.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.1 g
Protein: 1.8 g

1 comment :

Mrs. L said...

My Grandma loves mince meat pie. Though I used store bought filling I made her her own pie this past Thanksgiving. Maybe I'll try to make one from scratch next year!