Saturday, October 23, 2010
Mince Apple Pie
Mince Apple Pie
Dorcas Annette Walker
Every Thanksgiving at home a mincemeat pie was served. Without fail my father would always shake his head and sadly inform us that that the store-bought mincemeat was nothing like the mincemeat his mother used to make on the farm. To keep the family tradition going, each Thanksgiving I would buy mincemeat and make a pie even though a jar of mincemeat was “quite dear” or real expensive like my English grandmother would say. Both my children hated mincemeat. After awhile I finally quit making a mincemeat pie as there were always oodles of other holiday desserts. This past week I decided to add some extra ingredients to an apple pie. To my surprise and delight it reminded me of a mild version of mincemeat pies in years gone by. So I have named it my Mince Apple Pie.
Mincemeat refers to something ground or minced up. An old slang saying, “to make mincemeat”, meant to utterly destroy. Mincemeat was originally medieval containing a sweet and spicy mixture of chopped meat, suet, and fruit as way of preserving meat. English mincemeat recipes from the 15th - 17th century were used to bake a huge pie on Christmas Eve with a pastry topping effigy of baby Jesus lying in his cradle. Early New Englanders made large batches of mincemeat stored in crocks sealed with a layer of lard that could be kept up to ten years. Mincemeat recipes vary by region or ancestry. By the mid-twentieth century recipes for mincemeat sometimes substituted vegetable fats and butter or used green tomatoes to make it vegetarian. Commercial preparations package mincemeat in jars, foil lined boxes, or tins. Mincemeat pies are sometimes served with a slice of cheddar cheese.
Mincemeat was the name of a British operation during World War II that succeeded in making the Germans believe that the Allies would invade the Balkans instead of Sicily- their real objective. British naval intelligence took a corpse they named Major Martin, dressed him as a major, along with a briefcase containing sealed papers. They fitted the corpse with a life jacket and pushed the body out to sea where the tide carried it to shore. When the body was turned over to the British they noted that the papers had been resealed. Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the United States were wired: “Mincemeat Swallowed Whole”. The operation accomplished sending German vessels away from Sicily and spreading the German defensive across Europe. Major Martin, whose real identity was never revealed, was laid to rest in a graveyard at Heulva.
Mince Apple Pie
two pie crusts
1 qt apple pie filling
½ c raisins
¼ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Spread one crust over a 9-inch pie pan. In a medium-sized bowl mix together the pie filling, raisins, and nuts and pour into the pie crust. Add the second crust on top sealing the edges poking holes in the crust with a knife. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes until the crust is lightly browned. Serve hot or cold!
Weekly tip: A piece of hot apple pie in a bowl of milk makes a scrumptious filling snack or meal!
Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at: www.dorcasannettewalker.webs.com