Wednesday, September 1, 2010

133. Mincemeat Fruit and Nut Bars, Tamed

I loved the fragrance of mincemeat pie as it wafted through the house the first time my mother baked one. It was spicy, fruity and wonderful. Although the filling came out of a jar, I could hardly wait to taste that pie. I actually remember taking a bite and then, not wanting to swallow it. The flavor was too strong and almost bitter and I did not like it.

Years later, on a  cold winter day, I decided to make mincemeat pie for my young family. I actually thought that my pie would taste the way I thought it should have tasted all those many years ago when my mother baked one for her family. I bought a jar of mincemeat and proceeded to create a great looking pie. As the rooms in my home became wrapped in that signature aroma, I fairly drooled with anticipation. I took a bite and, again, hated the flavor; no one else in the family liked it, either.

I don't know why mincemeat has intrigued me all these years; I just could not leave it alone. So, a few years ago I found a recipe for mincemeat bars and decided to try one more time to like mincemeat. I discovered that the bar limited the amount of mincemeat in each bite and combined it with a sweet and nutty crust on the top and bottom. The bar created a great flavor combination that I loved...the mincemeat flavor had been tamed!

You may use mincemeat from a jar or the very wonderful recipe from post #132 for green tomato mincemeat with orange.

Mincemeat Fruit and Nut Bars

2 C flour
1 C sugar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ C veg. oil
¼ C milk

2 2/3 C mincemeat, one jar (or use green tomato mincemeat, post 132)

1 C chopped nuts

Preheat oven 400. Mix dry ingredients. Add oil and milk; mix until crumbly. Reserve 1 C crumb mixture. Press remaining mixture firmly on bottom of 13x9 pan. Top with mincemeat. Sprinkle with remaining crumbs, then nuts. Bake 30 min. or until golden. Cool, chill. Cut into bars.

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