Beef or venison, suet, citron, cider: These unlikely ingredients are the stuff of which traditional mincemeat - rich, dark and spicy-sweet - is made.
For many families, mince pies are a must-have for the holidays, only these days the mincemeat may be store-bought and meatless. The make-ahead recipe below offers a contemporary version of mince pie for friends and family to enjoy.
Anyone who loves mince pie a la mode will appreciate this creation.
Mincemeat Ice Cream Pie
Serves 8 to 10
1 quart French Vanilla Ice Cream, slightly softened (recipe below)
1 1/2 cups prepared mincemeat
1/2 cup chopped nuts, any kind
1 (10-inch) graham-cracker crust, baked 5 minutes
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons brandy
In a large bowl, combine ice cream, mincemeat and nuts; mix well. Spread in crust and freeze until firm. Whip the cream to soft peaks; fold in brandy. Spoon over pie and serve.
French Vanilla Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart
3 cups whipping cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
In a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan, heat cream, milk, sugar and vanilla bean. (If using vanilla extract, do not add it until later.) Stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot but not boiling.
Whisk egg yolks together in a bowl. Continue whisking and very slowly pour in approximately 1 cup of the cream mixture. When smooth, pour back into the pan. Whisk constantly over low heat until mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon (about 5 minutes). Take care that the mixture doesn't boil or it will curdle. Draw your finger across the back of the coated spoon to make a line in the mixture. If the line remains, the custard is done.
Remove vanilla bean, or, if using vanilla extract, add it now. Strain mixture into a clean bowl; chill to cool thoroughly. Transfer into an ice-cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.