English vs American: Mince Pies

My grandpa used to love mince meat pies.

(mince meat pies = disgusting concoction having actual meat in it)

I used to gag seeing it.

To this day, I have absolutely no clue
what it was he was actually eating.

He passed away a few years before we moved to England,
or I was totally ask him to explain it to me.

And then I'd probably give him a really hard time about it
and he would laugh until his dentures would start to slide out of place. 

So cute.

Then we moved to England.

Our first Christmas, 
I politely passed at their tiny pastries
that were frequently offered
and internally judged their affinity
towards meat-laced pies.

The second year we were here, 
I started to suspect I was missing something.

So one brave day, 
I bought a pretty one
covered with a simply shortcrust start
and dusted with powdered sugar
and... well, I loved it.

Especially since

What is a mincemeat pie then?

Check out my friend, Will, of Bright.Bazaar's great tutorial here.

The best way that I can explain it is
that it is like an apple pie...
without any apple.

Not all are amazing,
but you can score some really tasty ones
during the Christmas season in England.

So there.

Now you're a little smarter
and a bit more prepared
to not miss out on this delicious holiday treat.

* * *

Do mince pies make your holiday line up?
Or do you pass on for peppermint bark?



  1. I had to go google mincemeat....I used to be a superpicky eater, so I definitely would have passed it up. Now that I am a little bit more adventurous, I would consider trying it. I am a gingerbread man kind of girl myself!

  2. My grandmother would always make the most delicious pear mincemeat at Christmas. I would love to learn how to make it myself! :)

  3. I had no idea!!!! This is my second Christmas in the UK and I have had no interest at all in trying the mince pies assuming they were like all the ones I have tasted {and not liked} in Canada {with meat in them}. Who knew that they were meatless here and tasted something like an apple pie without the apple!?! Sold! That sounds yummy. Thank you so much for sharing. I will definitely be giving them a try ~ thanks for making me a little bit smarter ;)

  4. Peppermint bark? What is that? Now you're going to have to do a post enlightening some (one?) of us about that one! I've never been the biggest fan of mincemeat pies - the store bought ones are never quite spicy enough or never have enough filling...

  5. There's no meat in it??? My whole life is a lie!!!

  6. Way back in time they used to have meat in them, but over time the meat was replaced with dried fruit etc. Marks and Spencer definitely has the best ones,hands-down!

  7. Mincemeat is delicious now, but growing up in Canada, I didn't think it was. Have you tried Nigella's version with cranberries? Divine!

  8. Just back from visiting my friend in London, finally tried a mincemeat pie and had the same reaction -- HEY! These are good! Also thought it had meat. Mine just had raisins and a few nuts and little apple bits, delicious!

  9. I completely thought there was meat in mince pies...whenever I read a book written in the UK, I always thought to myself, "Ew...so gross." Thank you for clearing up this confusion!! :)

  10. I've never had either, but I will forever remember mincemeat pies from that Nick & Jessica episode when they were visiting his family for Christmas and they were all eating them - and she was gagging. Oh classic.

  11. I loved these when I was little & living in London- so good! And yes, no meat, haha. Very deceiving!

  12. It just seems so very... British!

  13. Mince pies (the British ones) are MASSIVE over here! I would happily have one any day! They are delicious :)

  14. I had exactly the same experience. I used to get really freaked out when my grandmother would eat them when I was little. Then I moved to London and realised the error of my ways. I'm now one of those people who has to exercise serious restraint when they start showing up in the stores in October!

  15. So you don't have mince pies in the USA?! You learn something new every day! ;-) x

  16. I love this post - I always say "I don't to mince meat pies" until December comes around and people are talking about these little nuggets of goodness and not the mince meat savory pies! We had our first of the season last week and had more yesterday at our church's carol service & a friend's afternoon tea!!!

  17. If you are going to bake one. You might want to check the ingredients on a jar of mince meat. I am thinking they still contain suet....

  18. I'm english and have lived here my whole life (nearly 25 years) and can honestly say I've never tried one.. something about the way they look puts me off... maybe I should give them a go?



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