Mince (No Meat) Pie

Mincemeat pie is one of the best tasting desserts associated  with the Christmas season as far as I am concerned. One of my fondest memories of mincemeat pies comes from one of my neighbors who was English and made tiny mince pies each Christmas season. We would sit at her kitchen table with a cup of tea and she would put out a little tray of these sweet goodies.

Today most people who make mincemeat, just use a combination of apples, raisins or sultanas and don’t use meat at all. Nuts, dates, pears and other lovely ingredients can be added.  Years ago mincemeat was a recipe of fruits, meat (deer is thought to be the first), suet, sugar and some form of alcohol  that was left to age. It was a way of preserving meat and making it taste good. It was then used as an ingredient

I don’t make the traditional little mince pies that most English cooks make. Instead I make enough mince to make a large deep dish pie. This is an easy recipe to multiply for making either more pies, or canning for future use.

Mince (No Meat) Pie

Mince (No Meat) Pie

  • 1  large Golden Delicious apple (or similar sweet, flavorful apple)
  • 1  large Granny Smith apple (or similar tart, flavorful apple)
  • 1  cup golden raisins (sultanas or dark raisins can be used or a combination)
  • 1 Tbsp. dark rum (for plumping)
  • zest of 1/2 orange
  • juice of 1/2 orange
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 4 or more Tbsp. dark rum
  • 1 jar of Crosse and Blackwell Mincemeat
  • Optional ingredients include chopped candied orange peel, or other dried fruit

Peel and dice apples to about the same size as the raisins. Add the lemon juice and toss. Plump the raisins with the 1 Tbsp. of rum. (I microwave covered for 10 seconds). Combine diced apples, plumped raisins, zest of the orange and juice, brown sugar and dark rum.

Put this mixture into a sealed container and let sit at room temperature for at least 4 days or more. Turn or shake the mixture every day. When you mince is to your liking add the jarred mincemeat. Mix well and let sit at least 2 more days. The longer your fruit mixture ages the better the taste will be.

Take your favorite pie crust recipe and roll out two crusts. Place one crust in the bottom of a large deep dish pie plate, fill with mincemeat, and top with the final crust. Make slits to release steam and bake until crusts are nicely browned and juices are bubbling through.

I do hope you will try the recipe for Mincemeat (no meat) pie. The wonderful sweet tart flavor of tart apples and sweet raisins is so good. This recipe can easily be adapted to your own tastes. Make as many or as few as you want…but I know if you serve this fruit pie to your friends to will get compliments on the dessert.

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61 thoughts on “Mince (No Meat) Pie

  1. When we lived in the UK an English friend of my told me that it is good luck to eat a mince pie from everyone one of your friends at Christmas. Personally, I took my chances because I am not a huge fan of mince pies, but I’m not sure why after seeing your beautiful pie. Maybe I should give them one more try.

    1. Hi Karen, Thank you for your compliment. I knew that there were a lot of people that didn’t like mincemeat. I wonder if everyone would like it if it was just called an apple and raisin pie…as that is what mine is.

  2. My mother used to make pies with jarred mincemeat and added chopped apples to “make it less rich” (I think she was just trying to make one jar go further). I was pleased to be able to buy homemade mincemeat at two craft sales this year–one with traditional suet and one without–because it saved me all that apple-chopping. My husband was pleased too because mince tarts are his favourite Christmas treat!

  3. This dish is completely foreign to me. I’ve never tasted mincemeat and I’m not even sure if I’ve seen it. Now that I know what is in it, I’m going to look for it this holiday season and give it a try. I’ll let you know how it goes. 🙂

    1. Hi John, I think that mincemeat is a traditional English recipe. I guess it is like so many of the old fashioned desserts…French Christmas cake and English plum pudding for example. If you didn’t have family, friends or neighbors who made these very traditional dishes, you wouldn’t be familiar with them.

    1. Hi Mandy, Thank you for your compliment. Little ones are the tradition way of making mince pies but we were having company and we thought a nice slice of pie with ice cream would be prettier on the plate.

  4. I am still working on mine, and so interesting that they used to have meat in them. Maybe I should try to make one one day with the meat, just to see they taste like.. How to find that recipe though. this looks like a fine way to end a lovely dinner, nice and hot with the cold icecream! c

    1. Hi Celi, Thank you for your comment. I have some of the traditional mincemeat made with deer meat in my freezer. My girlfriend here in New Hampshire made me some. She and here family worked all day chopping apples and raisins, mixing with liquor and letting it sit for several days. They then chopped deer meat fine and cooked it until it fell apart. It was then added to the apple mixture and frozen. If she didn’t tell you, you would never know there was any meat in her pies…they were delicious.

