Mince Pies

Believe it or not, I have never been a huge fan of mince pies…and here I am posting a recipe for them, I know, strange!  My whole family enjoy mince pies, my Mum loved them, my Dad often enjoys them with cheese or sliced apple on the side but I was never that keen on them and found the mixed peel in some brands too much for me.

Last year I decided to make my own just to see if they are something that I defintely do not like or if I could adapt them so I could enjoy them too and also I gave them a culinary nutrition twist to make them nutritious as well as delicious.  After my first attempt at making them last year I loved them!  I couldn’t believe how delicious they turned out.  However, when I was looking for the recipe on here to re-share them with you, I realised I hadn’t shared the recipe with you last year, oops!

I’ve made them again this year, just to be sure they are still as great as I remembered and yes, they are!  In the recipe I’ve left the brandy as optional, the recipe works with or without so it’s entirely up to you if you include it or not.

I suggest making the filling and leaving it overnight or at least for 4 hours for all the flavours to develop, this step is optional but I find the flavours intensify when it’s left to stand before making the pies.


Makes 9 – 10 pies

Ingredients

Pastry

-1 cup almonds

-1 cup walnuts

-1 cup medjool dates, pitted (approximately 10 dates)

Filling

-1/2 cup sultanas

-1/4 cup currants

-1/4 cup raisins

-1/4 cup dried cranberries

-zest & juice of 1 orange

-1/2 small apple, core removed & finely diced

-2 Tbsp. coconut sugar

-1 Tbsp. brandy (optional)

-1 tsp. ground cinnamon

-3/4 tsp. ground ginger

-1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

-1/8 tsp. ground cloves

How To Make

Place all the filling ingredients into a large bowl and mix well.  Cover the bowl and place in the fridge overnight or leave to stand on the counter for up to 4 hours.  Leaving the filling overnight or to stand for up to 4 hours is optional but I find the flavours develop further when left.  You can make the filling and immediately make the pies, they will still be flavourful.

Pre-heat oven to 175C/350F.  Set aside a 12 hole cupcake tin – you may only make 9-10 pies depending on the size of your cupcake holes.

Blend the nuts for the pastry in a food processor until fine then add the dates.  Blend again until the dates are completely broken down and the mixture holds together when pressed between 2 fingers.  Pour the mixture into a bowl press the dough together.

If you have left the filling mixture overnight in the fridge, take it out and allow to get to room temperature whilst you work on the pastry cases.

Taking about 25g of pastry mixture, roll into a ball in your hand then put the ball in one of the cupcake tin holes.  Press the ball down and using your fingers press the pastry up the side of the tin hole.  It doesn’t need to go all the way to the top but make the cases deep enough for them to be filled.

Repeat until the cases are done but keep some pastry aside which you need to roll out and cut out shapes for the top of the pies.

Place the cupcake tin in the oven and bake the bases of the pies for 8 minutes.

Remove from the oven and fill each case with filling and then gently press your pastry shape topper onto the top of the filling.

Place the tray back into the oven and bake for a further 10-12 minutes or until the pies are starting to brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Once the pies have cooled, gently coax them out of the tin – I used a butter knife to go around the edges to loosen them – then place on a wire rack until completely cooled.

Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.  Warm gently in the oven just before serving, however, these pies are also delicious cold.

Enjoy

xx


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