Remembering Don Pie (Mincemeat)

Desserts, Pies & Tarts | November 29, 2018 | By

On November 29, 2018, my best friend’s father, Don Beebe, passed away.  Don, whom I have known since I was 11 years old, was just two weeks shy of his 88th birthday.

Don introduced me to mincemeat pie as a child, something he baked every holiday season.  So, with an extra helping of nostalgia, I wrote this recipe while remembering Don this year while doing my Christmas baking.

First, a word on mincemeat.  Mincemeat is a mix of fruits, spices, brandy or rum, and sometimes incorporates meat (beef, venison, lamb, suet, etc.)  English recipes dating back as far as the 15th century feature versions of mincemeat (which originally always contained meat as an ingredient).  It is heavily influenced by the flavors of cinnamon, clove, ginger and citrus, yielding a hearty, sweet and tart filling that would lend itself well to being accompanied by meat, if you enjoy sweet with your meat.

My recipe does not have meat or suet in it and uses only butter as a fat.  It is nonetheless rich, and bursting with holiday flavors.  It’s best with a healthy pour of brandy or rum (I prefer a dark Cruzan rum) in the filling and served with a high quality vanilla ice cream.


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