It’s that time of the year again! I cannot believe how 2016 has flown by, and as usual, this time of the year is particularly manic for those of us in the hospitality industry. I managed to find some time to create and prepare these wonderful vegan mince pies and I’m rather proud of the end result. With Veganism continuing to be a growing force in the culinary world, as well as in the lives of many of our loved ones, this recipe is a great alternative to the traditional one, and is certain to keep all members of the family happy this festive season. Made without dairy or eggs, these mince pies maintain all the deliciousness of the traditional pies – give them a whirl! I’d love to see your creations.
For the pastry:
2 ¼ cups flour
½ cup cool coconut oil
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
½ cup ice water
Put the flour, salt and sugar into a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the solid coconut oil and pulse again until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add in a bit of the ice water and pulse. Add more in increments until the dough holds together nicely when pressed in your hand.
Wrap the ball in cling film and squash down to flatten it a bit to make life easier later. Place in the fridge until required.
For the mince:
2 cups sultanas
2 cups grated granny smith apple
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried cranberries
Juice and rind of one large orange
Juice and rind of one large lemon
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger
Pinch of salt
½ tsp ground cloves and nutmeg
¾ cup brandy
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Cover with cling wrap and place another bowl on top to press down on the mixture. Place a can or something relatively heavy in the top bowl and leave in the fridge overnight.
Place in a food processor and blitz until it gets to the desired consistency. Add more brandy and apple to make it wetter if necessary.
Place into airtight jars for storage. It will last about a year if sealed correctly.
For my mince pies, I use last years’ mince for proper deep flavour. It also goes incredibly well with other things as a strong relish. But fresh mince will still taste great!
To put them together:
Grease tart moulds (I use foil ones as it’s easier to get the pies out, and they’re reusable).
Press the pastry into the mould so that it is even.
Fill with your mince.
Cut out something decorative, such as a star or Christmas tree, and place on top. Alternatively, place a disc of pastry and crimp along the edges for a sealed pie.
Bake at 180c for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Dust with icing sugar and serve.
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