Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mince Pies

I make a mean mince pie. This year was pretty exciting because I grew both the tomatoes AND the apples with my own two hands (figuratively speaking of course). The sugar and the grapes will have to wait until I either get more land or grow more hands...

I use Martha's Pate Brisée* for the tart shells, and this recipe for the mincemeat:

8 lb apples (I like Granny Smith because they melt in the mix)
6 lbs green tomatoes
3 lbs sugar
2 lbs raisins
1 lb currants
1 c vinegar
8 Tbsp butter
$ Tbsp cinnamon
4 Tbsp grated lemon rind
4 Tbsp grated orange rind
2 tsp nutmeg
20 cloves, stuck in one of those tea balls and left in the mixture the entire time (until you can it)

Peel, core, and chop the apples roughly. Chop the tomatoes roughly. Chuck everything in a very large pot and bring to a boil. Once it's boiled, turn down and let it simmer for an hour or two. I usually leave it to sit overnight or even longer, just to let the flavours meld together a bit. Then I can it.

*Martha's (slightly altered) Pate Brisée

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup butter
6 Tbsp sugar

Martha adds 1 tsp salt but I don't do that, and GASP, I don't use salted butter either. Go for it: the French swear by salt in recipes like these (and I haven't got a good reason why I don't).

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