Due to circumstances too boring to relate here, the removable bottoms to my brand-new mini pie tin went out to the curb with the paper recycling on Friday. I discovered their absence on Saturday, to my great dismay. Yesterday, I noticed a bit of flotsam at the end of the driveway where trash collects after garbage day. I went to pick it up and there were my pie tin bottoms, all four of them, dented but perfectly useable. A mincemeat miracle!
You start with a pie crust. We don't need to go over that, do we? If you haven't learned to make a pie crust, I encourage you to try. A novice homemade crust is still far superior to a purchased one. Flour, salt, fat, water, done. I prefer Jeffrey Steingarten's recipe which can be found in his hilarious book The Man Who Ate Everything.
Pies assembled and ready to go into the oven.
Unfortunately, the cutting guide that came with my mini pie tin got thrown out too and was not kindly deposited in the street for me to find, so I had to estimate the size of my dough circles. As a result my pies are a little sloppy. I opened my small jar of mincemeat, fearful it might have gone off after sitting for two weeks at room temperature, but it smelt pleasantly of brandy. I baked a few in muffin tins, with no top crust.
The finished pies had an appealing apple aroma. Seamus and I each ate one of the tiny ones. Delicious! Much better than purchased mincemeat. My pies were mildly sweet, with apple flavor dominating. The suet made everything crispy. Think deep-fried apple pie with raisins and brandy.
All these pies didn't even consume my smallest jar of mincemeat.