Mince pies are one of those divisive, love them or hate them foods. Which side are you on? I absolutely love them, but to be completely honest, I do find shop bought filling a little too sickly sweet. Dried fruit is already super-sweet, so I think it’s much nicer to make your own filling using the filling recipe from my ‘Raw Mince Pies’ recipe in my book which simply soaks the chopped, dried fruit in orange juice and spices, no added sugar is needed at all. It’s not as big of a faff as you might think. The only slightly tedious part is chopping up the dried fruit. I’ve switched the raw almond pastry in this recipe for a vegan shortcrust pastry which is very simple to make too.
I think there’s nothing more delicious than a slightly wonky, homemade mince pie and big mug of spiced chai tea for a Wintery mid-morning pick me up, or with a warm glass of mulled wine in the evening!
Did you make this recipe? Let us know how it went in the comments, tag us in pictures on Instagram or pop them on our lovely facebook group (we LOVE to see our recipes leave the screen), and please don’t forget to share it with your friends and family. Liz x
Shortcrust Pastry Ingredients (makes about 16 mince pies)
Shortcrust pastry is very easy to make if you have a food processor with a blade attachment. (And by the way this recipe makes a brilliant pumpkin pie, apple pie or cherry pie crust too!) Just blend up the flour, butter, salt and sugar until it resembles wet beach sand. Then add a couple of tablespoons of very cold water and briefly blend again and it will magically form into a neat ball of dough!
If you don’t have a food processor you can just use your hands. Use the tips of your fingers to work the butter into the flour, salt and sugar until it reaches wet sand consistency, then add the water and gently bring it together into a ball of dough. The trick to a really short, melt in the mouth shortcrust pastry is not overworking the dough and getting it too warm. Then wrap it in a slightly damp tea towel and let it rest in the fridge while you make the filling.
- 350g chopped mixed dried fruit (I especially like dried figs, also apricots, cranberries, raisins…)
- 3 oranges
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
Chop up a mixture of dried fruit of your choice and put them in a mixing bowl.
Add the spices and the zest of the oranges and stir well to coat all the dried fruit in the lovely, Christmassy flavours.
Then squeeze the oranges and add all the juice (if they are very large oranges just add the juice of two to start off with and see how you go). Stir well, then squish the mixture down and cover it and allow the fruit to soak up all the orange juice and spices.
Assemble & Bake
Pre-heat your oven to 175C.
Roll out 2/3rds of the chilled pastry on a clean work surface dusted with flour. I like to roll my pastry to around 4mm thick.
Use a large round cookie cutter (or a mug or glass) to cut out 12 rounds. They should be about a cm or two wider the the muffin pan you will bake them in.
Then ease the circles into the muffin pan and gently press them into place. Fill each pastry case with a tbsp or so or of the filling.
Roll out the remaining 3rd of the pastry and use a star shaped cookie cutter to cut out 12 star lids for your pies. Or you could cut 12 smaller circles if you like and completely close up your pies.
Pop the lids on the pies ( you will probably have enough pastry and filling left over for a few more pies) – if you are using round lids, poke a little hole in the top of each pie. If you want to add a little sweet crunch to the lids, sprinkle over a tiny bit of caster sugar before baking.
Bake the mince pies in the oven until the pastry is just starting to take on some colour. Around 15 minutes or so – keep an eye on them.
Then allow the pies to cool and set a little in the muffin tin before carefully taking them out to completely cool on a plate.
Dust them with snowy icing sugar or leave them plain. Once they are completely cold you can store them in an airtight container and they should stay fresh for about 4 days.