Sunday, December 26, 2010

mincemeat challenge

I love mincemeat. My Granny has always said that None Such Mincemeat is the very best, and that's what we usually have in our family if we have mincemeat pie. I sent my sister a jar of None Such in her Christmas package, but I wanted to try homemade mincemeat this year. I went with a meatfree version, even though I can never taste the suet in None Such anyway.

I made meatless mincemeat on Thursday morning. I used my food processor to chop everything, and I used 2 clementines instead of 1 orange. I also zested my citrus and used just the segments instead of putting the whole thing, pith and all, into the processor. Instead of chopping all the raisins, I left about half of them out of the cuisinart so I'd have different textures in my mincemeat. When it came time to add the spices, I followed the recipe's guidelines, but I added a heaping 1/2 teaspoon all spice. It seemed like the right thing to do.
Everything cooked down nicely, and it made my house smell exactly perfect. Then I refrigerated my mincemeat until I was ready to bake on Christmas Eve.
I made one double crust pie (a big thank you to my friends at Pillsbury for the refrigerated dough) and one oatmeal crisp. I decided to try a crisp because my Joy of Cooking has a recipe for a mincemeat oat crisp in it, and I didn't have enough pie crusts to make more than one pie. The crisp topping is pretty straight forward: oats, butter, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
I took the crisp to my in-laws for us to enjoy on Christmas Eve after our big dinner, and I was planning on taking the pie to the Mize family Christmas on Christmas day.

We had the crisp after an enormous and delicious meal of ham, cheese grits, sauteed kale, and roasted winter root vegetables. Elin and Steve hand whooped some cream, per Arnaudin tradition.
I loved the crisp-- the oats go perfectly with the sweet and tangy mincemeat. Edwin had never had mincemeat, and he thought the crisp was fantastic. In fact, EDW says mincemeat crisp is now one of his favorite desserts ever, which is saying a lot.
We got snowed out of our Mize Christmas plans, so I left half the pie with Mary and Steve and brough the rest home with us. EDW and I had pie last night, and though the pie is delicious, we both agree the crisp is the clear winner. Edwin says for him, mincemeat is out-pied by apple and pumpkin-- but as a crisp it out-crisps almost all other fruit combinations. I agree.
So. Buy some None Such or make your own. Make it into a crisp instead of a pie. Get your in-laws to hand whoop the cream. All will be right in the world.

1 comment:

  1. We'll just have to agree to disagree on the preference of the crisp compared with the pie. Both are tasty. Yet to me, the simple pie crust allows the mincemeat to shine on its own.