If you like mince pies then you might find just the one you want here. The traditional mince pie was an important feature of the Christmas scene especially in Europe and certainly in the United Kingdom. The best sort of mince pie has short, buttery pastry, almost too flaky but holding together. It needs a sumptuous filling of stewed and marinaded raisins, pieces of apple and candied peel, along with spices and a dash of booze.
In the beginning, mince pies did have meat, as well as all the spices like nutmeg, fruits and citrus peel. There were sweet pies which gradually took over. Samuel Pepys who resided in London in the mid-1600s, ate mince pies all year round, but they had a special significance at Christmas when his wife waited up until four in the morning while her maids baked mince pies for the household. The sweet versions were common enough by the nineteenth century for Mrs Beeton to include a recipe for one next to a savoury version in her famed Book of Household Management.
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