Why Mincemeat Pie Tastes Better Than it Sounds

Meatless "mince" or mincemeat, both were propular in the old South.

Mary Allen Perry
Green Tomato Mincemeat Pie
Alison Miksch

In the days when tobacco and textiles ruled the South, mincemeat pie was the crown jewel of holiday celebrations. The boozy, heavily spiced, fruit-and-meat fillings were a balanced sorcery of sugar and alcohol originally devised as a way to preserve meat without smoking or salting. Meatless “mince” pies were equally popular. Mrs. Hill’s Southern Practical Cookery and Receipt Book (1867) boasts “an excellent imitation of mince pie” made with sweet potatoes. The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book (1901) offers a Lenten recipe made with boiled eggs. In the 1800s, Mrs. Abby Fisher, of What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking fame, stirred a half-gallon each of sherry and brandy into her big-batch recipe. For our 50th Anniversary, we developed the Green Tomato Mincemeat Pie. The green tomato mincemeat filling calls for slightly less alcohol, but we’ve made up for it by topping the pie with Bourbon Pecan Ice Cream.

For more pie recipes, check out our Dazzling Thanksgiving Pies.