This traditionally English dessert makes me think of Professor Snape, sitting in his living quarters at Hogwarts during the Christmas holidays, savoring a small piece of mince pie. Not too sweet, full of dark goodness and a bit sharp…similar to his personality. Washed down, of course, with a freshly and precisely brewed cup of Lapsang-Souchong tea.
What is mincemeat, you might ask? Mincemeat was originally an old English custom, a sweet, spicy mixture of finely chopped meat, suet and fruit. At some point, the meat was reduced or completely removed, and nowadays, it’s usually a mix of dried chopped fruit (raisins, currents, apples, pears, citrus peel, etc.), spices and sometimes nuts, suet, and brandy or rum.
Here are a couple of recipes: this one is traditional (without meat); this one is from the Pennsylvania Dutch (with meat), in honor of Mom, who loved all things Pennsylvania Dutch. Also, I’ve included a link about the traditions of mincemeat.
Give it a try next time you see it at a holiday table…you just might be surprised at how much you like it!