Sweet Mince Pies

I still remember the first, life-changing time I ate a mince pie. It was Christmas of 2007 and I was living in southern England. I was at a Christmas choir concert with another American friend of mine and it was intermission. We wandered around and discovered that they were serving mulled wine and mincemeat pies. Yum! Now that I think of it, that was the first time I ever had mulled wine too. What a great introduction to this integral part of English culture. Traditionally mincemeat pies contain suet or some other form of animal fat but my recipe is completely vegetarian and even includes a reduced-calorie option. These pies can be made with or without a crust. For less calories use individual ramekins (about 4oz each) to replace the crust. If you want to use a crust you can use either puff pastry or pie dough. Mince pies are usually individually sized, so a muffin tin or mini-muffin tin both work well. Just grease the tins and press the puff pastry/pie dough into them. If you are making this recipe gluten free, make sure to buy gluten free pie crust or skip the pie crust and use the ramekins.If you are making this recipe vegan, make sure to buy vegan pie crust or skip the pie crust and use the ramekins This mince mixture requires 2 cups of dried fruit. I like to use 3/4 cup raisins, 1/2 cup currants, 1/2 cup sultanas and 1/4 cup goji berries. Feel free to use whatever combination you want as long as it adds up to 2 cups.

Makes: 4 cups of pie filling (about 8 muffin sized/20 mini-muffin sized)

Preparation time: 8h30m
Cooking time: 8h30m
Total time: 9h


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried fruit (raisins, currants, sultanas, goji berries)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (or 1/2 tsp if using pre-ground)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground clove
  • zest and juice of 1 orange (1/4 cup juice)
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon (1 tablespoon juice)
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
  • 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • puff pastry or pie crust (optional)

Equipment:


Instructions:

  1. Mix the dried fruit, coconut, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, orange zest, 1/4 cup orange juice, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and cognac. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours until ready to use (up to a week).
  2. When you are ready to use the mixture, add in the applesauce and mix well.
  3. Preheat oven to 400ºF/205ºC and prepare the puff pastry/pie crust (if using) and grease the muffin tin, otherwise grease the ramekins.
  4. Pour the mixture into a prepared puff pastry/pie crust/ramekins. Bake at 400ºF/205ºC for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350ºF/177ºC and bake another 20 minutes until done.