Before you ask, no, there's no actual meat in this recipe, even though it's in the name. But why mince words when you can mince pie?
This recipe comes from longtime favorite Bubby's Pie Co. in New York, where chef/owner Ron Silver has been making pie for more than a quarter century. That's a long time, until you consider the history of this dessert, which originally wasn't a dessert at all. Mincemeat is a 500-year-old way of preserving meat and calling it a pie. Traditional versions include suet, or raw animal fat, but the holiday favorite now tends to be PETA friendly, with Silver sneaking in butter as a replacement silky fat. Even though you'll want to dig in right after the scent of ruby port-infused stewed fruit fills your kitchen, listen to Silver, who says this pie "ages gracefully." Meaning: Wait a week.
You'll need 3⅓ cups of filling to make one pie, so if you have extra filling, use it as jam. Silver recommends pairing with raisin walnut crackers and blue cheese—but we're fine eating it one spoonful at a time straight from the refrigerator.
Recipe adapted from Bubby's Pie Co., New York, NY
Yield: One 9-inch pie
Prep Time: 5 minutes, plus one-week chilling and cooling time
Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 35 minutes, plus one-week chilling and cooling time
For the Filling:
¾ cup dried apples
1 cup dried cherries
¾ cup dried apricots
¾ cup dried peaches
¾ cup currants
1 orange, skin and pulp roughly chopped
1 Granny Smith apple—peeled, cored and roughly chopped
¼ cup candied ginger
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup ruby port wine
½ cup brandy
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
¼ cup unsalted butter
For the Pie:
One 9-inch double-crust pie dough
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Make the filling: In a large saucepan, combine all the filling ingredients. Cook over low heat, covered, for about 40 minutes, until the dried fruit is saturated and plump throughout.
2. Using an immersion blender or food processor, roughly purée the mixture until there are still pea-sized pieces in it. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 week to allow the flavors to deepen.
3. Make the pie: Preheat the oven to 450°. Roll out the bottom crust and place it into a 9-inch pie plate. Fill with 3⅓ cups of mincemeat filling, pour the melted butter over top, and then add the top crust. Cut a few slits into the top crust to allow steam to escape.
4. Place the pie on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until the crust looks dry. Turn the oven down to 350° and continue baking for 45 to 55 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling through the slits in the crust.
5. Cool completely before slicing, then serve at room temperature.