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I have always called mince pies filled with fruit just that: mince pies. However, lately I have been seeing many different variations of this: fruit mince pies, mince fruit tarts, and even mincemeat pies — which makes absolutely no sense to me, as the pies contain no meat whatsoever.

Is there a single correct term for fruit-filled mince pies? What are the reasons for the other terms?

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closed as too localized by Kris, J.R., Bill Franke, Robusto, MετάEd Dec 22 '12 at 16:32

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It would help if you provide a photo of "mince tarts". –  Tristan Dec 22 '12 at 0:07
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There might be more expertise on this at Cooking Stack Exchange. –  gmcgath Dec 22 '12 at 0:09
    
@gmcgath I am not looking for a recipe, I am looking for the more correct term. –  bungeshea Dec 22 '12 at 0:15
    
Wikipedia redirects "mince tart" to "mince pie". –  MετάEd Dec 22 '12 at 2:18
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In America, they are only, ever, and always called mincemeat pies. Note also that meat does not always signify animal flesh: consider how a nut-meat is the kernel of a nut. –  tchrist Dec 22 '12 at 5:42

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

They are called mince-pies (at least the ones with a top on for Christmas)

The fruit stuff is called mincemeat, originally it contained meat with fruit and spices. Then just the suet (meat fat) with the fruit - but is still called mincemeat.

The "minced fruit" is presumably a supermarket avoiding customers getting confused about whether it's meat or fruit.

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Note that in America, they are invariably called mincemeat pies. –  tchrist Dec 22 '12 at 5:39

This term is a contraction of minced meat to mincemeat as the original pies contained meat minced or chopped finely and cooked with fruit, nuts and spices in pastry. The pastry would have been in pie form with a top. A tart is the same as a pie but without the top.

From OED:

a. Meat cut up or ground into very small pieces.

b. The mixture of currants, raisins, sugar, suet, apples, almonds, candied peel, spices, etc., and originally meat chopped small, typically baked in pastry, as in mince pies and other traditional Christmas dishes. Cf. minced meat n.

Mincemeat contains suet and nuts, minced fruit is just that without suet and nuts etc.

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Note please that nut-meats are called such despite them not having any animal flesh. –  tchrist Dec 22 '12 at 14:08
    
@tchrist Yes, but suet is animal fat, so not entirely free of animal products. I suppose it hinges on whether fat is considered meat which it clearly isn't. –  spiceyokooko Dec 22 '12 at 14:13

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