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Traditional mince pies

Categories: Friday feeling

Mince pies that are British in every way except for the nationality of the bakers

One of the greatest recipe names ever submitted to paper dates from around 1624 and was found within the royal archives of Charles I. The recipe is entitled ‘For Six Minst Pyes of an Indifferent Bigness’. Containing a leg of veal, a loin of mutton and two pounds each of sugar, raisins and currants, spiced up with cloves, mace and nutmeg, their bigness clearly wasn’t all that indifferent. God help anyone who went for the large instead.

There is also nothing in the slightest bit indifferent about these mince pies from Artisan Foods. They don’t have quite as much red meat in them as their Stewart forbears (in fact, they don’t have any red meat in them at all, the mince pie having evolved somewhat in the intervening centuries), or even any suet, but they certainly don’t hold back on the dried fruit, the citrus zest or the fragrant winter spices—cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg—and there’s a generous slug of brandy to keep your cockles warm.

Alpine snow scene
Other than being vegetarian, the only thing that isn’t traditional about these beauties is (in keeping with the Borough Market melting pot) the nationality of the bakers. “I know we are a German stall, but these are thoroughly British mince pies based on a British recipe,” says Renata, as she constructs a pile of pies so heavily dusted with a sugar that the resulting display resembles an Alpine snow scene. “There is not really anything like this in Germany, so there is no German twist. Besides, there was no need to—we get all our ingredients from the UK and they are made in London in our bakery. They are proving really popular with our customers.”