For a number of years I would encourage myself to eat mince pies hoping that one day I would fall madly in love – similar to my history with gin & tonic. As much as I loved the notion of these snug little parcels as a cosy festive treat, they never really did it for me. Despondent, I decided to set about making my own completely from scratch, from the mincemeat to the pastry.
Finally! I discovered they don’t have to be sickly sweet with a dry tasteless pastry - this was the turning point for me. Even though they are time consuming, it has become a labour of love as nowadays I make multiple batches for friends and family. The demand is so steep that every December results in an ardent endeavor to produce a myriad of mince pies.They now rock my world and Christmas just isn't the same without them or the flour I find in my slippers.
I've tweaked the recipe to create a spiced filling that is not overly sweet with a crumbly vanilla pastry and developed different sizes to appeal to those who like more pastry and those who like more filling. And thus, the King and Queen were born.
Being half Palestinian, half Italian and brought up in the Uk, the history of the mince pie relates to me rather well. This sweet pie is of British origin however the ingredients are said to hail from the Holy Land during the 13th century by returning European crusaders. Several authors such as Timbs, documented that the pie came from an old Roman custom that took place in the Vatican (Saturnalia). So they tick all my boxes :)
Seeing as I make copious amounts anyway, I decided to participate in local markets in the run up to Christmas, something I wanted to do for some time. So if you would like to join me in the love, please come down to Sharrowvale Market this coming Sunday to Eat My homemade cognac infused mince pie with an all butter pastry!