Mince Pies

(read in Italian)

It’s that time of the year, the festive season is in full swing and I’ve made some mince pies! I have finally decided to make my own version of these cute little tarts and share it with you. I love to create and publish real recipes from my kitchen, so they need to be something we can truly enjoy at home, not just a meal good for sharing a pretty picture. For this one has been the same, it’s a combination of taste, festive feeling and ingredients both me and my better half like. I hope you’ll enjoy these sweets as much as we do: to get the most out of the spiced filling, serve them warm – the ginger, cinnamon and mandarin peel give a perfect festive taste to these mince pies.

If you need to swap a few ingredients, here there are some suggestions I can share because I’ve tried them: you can use orange peel instead of mandarin, or even swap peel+lemon for the juice of 1 orange – you can also use tahini or cashew butter to replace almond butter.

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Mince Pies

Ingredients (makes 12-14 mince pies)

for the filling:

  • 2 medium-sized apples (sweet, preferably cooking apples)
  • 4 tbsp raisins
  • 1 ½ tbsp almond butter
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 mandarin (peel, organic)

for the dough:

  • 180 g whole grain spelt flour (you can also use whole wheat flour – go for brown rice flour if you need a gluten-free version)
  • 25 g butter (or olive oil, 5 tbsp)
  • 1 level tbsp dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • nut or oat drink

on top: coconut flour

To prepare the filling:

mix the grated apples (use apples grated in small pieces, not in a paste, or finely chop them) with the other ingredients and mix well. Among other ingredients listed, there’s the peel of a mandarin: use an organic one, washed and peeled – for the filling you will need the peel finely chopped. Place the mixture in a jar and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours – you can even prepare the filling 1 day in advance.

To prepare the dough:

in a bowl, mix the sugar with the melted cold butter and cinnamon. Start adding the flour and allow it to absorb all the liquid mixture (you will get a sort of crumble). Start adding some nut or oat drink in small portions – mix well with your hands and check the dough, before adding more liquid. You want a final result that doesn’t stick to the bowl or your hands. Cover the dough and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using it.

You can use a muffin tray to make the mince pies if you don’t have one for small tarts. To cut the dough, I have used a 7.5 cm round cookie cutter for the base and a little star-shaped cutter for the top. Prepare the dough more or less thick depending on what are your preferences. Cut the rounded base for each pie and place it in the baking tray, add approx 1 tbsp of mincemeat (filling) and then add the little star on top. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes or until they start to turn golden.

Better served warm – sprinkle on top with some coconut flour. Do you have some leftover filling? Use it on top of your bowl of porridge or yogurt!