Sweet Fruit Cake or Mince-Pie: A Christmas Recipe by Catharine Parr Traill
December 22, 2021
Catharine Parr Traill was among the first settlers in the Kawarthas and as an author took particular interest in the skills that women needed to thrive in these new communities. She recorded a great many recipes including this Christmas favourite:
“This is made by rolling out a fine short crust very thin, and spreading about an inch thickness of apple-marmalade, made by boiling down dried-apples to a pulp; over this lay another thin crust of pastry: it should be baked in shallow tin pans, and, when quite cold, cut into squares, or vandyke shaped pieces, by cutting squares from corner to corner…”
Over the years, mince pie has described a great variety of different dishes. In the nineteenth century, it often referred to a mixture of minced meat (typically beef), suet, apples, dried fruit and sweet spices. By the start of the twentieth century, it was becoming unusual to include meat and it became the dessert we know today, as nuts and citrus fruits also became available.
Would you like to try an authentic minced-meat pie?