A modern, shop-bought, mince pie, cut through its centre
A mince pie
is a sweet pie
origin, filled with a mixture of dried fruits and spices called "mincemeat
", that is traditionally served during the Christmas season
in much of the English-speaking world
, including parts of the United States . Its ingredients are traceable to the 13th century, when returning European crusaders
brought with them Middle Eastern recipes containing meats, fruits and spices.
The early mince pie was known by several names, including "mutton
pie", "shrid pie" and "Christmas pie". Typically its ingredients were a mixture of minced meat, suet
, a range of fruits, and spices such as cinnamon, cloves
. Served around Christmas, the savoury Christmas pie (as it became known) was associated with supposed Catholic "idolatry" and during the English Civil War
was frowned on by the Puritan
authorities. Nevertheless, the tradition of eating Christmas pie in December continued through to the Victorian era
, although by then its recipe had become sweeter and its size markedly reduced from the large oblong shape once observed. Today the mince pie, usually made without meat (but often including suet or other animal fats), remains a popular seasonal treat enjoyed by many across the United Kingdom and Ireland. Read more...