Lemon Minced Pie
Posted on July 28 2016
Our recipe today comes from Maria Rundell’s 1808 cookbook, “A New System of Domestic Cookery.” This is a recipe for a minced pie, but it’s a little different. It’s got a different twist on it. It’s a lemon minced pie.
- Short Paste
- 1 Lemon Peel
- 1 large Baking Apple
- ¼ cup Suet
- ¼ cup Sugar
- Juice from 1-2 lemons
- ½ cup raisins
Butter an 8 inch tart tin very well and place short tin in the bottom.
Boil lemon peel about 20 minutes to get rid of some of the bitterness and make it easier to work with, then mince very fine.
In a ceramic or wooden bowl, pare, core, and chop apple very fine and mix together with suet, sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice and raisins.
Pour into short paste and bake around 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.
Cool completely, even overnight or refrigerate to remove from tart tin.
Transcript of Video:
We’re concluding our baking in the Dutch oven series with this wonderful little fruit tart. I think you’re going to be surprised with this one. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking.
Our recipe today comes from Maria Rundell’s 1808 cookbook, “A New System of Domestic Cookery.” This is a recipe for a minced pie, but it’s a little different. It’s got a different twist on it. It’s a lemon minced pie. Let’s get started.
Today we’re baking this in one of our 8 inch tart tins. These guys are hand made by Dennis Kutch, one of our tin smiths. He does a wonderful job. They’re available in the print catalog and on our website. The original recipe actually calls for making this in patty pans and probably the closest thing you’ve got in a modern kitchen is a cupcake tin so this is actually meant to be small individual little pies or tarts. Today we’re making this in one of these tart tins because of course we’re going to be baking in a Dutch oven.
If you’re going to be using one of these 18th century style tart tins, the bottom doesn’t come out of this so you want to make sure to butter it really, really well or you’ll never be able to get it out of the tin. This tart tin’s already well buttered. We can just lay in our paste in the bottom, any paste will work fine here, but short paste will work great and if you’re interested in a short paste recipe I’ll put a link to our short paste episode down in the description section below.
Our first ingredient is lemon peel and you might immediately say, “well, wait a minute Jon, did they have lemons in the 18th century?” Obviously you see lemons all over in the cookbooks. It really depends on where you’re located and the economic level of the person as to how common lemons would be in their standard daily diet, but obviously they’re very popular in the cookbooks. In this particular setting, we’re going to be using lemons. What we’re going to do is, we need lemon peel and you can just peel off the peel of your lemon, cut it off in one nice long strip to make it easier to work with and boil your lemon peel about 20 minutes. This is going to get rid of some of the bitterness and make it much easier to work with. Once we’ve boiled this lemon peel, we can take it out and mince it nice and fine.
To mix this up, we need a nonreactive bowl, something like a ceramic bowl or a wooden bowl. Inside this, we’ve got 1 large apple chopped up. It’s been pared and cored and chopped rather finely. You’ll want to use some baking kind of apple. Golden Delicious might work well in this. That’s what we’re using right now. To this, we’re going to add the diced lemon peel that I talked about earlier, ¼ cup of suet, ¼ cup of sugar, the juice of 1-2 lemons, and ½ cup of raisins. Mix these up well. We are using suet in this recipe. It can be difficult to find. We do sell a USDA approved suet in our catalog and on our website. You may be able to find some kinds of suet in your local supermarket or at your butcher shop. Again, if you’re interested in suet I want to point you to an earlier episode we did on rendering your own suet.
We need to cook this at around 400 degrees so we’ll need to get this Dutch oven nice and hot before we put this in and make sure it’s got plenty of coals. It’s going to bake probably 20 minutes or so.
And there we go. This one’s definitely cool enough to handle. If we wanted this to really set up so that we might be able to get it completely out of the pan, you’ll want to let this cool overnight, maybe even in the refrigerator or someplace really cool to let it really solidify, because it’s going to be hard to get out of this tart tin. Some of those juices have boiled up out of it and come down the edges so it’s going to be hard to get out. I’m just going to take a slice out of this guy, because there’s no way at this kind of temperature that it’s going to come out whole.
Let’s give this a try.
That’s got an amazing punch to it. This is wonderful. I can see why they call it a lemon minced pie. It’s got a wonderful lemony flavor to it. That lemon peel and the lemon juice really come through and yet you get these other chunks of, I guess the meat of, the tart which is the apple and the raisin, which give you a wonderful sweetness, but the flavor that really comes through is the lemon.
So this concludes our Dutch oven series on a wonderful note. This will definitely make a wonderful dessert. If you’re in the field and want to do a simple one, excellent, you can make the crust right there. None of these things needs to be refrigerated so you can definitely do this in the field. So wonderful, if you get a chance, you can try this at home. Again, wonderful dessert dish. Definitely give this one a try.
I want to thank you for coming along while we experiment with these Dutch ovens, while we see exactly what you can do in a Dutch oven in the field. Amazing things, wonderful dishes, great. I want to thank you for coming along as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th century.
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