Handmade buttery pastry choc-full of booze-laden fresh fruit, made the traditional way
We know what you’re thinking, and the answer is: no. Even The Ginger Pig, a butchers, doesn’t make their mincemeat from actual meat. Though they specialise in savoury delicacies laced with pork, chicken and beef, there’s more to The Ginger Pig’s pastry team than pork pies, scotch eggs and sausage rolls. “This year our team, headed by the lovely Sue, managed a whopping 30 batches—over a tonne—of traditionally prepared sweet mincemeat, all made by hand,” says Amelia.
“Each and every lemon and orange has been hand-zested and hand squeezed,” she adds. Then they’re soaked in the alcohol and citrus of the fruit for a couple of months, to allow the flavour to mature and deepen. “When the time comes, the mixture is dolloped into rich, buttery homemade pastry casings and baked. The secret to great tasting mince pies is traditional methods, fresh fruit, and putting in the hours and elbow grease,” Amelia continues—to which we’d add a strict 80:20 ratio of mincemeat to pastry.
The result—rich, boozy, laced with the sweet-sour tang of citrus, enveloped in a pastry crust that looks sturdy, but yields in buttery flakes as you bite—is nigh-on perfect. You can have it as is, standing in the Market, cup of mulled wine from Borough Wines in one hand, pie in the other, or snaffle it home and add a spoonful of Ivy House Farm brandy butter from Neal’s Yard Dairy. “Merry Christmas to all!” Amelia adds; to which we must of course rejoin, “and to all a good night!”