WHERE DO MINCE PIES COME FROM?
These typical English Christmas baskets are a classic of every December.
Although “mince” means minced meat, and the traditional pies were made with this ingredient, nowadays mince pies usually don’t have meat, but apples, dried fruits and spices.
A few years ago, I used to live in London, and it became a tradition for me to eat mince pies as soon as the winter started. I must admit that I had never heard of these pastries before!
Given they are so spicy, mince pies have a very particular and characteristic taste – I like to say that they “taste like Christmas”.
Although it is very easy to prepare the filling or “mince meat”, in England it is very common to buy a preserved mince can. Of course, I will teach you how to make the filling or mince meat totally homemade, much more natural and vegan.
Keep reading this recipe to learn how to prepare the classic mince pies step by step, in a 100% vegetable way. These vegan mince pies are delicious to enjoy at tea time during the holidays.
- I recommend using spelt flour as it is much healthier. However, you can prepare the vegan mince pies with the flour you prefer. You can even use a gluten-free flour to make them suitable for coeliacs.
- The dough of the mince pie should be very cold. Don’t forget to keep it in the fridge for at least 40 minutes. If you can do so for an hour, even better.
- Once cooked, it is very important that you let the mince pies cool down very well before removing them from the mold, to avoid them from breaking.
- I recommend to serve them slightly warm with some vegan cream on the side… Exquisite!
For the dough
2 cups of spelt flour
1/4 cup of cane sugar
3 tablespoons of agave or date syrup
4 tablespoons of vegan butter
2 tbsp. unsweetened almond or soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
A pinch of salt
Confectioners sugar, quantity required
For the filling or “mince”
2 green apples
1/4 cup dried cranberries, dried currants or raisins
4 chopped dates
3 tablespoons of cane sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Juice of 1 orange
1 orange zest
4 chopped clove
1 tsp ginger powder
1 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
3 tablespoons of brandy or any sweet wine
6 tablespoons of berries or raspberry jam
1. Place a small muffins tray (ideally of silicone) in the fridge before starting.
2. To prepare the dough, whip in a bowl the soft or almost melted vegan butter with the cane sugar, agave or syrup, almond or soy milk, and the vanilla extract.
3. Gradually add the flour, along with the baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. Kneed all the ingredients very well with your hands, until a dough is formed.
5. Place the dough in the fridge for approximately 40 minutes.
6. To prepare the filling or “mince”; peel the apples and cut them in very small cubes, of 0.5 cm x 0.5 cm.
7. Place the chopped apple in a pan with the dried fruit of your choice, chopped dates, sugar, lemon and orange juice, lemon peel, jam and spices.
8. Reduce to minimum heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent sticking. The idea is that all the ingredients and flavors melt well.
9. Add the Brandy or sweet wine, reduce by 1 more minute and turn off the heat. Set aside.
10. Remove the dough from the fridge, kneed it with the help of a kneading roller, and carefully place the dough in the muffins tray forming small baskets. If the mold is not made of silicone, cover it previously with a bit of vegetable oil to avoid sticking. Gently prick the base of the baskets with a fork to prevent them from rising in the oven.
11. On the other hand, with a star cookie cutter or any festive shape, cut the lids of the baskets and place them on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. Make sure that the cutter is smaller than the circumference of the baskets.
12. Fill the baskets with the previously prepared filling or mince.
13. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Cook the star-shaped lids for about 8 minutes, until they are slightly golden. On the other hand, cook the filled baskets for 10-15 minutes, until the dough edges are golden and the filling is slightly bubbling.
14. Remove the star-shaped lids from the oven and, once they are cold, sprinkle them with powdered sugar.