These mince pies are so dreamy! They are also accidentally vegan so those of you who follow a vegan diet can hit these up also.
A lovely twist to regular short-crust pastry (which is equally as delish, don’t get me wrong) but I fancied trying something new. These are free of ‘refined sugars’ – I put it like that as it’s not a term I tend to use often, simply because sugar is sugar, our body doesn’t exactly know the difference between sugar from dates, honey or white sugar…they’re all monosaccharides and broken down similarly, although certain types can add some benefit along the way to giving us energy…(ie. fruit has numerous vitamins and minerals present and also fibre which this recipe gladly contains!)
Stevia (a plant – sweetness is extracted from the leaves) is a type of sweetener I use in some recipes; it has no reported effects on blood sugar but be mindful as it is naturally much sweeter than sugar so you need less of it in comparison.
So let’s get to it! These are simple to put together and a huge crowd pleaser as they look and taste so spectacular!
Ingredients (makes 12):
2/3rd cup currants
1/3rd cup pitted soft dates, chopped small
2 bramley apples peeled and chopped
2 small oranges (juice from both, zest from 1)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 tsp ground mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp granulated stevia or 2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted
12 sheets of filo pastry
1 tsp coconut oil/spray or organic butter
Preheat oven 180 fan. In a medium saucepan, add all the mincemeat ingredients (apples first) and let simmer on a medium-low heat to ‘gloop up’ (around 15-20 mins).
Whilst the mincemeat is simmering, toast the almond flakes gently in a pan, being careful not to burn them – transfer to the simmering mincemeat once the almonds are crisp and golden.
In a 12 hole muffin tin, grease the spaces with oil spray (quickest option) or a swipe of butter then set aside.
Unroll and flatten out the 12 sheets of filo pastry on top of each other on a cutting board. Cut the sheets in half across the width and again down the centre so you have 4 quarters. Try and work fairly quickly with the pastry so it doesn’t dry out. You can always dampen a tea towel and press gently into the sheets to keep moist.
Line the bottom of each muffin tin hole with 3 sheets, 1 at a time rotating into an approx star shape, pressing into the base. Put in the oven for 5 mins to start the pastry off, allowing it to golden slightly.
After 5 mins, remove the pastry bases from the oven and spoon in the mincemeat filling, equally between each pie. Top with the 1 remaining filo sheet on each pie, scrunched slightly for a pretty effect. Pop in the oven once again with a brush of butter/oil on top. Bake for 12 minutes until gold and crisp.
Filo pastry is very delicate so be extra gentle when removing them from the muffin tin after cooked through. Enjoy with a dollop of vanilla ice cream melting deliciously into that crispy pastry with all those festive flavours, or a splodge of tangy, greek yoghurt. Heaven!