Mince pies were originally known as Christmas pies and contained a variety of meats as well as fruit and spices.
Christmas pies used to be oblong or square in shape. They were known as ‘crib pies’ because they were similar in shape to the manger. They would also feature the figure of the baby Jesus on the crust. These later came to be known as mince pies and contained ingredients similar to the ones we use today.
Another name for them was ‘wayfarers’ pies since they were given to visitors during the Christmas period. It was thought to be lucky to eat twelve mince pies in twelve different houses during the twelve days of Christmas to ensure a prosperous year ahead.
John is a producer, TV/radio presenter and writer living in Suffolk