Let there be great rejoicing throughout the land! Pi Day (3.14) has arrived, and in honor of this most esteemed of mathematically-centric holidays, we have a little something special to share with you. One of the crown jewels of the collection here at CHM is Virginia Campbell’s handwritten cookbook, with hundreds of recipes ranging from the delicious (Almond Sponge Cake and Baked Macaroni and Cheese) to the, uh… other stuff (Pickled Oysters and Mushroom Catsup). So we thought it would be neat to share Virginia’s recipe for mincemeat pie filling, something you don’t see too much of these days. You’ll have to come up with the pie crust yourself, but we’ll get you most of the way there.
Here’s the original handwritten recipe…
As you might notice, her recipe calls for THREE POUNDS of beef suet and 12 apples. In the interest of time and so you don’t end up with enough mincemeat to feed a small army, we cut the batch down for you and put in some helpful 21st century cooking terminology and techniques. Also, for those of you wondering what exactly “suet” consists of, click here. (hint: beef and mutton fat, yum!)
1 and 1/2 cups suet, finely chopped.
6 apples, cored and finely chopped
2 cups currants
2 cups raisins
1/4 cup chopped citron
3 lemons, zested and juiced
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon cloves
1/2 tablespoon allspice
11 and 1/2 cups brandy
- Using a food processor place the suet, apples into the bowl. Pulse to combine together.
- Remove the suet/apple mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients. (For a finder texture mince return to food processor and pulse until the desired texture is reached.)
- Tightly cover and refrigerate mincemeat for at least a week before using until ready to use in pies. Will store refrigerated for up to six months. Makes about 6 cups of mincemeat.
Many thanks to food historian and author Suzanne Corbett for putting the recipe in 21st century terms, keep an eye out over the next year as we publish a new, expanded edition of Virginia’s cookbook!