Mince pies really can be cloyingly sweet so we have created a healthier recipe using much less sugar than traditional shop-bought versions. These may differ slightly from the classic mince pie you are used to, but we love the slightly sharper, crisp taste whilst retaining a lovely festive feel.
Classic mincemeat in particular can be very sugary, so we have adapted the traditional mincemeat to create our own Cooking them Healthy version. We have used maple syrup in place of refined white sugar, added more fruit for a nutritious boost and removed the traditional suet (which is simply pork fat) and replaced it with delicious and healthy coconut oil, and, as a result, they are suitable for vegetarians.
The pastry is our version of shortcrust pastry recipe which is light, delicious and made with spelt flour helping make these more easy to digest. We are thrilled with the results and hope you enjoy them too.
- 200g spelt flour
- 90g cold butter
- 1-2 tbsp cold water
- 2 eggs yolks
- 1 tbsp unrefined caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Place the spelt and butter into a Magimix/food processor and pulse until the butter disappears. Next mix the eggs yolks with 1 tablespoon of water and slowly pour into your food processor watching as the flour begins to come together and form a dough. If it's not coming together enough, you can add a splash more water. Try to blend as little as possible and add just enough water to form a firm but soft dough. The more you mix and handle the dough the tougher it will become and the aim is a lovely crisp pastry.
- Turn the dough out onto your work surface, bring it all together and press down using your palm to form a flat disk. Flour your chosen surface and roll out the pastry to about a 20p thickness trying to ensure it's not sticking to the surface (a palate knife can be very handy for this).
- Using pastry cutters, cut out the right size circles to fit into your muffin case. I used a 9cm sized cutter which came up to about halfway up the muffin tin and a 7.5cm cutter for my tops.
- 50g blanched almonds, lightly blitzed in a processor (ground almonds would work just as well)
- 2 clementines, zested and juiced
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 4 tsp mixed spice
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 cm fresh ginger, grated
- 1 large cooking apple, grated
- 650g mixed raisins, currants, mixed peel and sultanas
- 100ml maple syrup
- 150g coconut oil, melted
- Simply combine all the ingredients. Either use straight away or store for later use in sterilised jam or Kilner jars.
- As above
- To assemble the mince pies simply spoon the mincemeat into your pastry cases and top with their lids. We cut out some fun stars with the off-cuts of the pastry to decorate further. You can stick these on with a little dab of water.
- Next place your mince pies in the fridge to firm up for at least 15 minutes. You want them lovely and cold before they go into the oven.
- Place into the oven on the top shelf and bake for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is firm. When they come out they will be sizzling hot so leave them for up to 5 minutes to cool slightly and then use a teaspoon to help prize them out. Don't leave them too long or they might cool too much and stick to the tin. Check they all cooked all the way through, there are no "soggy bottoms" and the pastry is firm with no soft, translucent patches.
- Enjoy with a dollop of cream.
A quick snap shot of the proof is in the pudding!
We have plenty more festive recipes including the easy-to-make Mini Mince Pies, Dark Chocolate Discs and the simple Maple Popcorn. Or why not indulge with our Chocolate Truffles or get messy with the delicious Chocolate Orange Lollies? It wouldn’t be Christmas without Gingerbread Biscuits and you can enjoy more savoury treats too with our Classic Oatcakes or Cheese Biscuits. Or if you need a gift that will make your home smell amazing do try our Spiced Oranges.
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