Friday, December 9, 2011

My First Mince Pie

There are 9 days left for me to eat my way through London, and it's all in a whirlwind of papers, Christmas shopping, and soaking up every bit of this wonderful city. This is my excuse for the lack of posts, but expect plenty as Christmas draws closer as I have photos and cooking projects galore.

The end of November was also a lot of work, including finishing my 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo. It was a fun nerve-wracking mess, which included a lot of self-motivation with cakes and goodies. That often meant trips to Sainsbury's for goodies, which led to buying Mince Pie due to my friend Nicole being sad that I had never had it. So we grabbed whipping cream, two kinds of pies, and ran to write and eat pies.

Let me preface this to say that I didn't know mince pie was not a meat pie until recently. I thought all the uniquely British pies were meat pies or similar to Mrs. Lovett's (except not with human, I hope). This is why I was particularly excited by the puffy pastry that greeted me in one of our packs. Although not the traditional Mince Pie, with it's crunchy and more pie-like exterior, I think this is my favorite. It was sweet, comforting, and melded perfectly with our home-made whipped creme. I love the flaky layers especially. When you cut through you get flakes of light buttery pastry and then inside is a rich, flavorful filling made of raisins and fruits and spices. I wish I knew exactly what was in the ones we had, since it appears they're all a bit different. The core idea is that it's fruity (with wintery fruits) and mixed with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. It was Christmasy and wonderful. The smell is especially nice of the cinnamon and raisins all mixed together.

I also tried the more traditional mince pie, which you can get in all shapes and designs and has a much more traditional pie crust. It was still extremely delicious, but didn't have the same flake to it that I loved of the pastry crust. While still delicious mince inside, it had more of a crunch to it. While probably delicious and much more typical in the Christmas spirit, I have to admit I love buttery, flaky, pastry crusts above any crunchy pie crust you give me.

I'm extremely tempted to bring Mince back home to make mince pie, or at least bring some cheap boxes back. It was extremely Christmasy in tradition and made me ready for everything Christmas. Let me know your favorite traditional Christmas food and I'll start up a collection.

- Mollie

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