Mince pies are not the healthiest food at Christmas time. However, these vegan mince pies are yummy and as long as you don’t have too many could have a few health benefits. The medjool dates in the pastry are a superfood and if not eaten too much, dried fruit has a few benefits as well. We love eating mince pies at Christmas and so I had to think of a gluten free version as I want to eat them on Christmas day. It’s tradition.
Many years ago when mince pies started to arrive in the UK or England from middle eastern countries they would be filled with meat, fruit and spices. They were made to represent the manger the baby Jesus slept in. During the Stewart and Georgian times in the UK mince pies were a status symbol. Very rich people like to show off at their Christmas parties by having pies made in different shapes. For example, stars, hearts, tears and flowers.
In these times, having mince pies meant you were rich and could afford to employ the best and most expensive pastry cooks. Nowadays, we eat mince pies with dried fruit, orange and brandy filling. By the Victorian era mince pies had become a small, delicious treat. The mince pie remains a popular Christmas sweet in Britain. Children leave a mince pie and a glass of brandy as a thank you to Santa for delivering their presents on Christmas Eve.
- Mixing bowl
- Stirring Spoon
- Food Processor
- Rolling pin
- Cutter x 2 (one should be slightly smaller than the other)
- Muffin tin x 1
- Measuring jug
- Pastry brush
Ingredients for the filling
- Dried fruit x 300g
- Orange x 1 juice and zest
- Brandy x 2 – 4 tbsp
- Ground ginger x 1 tsp
- Ground nutmeg x 1/4 tsp
- Ground cloves x 1/4 tsp
- Apple Puree x 6 tbsp (please see below)
Ingredients for the Apple Puree
- Eating apples x 4
- Pears x 4
- Lemon x 1 juice and zest
- Water x 50mls
- Cinnamon x 1 tbsp
Ingredients for the pastry
- Gluten free oats x 150g
- Ground almonds x 150g
- Coconut oil x 150g
- Medjool dates x 150g
- Orange x 1 juice and zest
- Oat milk x 20ml
Method for filling
- Put the dried fruit into the mixing bowl along with the spices, orange, juice and zest and the brandy (optional).
- Mix together with the spoon and leave for 4 up to 24 hours.
Method for the Apple Sauce
- Peel, chop and core the apples and pears.
- Put into the large saucepan and add the lemon juice and zest and the water.
- Place on a medium to high heat, bring to the boil and then turn the heat down and leave to simmer.
- Cook for about 10 minutes or until the apples are soft.
- Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
- Once cooled put into the food processor and blend until smooth.
Method for the pastry
- Measure the ground almonds, oats, coconut oil and dates using the scales.
- Add all the ingredients to the food processor and blend.
- When the pastry forms a large ball inside the food processor the pastry is done.
- Wrap in the cling film and place in the fridge for an hour or overnight.
Method for making the Mince Pie
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge and leave in a warm room for half an hour.
- Meanwhile mix the dried fruit filling with 4 – 6 tbsp of apple puree and set aside.
- Roll out the pastry to about a 1/4 cm thick.
- You can cut it and do it in sections.
- Plus this pastry is like playdough so very easy to mould together.
- Then using the cutter cut 1 large round and 1 small round.
- Continue doing this until all the pastry has been used up.
- Place the larger rounds in the base of the muffin tray.
- Once the 12 holes have been filled with the pastry add the filling in.
- 300g of dried fruit should fill 12 mince pies but you may need to push the filling in a bit.
- Brush the oat milk around the outside edges of the pie and place the smaller round on top.
- Brush more oat milk on the tops and place in the oven for about 8 – 10 minutes.
- Leave to cool completely and then transfer to a cooling rack until they are cold.
- Serve with coconut cream and maple syrup, then enjoy.
These Mince Pies taste just like the shop bought ones in my opinion but they are slightly better for the body. My husband and I love mince pies especially at Christmas. So when I served these after our dinner we were not disappointed. These mince pies are great because you can freeze all the ingredients separately and then defrost them the night before you want to use them. If you are having a lot of people for dinner you can prepare them the day before and finish them off on the day your guests arrive. However you decide to eat them, as always, please enjoy.