My momma used to always say, “Christmas ain’t Christmas ’til somebody cries!” – Donkey, Shrek the Halls
That somebody was me. Last year. I could probably blame some wacky 3rd trimester hormone cocktail but that’s just taking the easy way out. I was so looking forward to Mincemeat Pie for Christmas. Mom assured me it was taken care of. The night of the 23rd, mom called to break the bad news. Dad was apparently also looking forward to Mincemeat Pie. So much so that he couldn’t wait. He and an accomplice polished off the entire pie.
It was after 9pm. I was not happy and I had very few options. I could have Christmas without mincemeat pie or I could run to the grocery store along with all the other last-minute shoppers. I was that desperate. There was no time to cook the filling for a new pie so I was looking for the jarred stuff. Nope. Or even a pre-made pie from the freezer. Double nope.
I scored a jar at the third and final store we checked. The cashier looked at the pregnant chick with the red, puffy eyes with pity. She grabbed my wrist, looked me in the eye, and very kindly wished me a Merry Christmas. There is no telling what was running through her mind!
To protect Dad from temptation, I handled Mincemeat Pie duties this year. I did not have the luxury of being able to babysit a bubbling pot of pie filling for 3+ hours (I had to babysit a real baby!) so I cooked it in the crockpot. (I used the crockpot for something other than sandwiches – add that to your list of Christmas Miracles!). I did end up with about a cup of extra liquid at the end, so I dumped it in a pot on the stove and cooked it for 7-10 minutes over medium high to reduce the liquid. It was perfect!
There’s no meat in this pie! It’s a spicy, clovey, citrusy, Christmasy blend of finely chopped fruits and berries. And Christmas wouldn’t have been Christmas with out it.
Homemade Mincemeat Pie (Crockpot)
A spicy, clovey, citrusy, Christmasy blend of finely chopped fruits and berries
- For the filling
- 2 oranges*
- 2/3 cup sugar*
- 1.5 lb Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1.5 lb McIntosh apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup dried currants
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed (I actually used light brown sugar + 3 Tbsp molasses)
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter
- Grated zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup apple juice (unfiltered like Simply Apple) or apple cider
- 1/3 cup rum
- For the pie
- 1 recipe double pie crust
- 1 egg, whisked with 1Tbsp water
- * You can use already candied orange peel or... Peel the oranges with a vegetable peeler - this will leave the pith behind. Place the peel in a small saucepan with 1 cup water and white sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the orange syrup. Chop the peel into small pieces. Juice one of the oranges and add the juice to the reserved syrup. Reserve the second orange for another use (I removed the pith and ate it!).
- Place all ingredients for the filling (including the candied orange peel, juice, and reserved syrup) in your crockpot. Stir to mix. Cook 8-10 hours on low until darkened and thickened to a jam-like consistency. (If you feel your filling is too liquidy, put it on the stove and reduce it 'til it gets thicker).
- Place the oven rack in the middle and preheat to 400. Place a baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch any drips. Roll out your pie crust into two rounds. Transfer one dough round to a deep-dish, 9-inch pie plate, you should have some overhang (leave that in place). Spoon filling into pie shell and cover with the second dough round. Flute edge and cut 3-4 slits in the top of the pie. Brush with egg wash.
- Bake until crust is light golden brown, 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until crust is deep golden brown. Transfer pie to wire rack and cool to room temperature before serving.
Yields: 8 Servings
Estimated time: 12 hours