I’m making tarts in ramekins to start with, eager to see how they come out. Thanks for your continued efforts! Some recipes suggest leaving out the apples and suet until the mince is to be used. Savoring history's repast. Stollen is not a British cake, but as part of a British Christmas, it is most definitely a part of the festivities. Stoning four pounds of raisins, for instance, would have been a tedious and sticky job, whereas, the only preparation needed for currants was to make sure they were clear of stems, washed, and well dried. Pingback: Suet, Part Four: A Few Recipes. I’m talking about what we Americans call “Zante” currants. Taste of Home. The early 19th century American cookbook The Virginia Housewife, by Mary Randolph (1838, p. 115) supports this hypothesis. Mince pies are thought to have been good English fare since the return of the crusaders. Should you wish to ring the changes from the traditional, then try a frangipane mince pie. Discovering flavors not lost but forgotten. Once you try it, you'll understand why. The Spruce Eats uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Suet is the hard fat found surrounding the kidneys in beef and mutton. With proper preparation and storage in a cool place, a number of recipes claimed the mince would keep for six months to a full year. These sweetmeats were mentioned 23, 12, and 22 times in the recipes, respectively. Most recipes use it in much smaller proportions. Which European country will inspire your culinary journey tonight? The two most commonly used spices in the old mince pie recipes were nutmeg and its aril companion, mace — both mentioned 25 times. You said some recipes used as much as half the total quantity, but most “much smaller proportions”… Is this 1/3 by weight within the typical range? Specific suggestions are given in a number of the recipes to ensure longer storage life. Finding and Duplicating the Perfect Mince Pie. In most English societies, for centuries Christmas has been a time of gatherings, and food, and festivities, and traditions, and family. Throughout the West Country in places like Devon and Somerset, residents used to have a I’d ask her, but she is no longer gracing this earth. 466 ratings 4.6 out of 5 star rating. As I compared the recipes, I couldn’t resist musing on the fallacy of accuracy when it comes to interpreting 18th century recipes. The Best 8 British Desserts for a Happy Christmas. Cinnamon was mentioned in 19 recipes, and when it was, it was often used in greater quantity than nutmeg and mace. The trifle will make … Last, but certainly not least, is the lightest of the bunch here: the Christmas spiced Victoria sponge cake. A yule log is the obvious choice if you want to replace a traditional pudding. Mince was still a tradition with the elders in the family while I was growing up in the 70s and 80s. For many people in the eighteenth century, Christmas was celebrated much differently than it typically is today. However the mince pie was originally a savoury pie – and not even round! One such dish was the Christmas pie. This variety of currant is a small dried seedless Corinth grape — a mini-raisin. Now there were apparently two kinds of Christmas pies known to the English: the Yorkshire pie, and the mince pie. The other type of Christmas pie that I’m focusing on in this post is the traditional mince pie. Meats with fine grains were preferred. Suet adds moisture to the pie. In an earlier post, I explained three basic categories of crusts used in the 18th century: the standing crust, the puff paste, and the short paste. To clarify: if using Suet, you’d use twice as much suet as vegetable shortening, right? And by then, both the meaty and meatless versions were tightly associated with Christmas. | Savoring the Past, Suet, Part Four: A Few Recipes. I always thought that was a recent invention. (And the design would be period correct, just not geographically correct, in most cases.). In case your wondering, a citron is a bitter, juice-less cousin to our edible citrus fruits. In our video, we’ve adapted the meatless recipe below by Elizabeth Raffald, adjusting the amounts to make two 9″ mince pies.