Wednesday, 9 December 2009

healthy mince pies recipe

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. so below is a recipe for both the mincemeat and the crust. i don't use suet in my mincemeat any more either, which is really more of a personal preference, because i like the freshness and delicate nature of my filling recipe.

so i hope you enjoy this recipe for healthy homemade mince pies. which are equally as yummy, but not as bad for you! you can easily make them gluten free as well as dairy free by substituting your favourite gluten-free flour.

healthy mince pie recipe
makes 12, plus more mincemeat for the fridge

 for the mincemeat:
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
1 tbsp linseeds
3 tbsp agave nectar
1-2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch cloves, ginger and nutmeg
5-10 tbsp water

1. add all of the ingredients to a pan.
2. cook for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, until it achieves a pulpy consistency (you may need to add more water), and the flavours have mixed thoroughly. 
3. then leave overnight.

whilst your healthy mincemeat is simmering, make the pastry, to put in the fridge overnight also.

for the pastry:
225g plain flour (i use 50g buckwheat, 50g wholemeal, 75g gluten free, 50g regular) 
175g butter substitute (Pure, or margarine, or coconut oil) 
65g coconut sugar
1 beaten egg

1. mix the flour and the butter substitute and mix until it forms breadcrumbs.
2. then add the sugar and the egg. bring it together into a dough. 
3. wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge overnight, or for at least 1 hour.
4. the following morning, turn your oven on to 180c/350f.
5. roll out your flour as thinly as you dare. and cut out circles for your bases, and smaller circles or stars for your tops. 
6. put the bases in a tart/cupcake tray, and fill as much as you can with your mincemeat, then top with the smaller circles/stars and brush with an egg or milk wash.
7. put in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden.

cook's notes:
- these freeze beautifully and are perfect to make a month or so before Christmas!
- they last a good few days in the fridge (though i've never fully tested this as they usually get eaten too quickly)
- i like to sprinkle Swedish pearl sugar (Dansukker Parlsocker) on top of mine just after i egg wash (but before they go in the oven) - it's a really pretty addition, and gives a nice little extra crunch.


  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!

    1. Mixed Spice is a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice, mace and ginger :)

  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

    1. I make a pretty good healthy mulled wine recipe! Perhaps I need to share it!

  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.


Thanks for leaving a lovely comment - have a wonderful day ♥