These mince pies are full of festive flavour. They would be perfect by the fire with a cuppa or with your favourite Christmas tipple! Traditional Mince Pies use quite a lot of sugar as well as shredded suet or butter. Now, I’m a firm believer in moderation and think there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a traditional mince pie or three over the festive season! Wouldn’t it be great, though, to have an alternative that won’t leave you reaching for your stretchy pants!
For this recipe, I used large home-grown cooking apples as they are abundant in our garden at the moment. I love the tangy undertone of flavour that they give the mincemeat. Those of you with a sweeter palette should use 5 sweet eating apples instead though! Making sure to buy the best quality dried fruit you can is also important as they don’t have sugar and fat to hide behind. Treat yourself to the best that you can!
4 Apples, peeled and chopped
500g Raisins (400g +100g)
250g Dried Cranberries
100g Dried Cherries
4 Teaspoons Mixed Spice
1 teaspoon Ginger
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
900ml Freshly Pressed Apple Juice (or good quality store bought)
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
100g Flaked Almonds
Zest of an Orange
- Combine the chopped apples, 400g raisins, cranberries and cherries in a large pot over a medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add the remaining ingredients (except the brandy, flaked almonds and the remainder 100g raisins).
- Bring to a gently boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Add 30ml brandy and flaked almonds. Leave on a low heat to simmer for 1 hour.
- Remove from the heat and add the remaining 100g of raisins and brandy.
- Leave to cool and then store in an airtight containter in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
- Make into mince pies using homemade or store-bought pastry (see below).
- Omit the brandy for a booze free mince.
- If you really want to add a touch more sweetness at the end, try adding Brown Rice Syrup. It’s a frutose-free sweetener so it won’t send your blood sugar haywire!
- For a foolproof gluten-free alternative to making your own pastry, ask us in-store about Silly Yak Gluten Free Puff Pastry and Amy’s Gluten-free Shortcrust Pastry! Easy-peasy!