Mince Pie! Mince Pie!
I’m addicted to “The Hope Chest,” a blog showcasing “Bad news from the Past.” One of the reasons I love it is that Mr. Parallel, curator of The Hope Chest, is a serious scholar of the mince pie, its connotations and denotations. If you don’t believe me, follow the tag Hot Mince Pie.
I have an historic mincemeat recipe, one for which my great-grandmother was famous. In homage to Mr. Parallel, and his unparalleled blog, I give you Ruth Walter Amos’s Mincemeat, which will be just the kind of thing you like if you like this kind of thing.
Boil 3 pounds of venison neck roast until well-done. Pick over the meat, discarding the bones, and mix in a large bowl with:
1 pound apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 pound raisins, seeded (this element of the recipe dates it to before wide availability of the seedless raisin–maybe 1885 or so)
1 pound currants
1/2 pound candied citron
2 quarts sweet cider (as opposed to hard cider, which my great-grandmother, a Temperance woman to her bones, would never have permitted in her home)
7 cups sugar
1 tablespoon black pepper
3 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cloves
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 pound suet, chopped
Simmer mixture for 2 hours in a large kettle. Pack in sterilized quart jars and process in hot water bath for 15-20 minutes.
Make up into pies using your favorite pie crust recipe. Eat while warm. Be prepared for indigestion, nightmares, and possible crime to follow.