Mince pies

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without mince pies – try these healthy versions

Serves

12

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 60g (2oz/4 tbsp) vegan butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 4 tbsp coconut palm sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 85g (3oz/½ cup) rice flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50g (1¾ oz/½ cup) chickpea flour (gram)
  • 60g (2oz/scant ½ cup) cornflour (cornstarch)
  • ¼ tsp xanthan gum
  • A pinch of Himalayan pink salt
  • 3 tsp water

For the filling

  • 60g (2oz/scant ½ cup) unsweetened dried blueberries
  • 100g (3½oz/2/3 cup) unsweetened dried cranberries
  • 70g (2½oz/scant ½ cup) sultanas (golden raisins)
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • Juice of half an orange
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Method

1. First, make the pastry. In a bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, xanthan gum and salt. Pour the flour mix into the butter mixture, add the water and use your fingers to mix it together to form a dough. Knead for a minute and then roll into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, put all the ingredients for the filling in a food processor and pulse until you achieve a rough consistency.

3. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3, and grease a 12-hole muffin tin with vegan butter.

4. Dust a work surface with some rice flour and roll out the pastry until 3mm (1/3 in) thick. Using a pastry cutter, stamp out 12 rounds, re-rolling the trimmings and cutting again; keep the remaining pastry aside. Use the rounds to line the base and sides of each muffin ‘hole’. Fill each pie with 1 tbsp of the ‘mincemeat’ – don’t overfill or it will bubble out during cooking.

5. With the remaining pastry, roll out to a thickness of 3mm (1/8 inch) and using a shaped cutter cut out 12 shapes that will form your pie lids. Place over the filling, pushing the edges of the lids down to meet the bottom pastry rim. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes.

6. Remove from the oven, leave to cool and transfer to a wire rack. Then, dust with some rice flour or agave powder and enjoy while still warm.

Recipe taken from Honestly Healthy for Life: Healthy Alternatives for Everyday Eating by Natasha Corrett and Vicki Edgson (£25, Jacqui Small).

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