Wednesday, 9 December 2009

healthy mince pies ★

i've been searching and searching for a healthier alternative to an otherwise ludicrously sweet christmas dessert (as most of them tend to be). and i could not find a recipe online, so as always i took one, and adapted it - i don't often follow a recipe exactly!

when you buy mincemeat in jars, it's often laced with sugar and glucose syrup. last weekend, i went round to a friends house and made some scrumptious mince pies, but they did use shop-bought mincemeat, and refined flour pastry, and real butter. divinely naughty, yet because they were so small i didn't feel all too bad eating one or two. so, if you do want to make some quick regular mince pies, then making small ones, with star tops, then that's probably the way to go.

BUT, before you go and do that, check out this recipe for healthy homemade mince pies. which are equally as yummy, but not as bad for you.

♥ To make the mincemeat, add the following to a large saucepan:
  • 2 finely chopped (gala) apples or 1-2 cups homemade apple sauce
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup apricots
  • 1tbsp linseeds
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1-2tsp mixed spice (don't be too afraid to use lots, because the flavour will dull down with time)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch cloves, ginger and nutmeg
  • 5-10 tbsp water (you may find you need to put more in to keep it at the right consistency)
- cook for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, until it acheives a puply consistency, and the flavours have mixed thoroughly. then leave overnight.
- whilst your healthy mincemeat is simmering, make the pastry, to put in the fridge overnight also.
- mix 225g plain flour (i used: 50g buckwheat, 50g wholemeal, 75g gluten free, 50g regular) and 175g butter substitute (Pure, or margarine, etc) and mix until it forms breadcrumbs.

- then add 65g caster/fructose sugar and 1 beaten egg. bring it together into a dough, wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight, or for at least 1 hour.
- the following morning, roll out your flour as thinly as you dare. and cut out circles for your bases, and smaller circles for your tops. put the bases in a cake tray, and fill as much as you can with your mincemeat, then top with the smaller circles (or festive shapes) and egg wash.
- put in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden.
- i'm going to try to freeze mine, and see how they fare when i take them out. they should be fine...hopefully! i'll let you know.

UPDATE: these freeze beautifully and are perfect to make a month or so before Christmas!


  1. Why oh why do the English love mince pies? But yours sound rather delicious... maybe I should give them a try. Sabine x

  2. what is 'mixed spice'? sorry, i've never had mince pies! being american, i always thought these 'mincemeat' pies sounded gross! i didn't know what type of 'meat' it was... apparently, it isn't meat! :) i'm looking forward to trying this!

  3. wonderful . . . as everything else goes to hell, your recipe has saved christmas.
    cheers mick

  4. Brilliant, can't wait to try these out! Wanted to make a healthy alternative. Now I just need a healthy mulled wine...hmm not much I can do about that! Thankyou :) x

  5. If you try a hot mince pie on a freezing English Winter day, they might make sense to you (Sabine). They are also a way to use preserved and old fruit from the harvest and what was available.
    What's wrong with a mince pie? You can do them raw, vegan, vegetarian, meaty...
    Try walking about in an un-heated cold climate, see if you don't start wanting one (or something of a similar composition) after a while.


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