Day 3 of our Christmas countdown – magnificent mince pies

DSC_0708As well as my fabby recipes, I’m going to share my holiday season survival tips. This one I’ve been doing for years and it’s so simple you’re probably screwing up your face and saying “really?” Before you head out for the office lunch or party or other function, eat! Have something like a protein shake with protein, oats and banana or how about rice cakes with banana and peanut butter or even a couple of boiled eggs on English muffins. Why? If you’re not hungry when you go out, chances are you’ll drink less and be less inclined to nibble. Okay, boring but you’ll thank me the next day when you don’t have a hangover and you don’t feel crap from all the junk you ate. Try it!

Now for today’s recipe. Mince pies. I’m sharing my healthy spelt flour version and gluten free version. I can’t decide which one of these I like most! What do you think?

For the mincemeat

Ingredients

  • 2 apples (cored and chopped into small pieces)
  • 100g raisins
  • 100g sultanas
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 1 cup of apple or orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon of butter or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ginger
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon of grated orange rind (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of rum (optional)

Method

  • Place all of the above ingredients in a pot and let them simmer for about 30 minutes until the apple is soft.

Whilst the mincemeat is cooking, prepare your pastry.

Ingredients – spelt flour pastry

  • 160g of spelt flour
  • 120g of butter (unsalted) straight from the fridge and cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of caster sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of cold water

Method

  1. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Add the cubed butter to the flour mixture. Rub butter in carefully with your fingertips until your mixture looks crumbly.
  3. Add a splash of water then mix into a soft dough.
  4. Rest for 1 hour in the fridge.

Ingredients – almond flour/gluten free pastry

  •  250g of almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or almond extract

DSC_0677Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl using your hands to form a pliable dough.
  2. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan.
  3. Roll out the pastry carefully between 2 sheets of baking paper.
  4. Cut out stars for the top and set them aside.
  5. Cut out circles, large enough to cover the base and sides of your muffin tin. You can also mould the pastry into the individual cups if you prefer.

Once you have the pastry (either spelt or gluten free almond) ready:

  1. Heat the oven to 180/350 degrees.
  2. Place the tray of crust bases in the oven for 8 minutes, until they start to turn golden brown. Take them out and allow them to cool while the mincemeat mixture finishes cooking.
  3. Once the mincemeat has cooked, start assembling the pies.
  4. Add two heaped teaspoons of mincemeat into each baked pie case before placing a star over the middle of the mincemeat. Return the pies to the oven.

If using the spelt pastry, bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden. If using the almond flour pastry, bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool completely before turning out of the tin.

Enjoy with mulled wine!

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