Mincemeat

Merry Christmas everyone! And Happy Winter Solstice! Whatever you celebrate, and wherever you are, I hope you were able to spend time with loved ones and to eat delicious food. I hosted the Christmas dinner today. Along with the turkey I cooked for my omnivore family, and to satisfy tradition, “Tom” and I also made mashed potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts and carrots, garlic-white wine mushrooms, and peas. This is our usual fare for Thanksgiving and Christmas and there isn’t much leeway allowed on these food choices by the traditionalists in the family. Where there is a little more room for experimentation is dessert. Often I will make Apple Crumble or “Tom” will make one of his sensational pies, but this year, I decided to be traditional and new age at the same time. I made vegan mincemeat tarts. When I set out to make the mincemeat, I remembered that years ago, when I used to do a lot of baking, I would make vegetarian mincemeat – no animal suet used in the making. I searched through my extensive recipe file for my mincemeat recipe and I searched through the internet looking for a vegan mincemeat recipe. I couldn’t find what I was looking for in either of those places. So, I decided to make my own version of vegan mincemeat based on my memory and on a few ideas I found online. Here’s what I came up with:

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1/2 cup apple juice

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 apples, peeled, cored, diced

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup currants

handful chopped dried cherries, optional

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp allspice

1 tbsp. brandy or rum or whiskey

Heat the apple juice and brown sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Combine all the ingredients together, including the sweetened juice. Stir well, then let sit for an hour or more to allow the dried fruit to plump up and to let flavours develop.

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I made mincemeat tarts with my mincemeat, but you could also make a mincemeat pie or even just serve the mincemeat straight up with a bit of vegan ice cream or cashew cream. To make my tarts, I made some pastry dough, rolled it out fairly thinly, cut out large circles using a small bowl as my cut-out, then lined a tart pan (like a muffin pan except the sides are more sloping) with the pastry circles. It’s a bit tricky doing the crust for tarts – you have to gently press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the openings in the tart pan, and the dough will overlap on the sides, and you have to press and flatten and make sure it isn’t too thick and make sure that you’re careful and the dough doesn’t rip. Whew! I ended up making just 6 of these tarts. Then I found some pre-made tart shells in the freezer and I filled 4 of these with mincemeat. Finally, I  made a larger tart using what I call a patty-pan. By then, I had run out of mincemeat and I was done working with pastry!

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Before serving, I heated the tarts up a bit then served them with cashew cream. They were a big hit. Even my cynical-about-vegan-cooking brother declared them “delicious”.

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6 thoughts on “Mincemeat

  1. Food is so social. It’s very thoughtful to keep the traditions alive. This is substitution dish of mince meat is creative. That’s cool!

  2. Susan Prosser says:

    Wow. I very impressed with this recipe. I am a mincemeat nut and really don’t want suet in my xmas pantry. Thanks!

  3. lizzie says:

    These mincemeat tarts looks and sound delicious. I think I am going to try them something in the new year. Traditionally I have never liked mincemeat anything but these I think I will love. Thanks for the recipe.

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