Friday, November 23, 2007

Apple Mince Meat Pie

I made Apple mince meat pie for Thanksgiving, it was my intention to post before Thursday, but life got really busy. Between cooking Thanksgiving meals for take-out at the restaurant and hosting Thanksgiving at home, taking photos of everything I baked didn't happen. Which also explains why there isn't a photo of the whole pie...just the last piece, (and yes, I know it's not the best photo- but I didn't have much to work with).

For the longest time I did not understand mince meat pie- a dessert involving meat? Was it even a dessert to begin with? Needless to say the thought of eating one- much less making one never even crossed my mind. But, then I found this recipe- and wow! I love apple mince meat pie! I had it for Thanksgiving a couple of years ago and I've been hooked ever since.

I searched for the origin of mince meat pie...I really needed to understand the meat portion of it and this is what I found: origin of mince meat pie. The recipe used to include liver and all sorts of other meats--I sure like my Food Network version better! I did not alter this recipe one bit and yes, that was hard for me, but it really is perfect as it is. The recipe came from a pie contest episode and can I tell you, that baker sure knew what she was doing!

Notes: I think the recipe must have originally yielded more than one pie.  Some of the measurements given, 1/8 teaspoon and 1/4 tablespoon are not very common measurements. The pastry also makes an extra pie crust, (which by the way, is the the best pie crust I have ever had--really!) so I just use it to make another pie involving only one crust. The good thing is that if you want to make the pie in quantity, I'm sure it can be easily increased- for 3 pies, double pastry and triple filling.

Pie Crust:

1 cup pastry flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter flavored shortening, chilled
1/3 cup ice cold water
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 egg, beaten

Apple Filling:

4 cups apples (Rome or Jonathan), peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon tapioca
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 tablespoon heavy cream
1 (27-ounce) jar mincemeat (recommended: None Such Classic or Original)
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1 tablespoon sugar Pastry cut-outs or dollops of whipped topping

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

For the pie crusts:

In a large bowl, combine the flours, salt, sugar and baking powder. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles cornmeal. In small bowl, mix water and vinegar with the beaten egg. Add the liquid mixture 1 tablespoon at a time to the flour mixture, tossing with a fork to form a soft dough. Shape into 3 disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator. Use 2 disks when making this pie. Freeze remaining dough for later use. Roll out 1 disk and place into a 9-inch pie dish for bottom crust.

For the apple filling:

Combine the apples, butter and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for about 8 minutes. Cool slightly.

In a medium bowl combine the sugar, tapioca, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add slightly cooled apples and mix well. Stir in vanilla and cream. Place apple mixture into bottom of pie crust, spreading evenly.

Spread the mincemeat on top of apple filling. Roll out another dough disk and adjust over the filling. Flute edge and vent top. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 30to 35 minutes longer, or until golden. Garnish, as desired, with baked pastry cut outs or whipped topping.

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