I’m proud of my heritage, I’m part Italian and French from my mom and completely English and Irish from my dad, who was born in Liverpool. Being that my Nanny and Grandad grew up in Enlgland, my brother and I were raised with typical English traditions.
I eat carrot and turnip with mushy peas and malt vinegar on my french fries. I drink tea religiously, love Newcastle Ale, say “mind” instead of move, wait all summer for it to turn cool so I could eat scouse and shepard’s pie and search for the first sighting of Quality Street candy, which only comes out around Christmas. These are all just minor ways that I’ve been influenced by my English heritage, mostly ways in which my diet has been affected actually, and while I love most food that comes from England, I was never a fan of Mince Pies.
Each year as my nanny made these small little tarts I refused to try one, only because I didn’t like the idea of meat being in my dessert…I was young and didn’t know any better, until a few years ago. I got courageous, tried one and have been in love ever since.
Mince meat isn’t actually made of meat, it’s a jam-like filling with spices, raisins and different fruits. Searching for mince meat is like searching for Quality Street, jars are only sold around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, which means that’s the only time we can make them.
With a little sugar on top, these desserts are really simple to make, especially if you cheat and use pre-made dough like I do for the pastry crust! They’re a sweet addition to any holiday meal, whether fresh out of the oven or cold from a tin in the fridge.