Whilst some people are not big fans of traditional dried fruit Christmas bakes like Christmas cake or mince pies, I’m not one of them! I really love them, and could happily eat them all year round (like my father in law who happily tucks into an individual Christmas pudding mid July!).
As mentioned in previous posts, the problem with traditional recipes and most bought versions is the type of fat used, including vegan options. Both pastry and mincemeat contain highly saturated fats which is not good if you are following a low fat diet for health reasons, or just don’t want to eat it.
When it comes to making pastry for mince pies, I prefer to use a rich nut butter like hazelnut or pecan nut butter. It’s not difficult to make at home as long as you have a high speed blender and lightly toast them before hand. The oils are released more readily when the nuts are warm.
But of course cost and availability comes into the equation – along with time. Last minute baking can mean you grab whatever you have in the cupboard (but avoid peanut butter if at all possible as the flavour is strong and might overshadow the delicious Christmas spices in the mincemeat).
As my low fat pastry bakes differently to ‘normal’, I don’t top the mince pies with a full lid of pastry. Rather, I find a little star perched on top of a good dollop of mincemeat suffices just fine. However, if you prefer a full top, go for it. This recipe will yield only 6 mince pies though instead of 9. Which if it’s only you eating them, is fine. Otherwise double the ingredients to get a bigger batch. And don’t forget to pop a slit in the top to let any steam out.
Once made, the mince pies keep for 3-4 days in an air-tight container. They also freeze well so you can make ahead if you’re super organised. Make sure you warm them through in the oven before eating though as the pastry needs livening up again once defrosted.
I hope you enjoy making these yummy seasonal treats. Don’t forget to let me know how you get on. Happy baking!
- mince pie tin
- Rolling pin
- non-stick baking paper
- cookie cutters 8cm round and small star shape
- 1 portion low fat pastry see link below
- 14 tbsp low fat mincemeat shop bought or see link below
- 1 tbsp soya or oat milk
- 1 teaspoon icing sugar to decorate
- Roll out the pastry on non-stick baking paper as per the recipe linked below to approx 0.5cm thick.
- Using an 8cm wide cookie cutter, cut out as many circles as you can with this first roll.
- Gently peel off one circle and place in the base of the tart tin. Repeat until all the circles are in the tin.
- Bring the pastry together and roll out again. This time cut out the same amount of mini stars as you have circles and put to one side. This is to make sure you have enough toppers to your bottoms!
- From now on, cut out one circle and one star. Once you can't get any more out of the rolled out pastry, bring together once more then roll it out again. You should be able to get 9 circles and 9 stars from the recipe.
- Once all the pastry circles are successfully in the tin, add approx 1.5 tablespoons of mince meat to each base. You want it nicely filled but not overload. And definitely not stingy!
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
- Pop the mini stars on the top and brush with the soya milk.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes then turn the tin in the oven and bake for another minutes or until the top is nicely browned.
- Remove from the oven. Leave the mince pies in the tin for 5 minutes to settle, then gently prise out with a knife and leave to cool on a rack. Or eat whilst still warm 😉
- Sprinkle icing sugar over the top and eat straight away - store any leftovers in an airtight tin.
- The pastry softens a little once stored. Still lovely eaten cold but nicer if warmed through a little to enjoy them at their best.