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Mincemeat Pies ~ a Regency dinner must-have

Mincemeat Pies ~ a Regency dinner must-have

A Regency Era Christmas centered on food and dining with family, much as is does today. For the dinner entrée cook would include goose, pheasant, venison, or a beef haunch. Turkeys were served but not as the main meat focal point. If fortunate they would snag a boar’s head with fresh rosemary and basil adorning his head and apple in his mouth placed a silver platter.

Accompanying a Regency Christmas meal must be a mincemeat pie.

Mincing up meat and placing the bits into stews or pies is as old as time, primarily as an economical way to use the leftovers. The Christmas pie (mincemeat pie) originated with the Crusaders in the 11th Century. The spices brought back to England – cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg – were symbolic of the Magi gifts to the Christ child. In honor of His birth, the pies of sweetly spiced meats were baked into small oblong shaped pastries indicative of a cradle. Now, to be fair, there are some who refute this story. However, there are far more references stating this as the origination. Whatever the case, these pies have always been associated with Christmas and the Epiphany, and it is still considered lucky to eat one on each of the 12 days of Christmas. They were often called “wayfarer pies” because they were given to holiday travelers or as gifts while visiting.

Edward Kidder’s recipe in Pastry and Cookery of c.1720.

Read the rest, including a recipe, at Sharon Lathan’s Happily Ever After Comes True.