With sugar and spice and all things nice…keep calm and eat mince pies!
These are just two little quotes I found when I googled “mince pie quotes” – yes, I actually did that as a way to inspire my writing here. Because, well, what more is there to say about the humble mince pie? They are the very epitome of Christmas to me for quite a few reasons:
1. they’re delicious.
2. they smell like Christmas.
3. they taste like Christmas.
4. making mince pies reminds me of my childhood.
Mum and I would make them together on a Saturday morning, while making lots of mess with the flour. I gradually progressed from flour-passer to pastry-filler and then eventually to pastry-roller as this definitely requires some elbow grease. Not much has changed although over the last few years I have taken charge a bit of the mince pie making in our house – and bear in mind we start in October as Dad can wait no longer. In his eyes, mince pies should be treated like apple pies and enjoyed all year round. Any takers? I do love a good mince pie but they’re well and truly for the festive season. So,when November rolls around, I am definitely on board.
I was very happily surprised last year when I learnt that the particular brand of pastry we often use is accidentally vegan! Plus, the jars of mincemeat we had were also vegan-friendly so a simple switch of margarine and milk was all that was needed to make our usual mince pies Amy-friendly. Now, shop-bought mincemeat and pastry are great when you don’t have as much time or don’t enjoy making your own from scratch but I very much do enjoy the task. After experimenting with a few different pastry versions (the ‘healthy’ ground almond versions to dairy-free margarine varieties and raw bakes) I have found one that satisfies the whole family. These are a far cry from the super-sweet sugar-coated sweet butter pastry ones you’ll find in the stores but they actually taste delicious and not just like sugar. The best part though has to be the homemade mincemeat, so make sure you give it a go – it couldn’t be simpler.
This pastry is just flour, coconut oil and salt – oh and some water. That’s it! The result is a flaky pastry that turns a light golden colour while baking and has a delicious crispness to the base. The flavour of coconut does not overpower the pastry at all, and you can even add a dash of cinnamon, too. As the coconut oil turns solid while resting, this homemade pastry does take a little more elbow grease but it is worth it, I assure you.
Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without mince pies, so get out your rolling pin, put on the Christmas tunes and get baking. You’ll need one large and one smaller round cutter as well as cute shapes, if you like.
Homemade Mince Pies
Perfectly sweet and deep-filled, these homemade mince pies with festive mincemeat and coconut oil pastry beat any in the shops.
- 300g plain flour
- 150g coconut oil, solid
- Pinch salt
- 6tbsp ice cold water
- 1 recipe for Mincemeat*
- vegan butter or coconut oil, for greasing
- 2tbsp plant-based milk
- icing sugar, for dusting
- Place the plain flour, solid coconut oil and salt in a food processor and whizz until fine crumbs are formed. Tip into a bowl and add the water 1tbsp at a time until the dough comes together while stirring with a spoon. You will need to use your hands to bring it together at the end. Knead lightly and form into a ball. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile prepare the mincemeat.
- Preheat the oven to 160 Fan/180*C and grease two cupcake tins with vegan butter or coconut oil.
- Take the pastry out of the fridge, allow to reach room temperature for 10 minutes and then roll between two sheets of baking parchment (or use a dusted worktop). Roll to about the thickness of a £1 coin.
- Cut out the large circular bases and smaller circles or shapes for the lids. Continue until you have an equal number of bases and lids and have used up the pastry. Place the bases in the baking tray, fill with 1 tbsp mincemeat, wet the edges with a little milk using a pastry brush and press down the lid. Repeat for all the mince pies. Brush the tops with milk.
- Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until crisp and turning golden (these will not be as golden as butter-based pastries).
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes, remove from the tray to a wire rack and allow to cool fully before dusting with icing sugar and keeping in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
*you can find the recipe for my Cinnamon Spiced Mincemeat here.
When is mince pie season for you, could you eat them all year long? I look forward to hearing what you think of my version, please leave your thoughts below. Be sure to tag me in your creations, too – I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy.
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With mince pie love x