Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Vegetarian Mince Pie

There's no mincemeat in this pie! It's basically a highly spiced pear and raisin pie, which tastes great with whipped cream or ice cream.

Here's what a friend of mine has to say about mincemeat pie:

"We always had mincemeat pie at Christmas, but my father sort of spoiled it by telling me that mince were fuzzy little critters that lived in burrows along streams. Although Mother indignantly denied that, I was a little less fond of the pie for awhile."


1-1/2 lb. ripe pears (about 3 med.) peeled, cored, & diced
6 oz. raisins
2 oz. sweetened dried cranberries (or golden raisins, etc.)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1-3/4 cups sugar
1 Tbsp. flour (as a thickener)
3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. gr. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. gr. allspice
3/4 tsp. gr. nutmeg
3/4 tsp. gr. cloves

2 unbaked pie crusts, 10” circles
In a large pot, bring all filling ingredients to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 25 - 30 minutes, or until pears have released their juice and the liquid has cooked down a bit and thickened, continuing to stir frequently throughout. Remove from heat and cool while preparing the crusts.

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F.

Place one pie crust in the bottom of a deep dish pie pan. Do not trim edges. Use a cookie cutter to make a decorative pattern in the central 6” of the top pie crust dough.

Pour the filling into the lower crust in the pie pan. Carefully place the top crust over the filling and fold edges under. Pinch the upper and lower crusts together around the edge of the pan, and fold inward if needed.

Bake until crust is golden, about 40 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Makes 1 pie

* Note: you can use underripe pears, and they will taste fine. But the filling must be cooked longer to release the fruit’s juice, and then cooked down. If you don’t do this in the cooking pot, it will happen in the oven, and the pie will be runny.

Adapted from a recipe in Southern Living, Nov. 1998.

Click here for an alternate top crust design.

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