Thursday, December 13, 2018

Mince pies

Hello and happy holidays. Are you looking for something fun and festive to bake? Then look no further! These mince pies aren't the traditional British ones because they don't contain suet (beef fat) or sugar but are just as addictive (or maybe even more addictive!). I would say that this is my kind of recipe: it uses dried fruits, which provide natural sweetness and fiber and doesn't have the unnecessary sweetness from the sugar to bog you down. It does use a traditional pastry base but it's the holidays so there's room for the tender buttery goodness.

I would suggest making the filling and dough a day in advance for convenience and best flavor. You can even use store-bought pastry and just not tell anyone ;) Feel free to use other kinds of dried fruits you may have lying around your pantry, but try to keep in mind the sweet and sour balance. Invite your friends around for a holiday party or take them to your next gathering. Enjoy!

Mince pies
Makes 18-20

1/2 cup dried apricots 
1/2 cup prunes
1/4 cup dried figs
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup grated apple
A zest from one orange 
1/2 cup orange juice
1/8 tsp cinnamon 
1/4 cup candied ginger 

100g (7 tbs) cold salted butter
1 1/2 cup refined spelt flour
A pinch of salt 
2 tbs cream
2 tbs water

Chop the apricots, prunes and figs and mix with the cranberries, grated apple, orange zest, orange juice, cinnamon and candied ginger. Place in a container in the fridge for a day or two. 

Cut the butter into small cubes and rub with your fingers together with the flour and salt. Once the butter is broken down to pea-size pieces, add the cream and water and bring together quickly into a dough. Place in a container and chill for at least an hour.

Heat the oven to 350F/180C degrees. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut out 18-20 rounds with a glass or a cookie cutter. Place the rounds in muffin tins or brioche molds. Add a tablespoon of fruit filling in each round. Use the leftover dough to create stars or other shapes to decorate the tops of the pies. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the pies are a nice golden color. Cool before eating.

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