The holidays are traditionally a time when we all let our hair down, eat what we want, and only consider the consequences when New Years Eve rolls around and we are also rolling around. Every New Year's resolution since I can remember has involved 2 things: getting fit and losing weight. Which is a sad indictment on my self-esteem over the last 38 years. I mean 28 (cough).Well last year was different, and this year is going to be too. In fact, every year from now on is going to be about health and love and time and joy and God's goodness, not about restriction or resolve, or discipline, or poor self-image. Well that's the plan anyway!
One of the healthy, joyful traditions of Christmas that I will be eating this year is homemade Mince Pies. And I swear they taste SO much better when they are homemade!
Here is a recipe for you this Christmas, I hope you have a healthy, loving, joyful time with your families, and a guilt-free go at New Years resolutions!
Christmas Mince Pies - grainfree, refined sugar free, dairyfree Makes 12
Fruit mince Ingredients:
- 500g green apples, finely diced with the skin left on
- 250g raisins/sultanas
- 100g dried cranberries
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground ginger - ½ tsp ground cloves (or 5 cloves that you will need to pick out after the filling is cooked)
- 1 orange, zested
- 2 cups fresh orange or apple juice
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped/ 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste/ vanilla essence
- 1/2 shot of brandy (optional)
Add all of the above ingredients to a pot, cover with a lid, and simmer on a low heat for one hour, stirring occassionally. If there is not enough liquid, just add a bit of filtered water. Cook it until it is brown and the fruit is plump.
Put this mixture into the fridge overnight, it will keep for up to 3 weeks. While the filling is bubbling away, start on your pie crust.
- 3 cups Almond Flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil/ ghee/ butter - ½ tsp unrefined salt
Set the oven to 165C.
Add all the ingredients into a mixer bowl, and mix well on medium to high until it forms into a nice smooth dough on (Thermomix speed 4, 20 seconds).
If the dough is too wet to roll into a ball (it shouldn't be too sticky in your hands), then add more almond meal (1/2 a cup) and keep beating until you get to a desired consistency.
Tip the dough out onto the baking paper and knead out and cracks or bubbles.
Cut the ball of dough in half and roll one half out between 2 sheets of baking paper, to 2mm thick.
Using a round cutter that is slightly bigger than your muffin tray moulds (I used an espresso cup for my mini mince pies and a coffee cup for my normal sized ones), press the cutter onto the dough to cut out the number of pie bases that you need.
Press these rounds directly into the muffin tray, and bake in the oven for about 6 minutes, or until 3/4 baked. If you have pie weights to keep the dough down, use them, but I tried it both ways, and they are not really required.
While these are baking, roll the second half of your dough out between 2 sheets of baking paper, to 2mm thick. Using a star shape cutter, or a round again if you prefer a lid on your mince pies, cut the number of shapes you need and seperate them from the leftover dough. You can use this to make more mince pies, or almond crackers if required.
If you have made a round lid, poke a small hole in each with a fork.
Remove the pie bases from the oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes, then spoon your fruit mince into the casing. Cover this with your star shapes or lids, and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove and enjoy!
Tip: For a low sugar option, grind some rapadura into white icing sugar and sprinkle it ontop of the cooked mince pies.