Yes, you can get a homemade mincemeat pie locally.
And you don't have to be from the North to like it.
Audrey Anderson makes them at her bakery, The Pie Folks, in Cordova.
But first, here's why mincemeat is my favorite. In addition to its tantalizing taste, a lot has to do with nostalgia.
My dad was born in Minneapolis, so our Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners didn't include cornbread dressing, candied yams with marshmallows, and other Southern fare. We had bread dressing or stuffing with raisins and boiled, mashed rutabagas with butter. We had pumpkin pie, but we also had mincemeat pie.
- Ron Anderson
- The Pie Folks owner Audrey Anderson and her mincemeat pie
My mom used None Such mincemeat, which still is available, to make her pies, but she added four peeled, cored, and sliced apples to the mixture so she could make two 9-inch pies. I still use None Such, but I've tried other ways to get mincemeat pies in and around Memphis.
Chef Josh Steiner surprised me on my birthday one year with a mincemeat pie he made from scratch at his old Strano! restaurant. It was fabulous.
Christine Martin, a friend who is a cashier at Carlisle's Cash Saver in Holly Springs, gave me a mincemeat pie recipe from her mother-in-law, the late Ollie Martin. In beautiful handwriting were listed 11 (!) ingredients, which included a half pound of chopped suet. I am going to try making that one of these days.
But, for now, why not order one from The Pie Folks?
- Ron Anderson
Anderson began making mincemeat pies about five or six years ago. "I had not heard of a mincemeat pie until we started getting calls around the holiday time," she says. "I went online to see what it was and try a few of the recipes and come up with one that was good."
Then, she says, "The recipe I found online that I made, I tweaked it with different spices to where I could eat it."
Most people who requested the pie were from "up North," Anderson says. "It is not common in the South. Most people who buy it are older people. I've never had a younger person." Her mincemeat pie fans are "60 and above."
To make them, Anderson begins with raisins, but, she says, "You have to let those raisins swell in water. I don't use straight raisins. I let them kind of swell. It makes them softer."
A mincemeat pie consists of "a lot of spices," including cinnamon and nutmeg. "It's spices that make it good."
She also uses some meat. "Some people put lean beef in, but I don't like that texture. I like to use ground beef."
Her 9-inch mincemeat pies, which sell for $27.99, are more popular around Christmas. "I make them any time, but people only request them during the holidays."
And, she says, "The people who get them, usually I do them for them every year. They will be back."
Kirk Hevener bought his first Pie Folks mincemeat pie this year for Thanksgiving. "My dad passed away a couple of years ago, but mincemeat pie was his favorite pie and we always had it at Thanksgiving," he says.
His family ate mincemeat pie "usually just Thanksgiving. We didn't really go all out for Christmas."
Mincemeat pie, which his dad bought somewhere each year, was just one of several pies served.
His dad, Gene Hevener, "was born in Ohio. Maybe that's where he picked it up. I never realized maybe it's a Northern thing. I was really happy to discover The Pie Folks had it, even though it was a special-order pie."
Hevener, an assistant professor at the College of Pharmacy at UT Health Science Center, says just he and his wife, Dionne, celebrated Thanksgiving. They did a "virtual Thanksgiving this year via TVs and Zoom."
Hevener's eaten mincemeat pie "30, 35 years. I'm in my 40s now. I've been eating it since I was a little kid."
And, he says, "I like mincemeat pie. It's an interesting pie. I like to put a little vanilla ice cream with it and it's awesome."
The Pie Folks is at 1028 N. Germantown Parkway in Cordova; (901) 752-5454.