Mince pies usually a christmas delicacy in UK, so slightly past the season now. I usually make my own, but with bought mincemeat. Didn't get round to it this year.
I like to make them with an almond sponge topping rather than pastry. It separates out so you get a yummy custard layer under the sponge.
One year I made old-fashioned mince pies with meat in. They were fab. I used roast wild boar because that was what we'd had for Christmas. Finely chopped meat, currants, suet in roughly equal proportions, not much sugar but still some, spice, salt, moistened with apple juice I think I used because I didn't have rosewater or sherry. Might have used cider.
Stan, Here are two of Fannie Farmer's Boston Cooking School Fruit Mince Pies recipes and a Mock Mince Pie recipe:
English Mince Meat
5 lbs. raisins, seeded 5 lbs. currants
5 lbs. suet finely chopped 5 lbs. light brown sugar
5 lbs. apples 1/2 teaspoon mace
4 lbs. citron 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
11/2 lbs. blanched almonds 21/2 cups brandy
Cook raisins, suet, apples, citron, currants, and sugar slowly for one and one-half hours; then add almonds, spices, and brandy.
Mince Meat (without Alcoholic Liquor)
Mix together one cup chopped apple, one-half cup raisins seeded and chopped, one-half cup currants, one-fourth cup butter, one tablespoon molasses, one tablespoon boiled cider, one cup sugar, one teaspoon cinnamon, one-half teaspoon cloves, one-half nutmeg grated, one salt-spoon of mace, and one teaspoon salt. Add enough stock in which meat was cooked to moisten; heat gradually to boiling-point, and simmer one hour; then add one cup chopped meat and two tablespoons Barberry Jelly. Cook fifteen minutes.
Mock Mince Pie
4 common crackers, rolled 1 cup raisins, seeded and chopped
11/2 cups sugar
1 cup molasses 1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup lemon juice or vinegar 2 eggs well beaten
Mix ingredients in order given, adding spices to taste. Bake between crusts. This quantity will make two pies.