Mincemeat Hand Pies


Inspired by traditional mincemeat pies, we filled turnovers with dried fruit seasoned with cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom. Lard in the crust, in lieu of the usual suet, makes it sublimely flaky. Per English custom, brandy butter is served alongside.


For the mincemeat

  • 1 medium baking apple (½ pound; such as Rome or Cortland), peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces

  • 2 ounces dried California apricots, cut into ¼-inch dice

  • 2 ounces dried red plums, cut into ¼-inch dice

  • 2 ounces golden raisins

  • 5 ounces Medjool dates, pitted and cut into ¼-inch pieces

  • 1 ounce candied lemon peel, cut into ¼-inch dice

  • 1 ounce candied orange peel, cut into ¼-inch dice

  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • ¾ teaspoon finely chopped orange zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

  • ¼ cup packed light-brown sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

  • Pinch of ground cardamom

  • 3 tablespoons Cognac

For the hand pies


  1. Make the mincemeat: Stir fruits, candied peels, zests and juices, sugar, salt, spices, and 2 tablespoons water in a medium stockpot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Stir in Cognac; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let mixture stand until cool. Mincemeat can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days.

  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to slightly less than 1/8 inch thick. Cut into twenty-four 4-inch squares, gathering together scraps and rerolling if needed. Place 1 tablespoon mincemeat in 1 corner of each square. Brush edges with beaten egg. Fold each in half to form a triangle. Press edges to seal. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pierce tops with tines of a fork. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

  3. Brush tops with beaten egg; sprinkle with sanding sugar. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 25 minutes. Transfer pies and parchment to a wire rack; let cool 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature, with brandy butter.

Cook's Notes

Use best-quality dried and candied fruit to make the mincemeat.

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