Baking a pie is like rearranging the furniture with two sticks and a bowling ball. For me it is, anyway. I start out precisely enough, but then I just throw the whole thing into a pie plate, press the dough down really hard, stick it in the oven, and hope for the best. Usually, I have to clean the kitchen with an industrial-strength vacuum cleaner later on as well. So, while I could have really gone for a mincemeat pie after a crisp fall walk with Nate and Alex, I just didn’t want to get the sticks and bowling ball out.
Instead, I was craving a certain store-bought ginger cookie that has an unmistakably sharp ginger flavor that I love. It would serve as the perfect base for store-bought mincemeat pie filling.
Mincemeat pie filling can have meat in it, but the one I bought did not have any—just delicious, dried fruit and spices. I have had the kind with meat in it before, and I did not notice the meat. I suppose this concoction is left over from medieval times when upper-class royals would heavily sugar and jelly their meats and fish because that’s just how they rolled. Literally. They rolled pie crust over lots of things. And, who wouldn’t enjoy a meat pie? But salmon, heavily doused in sugar and rolled under a piecrust, I think, would give me visions of sugar plums that wouldn’t dance in my head. They would rage and spit fire.
To avoid raging meat pies, I just placed the ginger snaps on a plate and spread a thin layer of mincemeat pie filling on top, and all was well in the kingdom.
I must mention something very important, though: the ginger snaps I love are, well, very crunchy and hard. They are made in factories and thick with flour that coats the entire mouth, and why this makes them a bit spendy, I don’t know. However, most store-bought ginger snaps really water down that ginger taste, and this variety just doesn’t hold back at all—it slaps you in the teeth with crunch and spice. Then, you get that mincemeat on it—and well, I just found my new favorite sweet fall snack.
Nate and Alex were with me in the store when I bought these things, and they looked puzzled. How would spreading mincemeat pie filling onto a very unassuming ginger snap cookie take the chill out of the air and satisfy weary bones after a hike?
They were pleasantly surprised. Nate, I think, helped himself to quite a few rounds of ginger snapping.
And, we didn’t use too much of the mincemeat pie filling, so if I ever watch professional bowling and get inspired to make a pie, I’ll have just enough to roll with it.
Your turn: What’s your favorite store-bought snack splurge?