Place all of the ingredients except the crust into the bowl of a food processor and pulse 8 to 10 times. Place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for at least 3 days before using. Can be stored for up to 6 months.
If you prefer a finer texture of mincemeat place the apples, dried fruit and suet into a meat grinder with a large die and grind. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients. You may also finely chop the apples, dried fruit and suet by hand.
Place the flour, cornmeal, 1 1/2 ounces sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Grate the cold butter on the large side of a box grater directly into the dry ingredients. Work together with your hands until the mixture is crumbly. Add the cider and water and stir with a spatula to combine. Knead the dough 5 to 6 times and spritz with additional water if the dough is dry. Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Unwrap the dough and divide into 4 equal pieces. Place 2 pieces of the dough onto a piece of parchment paper and roll each out into a 1/8-inch thick round that is 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the mincemeat into the center of each round, fold up the edges of the dough in order to form a crust all the way around. Brush the edges of the crust with egg wash and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Transfer the dough on the parchment to a half sheet pan. Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Repeat with the remaining dough.
If you prefer 1 large pie, roll out the dough on a piece of parchment into a 15 to 16-inch round, about 1/4 to 1/8-inch thick. Trim the edges with a pizza cutter. Carefully slide the rolled out dough, still on the parchment paper, onto an upside down half sheet pan. Spoon about 1 1/2 pounds of the mincemeat onto the center of the dough, leaving a 2 to 3-inch margin around the edge of the crust. Place in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until the crust is golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 to 45 minutes before serving.
Yield: 10 to 12 servings
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown, 2008