Confession time: I have a bit of a weakness for mince pies.
Yes, I know, these fruity treats split opinion almost as much as marmite but if it’s good enough to leave out for Santa then it’s good enough for me.
Making a healthier version was somewhat of a challenge faced with so many objections in my head, including but not limited to “why would I when the shop bought ones are perfectly nice” to “surely it’s more effort than it’s are worth”.
Ultimately the curiosity of whether it’s even possible to make them got the better of me, so here they are, vegan, gluten-free, mince pies made of nothing but wholefood ingredients.
Plus they are darn tasty (according to many lucky recipients that were drafted in to taste test them).
Ingredients (makes 8)
For the pastry:
150g ground almonds
25g each of sunflower and pumpkin seeds or the same quantity of Munchy Seeds Salted Caramel seeds
2 tbsp agave
50g of gluten free flour
40g coconut oil
1/4 of tsp baking powder
a pinch of sea salt
For the filling
2 apples (approximately 150g), coarsely grated and the core discarded
150g mix of sultanas, cranberries and raisins
Juice of an orange, zest of 1/4 of an orange
1/2 a teaspoon each of mixed spice & cinnamon
1/4 of a teaspoon of ground ginger
Put the seeds in a blender or food processor and blend to a flour-like consistency.
Melt the coconut oil on a low heat then combine with the ground almonds, seed flour, gluten free flour, agave, baking powder and sea salt. Squish together to form a large dough ball then divide into 8 smaller balls and chill in the fridge while the filling is made.
For the filling, put all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook on a low heat with the lid on for 20-30 minutes until the apples are fully cooked and mushy. Set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
To make the mince pies, place a dough ball between 2 sheets of cling film and roll out it as thin as you are able. The dough is crumbly so don’t worry if some of them fall apart, you can squish left over dough together and roll it out again.
Once rolled out, place the dough into a fairy cake tin (a smaller muffin/cupcake tin) and press it in with your fingers. Any holes can be patched up with a small amount of dough pretty easily.
Place a tablespoon of the filling mixture in the middle then form a lid with another piece of rolled out dough. Pinch the edges to seal and remove any excess dough mixture (either with your fingers or using a knife).
Repeat until all of the dough and filling mixture is used up.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Owing to the nature of the ingredients, these mince pies are much darker than your usual shop bought ones so don’t be alarmed. They should be a toasted colour as opposed to white.
Allow the mince pies to cool in the tin for 5 minutes or so then twist from the edges until they are loose. Remove from the tin and cool on a rack.
The mince pies are best eaten fresh but they do keep well for up to 3 days.