Mince Pies

Did you know that mince pies were originally made from meat? They date back to the 13th century, thought to have been introduced from the Middle East. Minced mutton or beef was mixed with spices and suet and sometimes fruits. By the 16th Century, mince pies were popular as a festive treat. Slowly but surely, the meat was replaced by more fruit and the addition of nuts. The mince pies we know and love today were born.  Decorations are peculiar to each baker. But the tradition of a star shaped lid often seen,  is thought to depict the star the three wise men are said to have followed to find the baby Jesus. Other old fashioned presentations included making the pies in oblong tins with a baby shaped pastry topping – a symbol of the holy newborn in his manger.   Tradition has it that eating a mince pie on each of the twelve days of Christmas ensures good luck for the New Year. Not that we need a reason to enjoy the treat of the season in its entirety – but at least we can justify ourselves with that one to those who might think we’re greedy!