  5. Wow! although my maternal grandmother’s side is of English descent and early New Englanders and “mincemeat” pie is not a foreign idea to me; I really always wondered why it was called Mincemeat. I had no idea that the original versions actually had meat. (and deer makes so much sense) Older relatives still made it at Christmas back when I was little and I never really liked it. Perhaps as an adult I should try it again – you make yours seem so friendly and delicious. I actually think I might like the meat version – as I love venison – but I am not a huge fan of “boozy” desserts so maybe not.

    1. Hi Carol, The rum, brandy or whichever liquor you choose to use is a way of preserving. The amount could be much less or it could be left out entirely but would need to be refrigerated. If you had mincemeat that contained meat, I don’t think you would know it was one of the ingredients.

      1. Hi Carol, It would be interesting to see if any of your relatives made mincemeat pies using meat in their recipes. Like I said, I don’t think most people could tell by taste or texture.

  6. In this post: far too much mincemeat hate! What’s with all the mincemeat haters? It’s one of the best things about Christmas but darn, Karen – you beat me too it. I just finished canning my own mincemeat a few days ago, and made my first batch of pies tonight – I’ll be posting recipes later and you beat me to it 😀

    Now I can trick all my friends because they all think a “mince pie” has meat in it 😀

    1. Hi Charles, It is a good thing that I’m so crazy about all of my readers. I know that they have good taste when it comes to eating but I don’t know why the mincemeat haters are coming out of the cracks. What is not to like about apples, raisins and some liquor plus your other favorite fruits and nuts? Wrap it all up in a lovely pastry crust and it is delicious. Maybe its the name. I can’t wait to read your post and I’m sure I will try your recipe as well.

      1. As I made my mincemeat entirely from scratch I was worried that I couldn’t at first because it’s hard to find suet in France – I had to get my dear mother to send me some boxes over from England, lol 😀

        You know, it’s the same with an English spread called “Marmite” (made from yeast). People either love it (like me… it’s SO good), or they detest it with the passion of a thousand flaming suns. There’s just no “half ways” about it 🙂

      2. I can’t get the suet here in New Hampshire but I don’t think that my guests would have known the difference with the pie I made. They asked if they could take pie home. Good enough for me…they loved it. I haven’t had Marmite…but it seems that so many people talk favorably about it. Maybe that is just the Marmite lovers talking.

    1. Hi Jed, Thank you for your comment. Yea for the rum! It really adds so much flavor. I’m so amazed that so many people say that they don’t like mincemeat that I don’t know what they would have said if I had meat and suet in the recipe. I have some of that in my freezer but chose not to use it for this post. I am an adventurous eater and really like the traditional recipes.

  7. That looks like a delicious pie! The pastry looks crumbly and faky and like it would melt in the mouth, and the mincemeat looks yummy. Would quite happily eat the lot!

    1. Hi Kristy, Thank you for your nice comment. I think you would enjoy the pie. Like you said…fruit and rum all wrapped up in flaky pastry. How can it be anything but good.

  8. Delicious! I remember my mother was crazy about mincemeat….because it’s so good! Your pie is lovely and I like that you added to the commercial product!

    1. Hi Ann, Thank you so much for your nice compliment. I like the flavor of the spices used in the Crosse and Blackwell jarred mincemeat. It is what I originally had when young.

  9. So I read in an earlier comment that if the pie had meat in it, you wouldn’t know it. Does the meat add anything to the pie at all? BTW, is this pie crust recipe hiding somewhere amongst your previous posts? 🙂 ~Ruth

    1. Meat adds a richness to the pie but there is not a distinct meat flavor. The pie crust is just a basic recipe: 14 Tbsp. butter, 2 1/4 c. flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 5 to 7 Tbsp. ice water and 1 Tbsp. vinegar. Enjoy!

    1. If you have a problem making pastry you could try using a marble or metal rolling pin and a cold slab of stone for rolling. You can also use a pre made pie crust that comes rolled up in the refrigerated case of your local grocery. Some of them are very good…try experimenting.

  10. I have never had a mincemeat pie, but yours looks gorgeous. I also add rum very often to my cakes. It’s my favourite baking alcohol. I remember talking to some people who moved to UK and couldn’t understand why mincemeat is not meat 😉

    1. Hi Sissi, Thank you for your compliment. You are right about using rum in baking. Would you believe that I have a spiced buttered rum cake on my cake stand now.

  11. This looks great It reminds me of my bf’s mom’s family recipe for a no meat mince meat pie. It also has no meat in it. She uses LOTS of rum. We drink it with wassail.

    1. Thank you for your compliment. I grew up liking mincemeat pie as does my husband. The British seem to really enjoy mincemeat as well. If you like raisins and apples then you will enjoy this pie.

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