Eating healthily at Christmas doesn't have to mean depriving yourself of all the delicious festive treats. And generally, anything made from scratch is likelier to be healthier than store-bought, processed foods.
These crumbly gluten-free mince pies are packed with the natural sweetness of dried fruit and apple, with only a small amount of added sweetness - which you can adjust according to your tastes. Give them a try!
For the filling
1 large apple, like Braeburn, Gala
75g golden sultanas
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 (or 2 tsp Stevia)
4 tbsp organic butter, cubed
1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp ground nutmeg
1⁄2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp brandy
For the pastry
150g ground almonds
75g coconut flour
1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
1⁄2 tsp baking soda
1⁄2 tsp sea salt
zest of an orange
115g butter, frozen. Plus a little extra for greasing
1 egg, lightly whisked
Make the filling:
- Add all of the ingredients above (other than the brandy, if using) to a large saucepan and stir well over a medium heat.
- When the butter is fully melted, turn the heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often.
- Take the saucepan off the heat and stir through a tablespoon of brandy.
- Decant into sterilised glass jars.
- Leave to cool with the lid slightly ajar, then secure tightly and store until you’re ready to use.
Make the pastry:
- Put the ground almonds and coconut flour in a bowl with the sugar, baking soda and salt.
- Stir in the orange zest.
- Grate the frozen butter into the flour and mix together with your fingers until a crumb forms.
- Stir in the egg and bring together 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).
Make the mince pies:
- Pre heat the oven to 175 ̊C.
- Grease a patty / cup cake tin with a little butter.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out between between 2 sheets of baking parchment until it is pie-crust thin.
- Using a cookie cutter, cut out 25 circles and lightly press into the patty tin 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.
- Fill up each pie mould with a heaped teaspoon of the mincemeat.
- Using the remainder of the dough cut out 25 stars to top each pie.
- Bake in the oven for 12 minutes.
- Leave to cool in the tins before gently easing them out.
Don’t be tempted to remove from the tin when they come out of the oven. They WILL fall apart!