How to Make Homemade Mincemeat

I wish you could smell my kitchen right now. The aromas wafting out of it rank up there with roasting turkey and fresh baked pannetone. A pot of homemade mincemeat is simmering on the stove and I’m thinking we’ll be nibbling mince tarts before the weekend is over.

Wait, don’t click away! Granted mincemeat is unfamiliar to many and has a reputation to live down (suet? Eww) but the mincemeat I’m talking about is seasonal, bursting with flavor, and downright decadent. My version of this British holiday favorite is full of cranberries, apples, fresh ground spices, spiked with a splash of liquor and sweetened with maple syrup.

Mincemeat is most often used in recipes such as mince pies, a favorite of Jamie Oliver’s, or Nigella Lawson’s Star-topped mince tarts. I’ve also enjoyed it in shortbread bars, and this Christmas, plan to create a mincemeat slab pie of sorts.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Whole Wheat Crust

Written by Elizabeth of Guilty Kitchen.

I‘ve been challenged before by people to create foods or meals that are unique and intriguing, being not the norm but having the same or similar appeal. It’s not a challenge I take lightly. I was once challenged by a pregnant women (while also being pregnant) to create a vegan brownie that you could not tell was vegan. After only one try, I had it in the bag and it is definitely one of my proudest achievements in the kitchen.

So when Aimée, my editor for Simple Bites, asked me what I thought of whole wheat pie crust, I didn’t skip a beat in replying. “Challenge accepted!” What could be so difficult about it? I use whole wheat flour in just about everything from baked goods to breading for chicken and fish. I grew up with nothing but brown bread and never knew any better, so it doesn’t phase me one bit to rule out white flour.

The challenge of working with whole wheat

Everyone knows that whole grain whole wheat flour is better for you because it contains the germ and the bran, retaining all the vital nutrients (like protein, fibre, calcium, iron, etc.) of the original plant.

The biggest problem when using whole wheat flour in baked goods is the way it rises. It is denser and therefore requires the use of more liquid and longer rising times when using it in breads, muffins, etc. [Read more…]