Mince Pies

Period Recipe

Good puff-paste No. 1205, excellent mincemeat No. 1310.Very good puff-pasteTo every lb. of flour allow 1 lb. of butter, and not quite 1/2 pint of water Carefully weigh the flour and butter, and have the exact proportion; squeeze the butter well, to extract the water from it, and afterwards wring it in a clean cloth, that no moisture may remain. Sift the flour; see that it is perfectly dry, and proceed in the following manner to make the paste, using a very clean paste-board and rolling-pin:—Supposing the quantity to be 1 lb. of flour, work the whole into a smooth paste, with not quite 1/2 pint of water, using a knife to mix it with: the proportion of this latter ingredient must be regulated by the discretion of the cook; if too much be added, the paste, when baked, will be tough. Roll it out until it is of an equal thickness of about an inch; break 4 oz. of the butter into small pieces; place these on the paste, sift over it a little flour, fold it over, roll out again, and put another 4 oz. of butter. Repeat the rolling and buttering until the paste has been rolled out 4 times, or equal quantities of flour and butter have been used. Do not omit, every time the paste is rolled out, to dredge a little flour over that and the rolling-pin, to prevent both from sticking. Handle the paste as lightly as possible, and do not press heavily upon it with the rolling-pin. The next thing to be considered is the oven, as the baking of pastry requires particular attention. Do not put it into the oven until it is sufficiently hot to raise the paste; for the best-prepared paste, if not properly baked, will be good for nothing. Brushing the paste as often as rolled out, and the pieces of butter placed thereon, with the white of an egg, assists it to rise in leaves or flakes. As this is the great beauty of puff-paste, it is as well to try this method. Average cost: 1s. 4d. per lb. Excellent Mincemeat3 large lemons3 large apples1 lb. of stoned raisins1 lb. of currants1 lb. of suet2 lbs. of moist sugar1 oz. of sliced candied citron1 oz. of sliced candied orange-peel and the same quantity of lemon-peel1 teacupful of brandy2 tablespoonfuls of orange marmalade Grate the rinds of the lemons; squeeze out the juice, strain it, and boil the remainder of the lemons until tender enough to pulp or chop very finely. Then add to this pulp the apples, which should be baked, and their skins and cores removed; put in the remaining ingredients one by one, and, as they are added, mix everything very thoroughly together. Put the mincemeat into a stone jar with a closely-fitting lid, and in a fortnight it will be ready for use. This should be made the first or second week in December. Mince PiesMake some good puff-paste [...]; roll it out to the thickness of about 1/4 inch, and line some good-sized pattypans with it; fill them with mincemeat, cover with the paste, and cut it off all round close to the edge of the tin. Put the pies into a brisk oven, to draw the paste up, and bake for 25 minutes, or longer, should the pies be very large; brush them over with the white of an egg, beaten with the blade of a knife to a stiff froth; sprinkle over pounded sugar, and put them into the oven for a minute or two, to dry the egg; dish the pies on a white d'oyley, and serve hot. They may be merely sprinkled with pounded sugar instead of being glazed, when that mode is preferred. To re-warm them, put the pies on the pattypans, and let them remain in the oven for 10 minutes or 1/4 hour, and they will be almost as good as if freshly made. Time: 25 to 30 minutes; 10 minutes to re-warm them.Average cost: 4d. each.Sufficient: 1/2 lb. of paste for 4 pies Seasonable at Christmas time. Source: The Book of Household Management, Comprising Information for the Mistress, Housekeeper, Cook, Kitchen-maid, Butler, Footman, Coachman, Valet, Upper and under house-maids, Lady's-maid, Maid-of-all-work, Laundry-maid, Nurse and nurse-maid, Monthly, wet, and sick nurses, etc. etc. also, sanitary, medical, & legal memoranda; with a history of the origin, properties, and uses of all things connected with home life and comfort. by Mrs. Isabella Beeton, originally published in 1861. Full text available online here (external link), published by eBooks@adelaide 2006.

Type of Recipe