Healthy Mince Pies

Christmas doesn't have to be the time of year that your health goes out the window! These tasty mince pies are gluten-free and use coconut palm sugar, rather than refined sugar. I also use almond flour for the pastry, which is low in carbohydrates and actually supports heart-health and blood-sugar management. There's no more satisying way to look after your family's nutrition than when they don't even notice the difference, and these mince pies will be a hit every time!

Prep time: 25 mins : Makes 25

 Enjoy healthy mince pies this Christmas   

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

  • 150g of almond flour/ground almonds
  • 75g of coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp sea salt zest of an orange
  • 115g butter, frozen (plus a little extra for greasing)
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked

For the filling:

  • 1 large apple, like Braeburn, Gala
  • 75g raisins
  • 75g golden sultanas
  • 75g currants
  • 65g dried, unsweetened cranberries
  • 60g other dried fruit (sour cherries, blueberries, mango, apricots – dried but unsweetened)
  • Zest and juice of an orange
  • 50g coconut palm sugar
  • 4 tbsp organic butter, cubed
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp brandy (optional)


Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 175˚C, then put the almond and coconut flours in a bowl with the sugar, baking soda and salt.
  2. Stir in the orange zest.
  3. Grate the frozen butter into the flour and mix together with your fingers till a crumb forms.
  4. Stir in the egg and bring together the mix with your hands to form a dough. Divide the dough in half; wrap each in film and place in the fridge for 1 hour (or overnight).
  5. Grease the moulds of a muffin pan with a little butter. Remove the dough from the fridge and place between 2 sheets of baking/ greaseproof paper. Roll with a rolling pin to flatten out the dough until it is pie-crust thin.

To make the filling:

  1. Put all of the filling ingredients (other than the brandy) into a large saucepan over medium heat and stir.
  2. When the butter is fully melted, turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Take the saucepan off the heat and stir through a tablespoon of brandy, then decant into sterilized glass jars.
  4. Leave to cool with the lid slightly ajar, then secure tightly and store until required.
  5. Using a biscuit cutter (or an upturned jam jar – needs to be about 8cm diameter), cut out 25 circles and lightly press into the muffin pan moulds. The pastry can be tricky to work with, as there is no gluten holding it together. Be patient. If the pastry splits just push it back together with your fingers and use any pastry scraps to fix it up.
  6. Fill up each pie mould with a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat.
  7. Using the remainder of the dough, cut out 25 stars to top each pie.
  8. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Leave to cool in the tins, before gently easing them out. Don’t be temped to remove from the tin when they come out of the oven – they WILL fall apart if you do this!
  9. Serve and enjoy!
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