Stephanie Achar Recipe: Healthy Mince Pies
Mince pies are a must at Christmas, but they don't have to be stodgy and sugary. Here's a lighter version of the traditional recipe from Culture Whisper's healthy food guru
HEALTHY MINCE PIES
I grew up eating Christmas “bûches”, marrons glacés and chocolate truffles so it took me ages to appreciate mince pies. I thought of them only as packaged supermarket food but rediscovered them thanks to Renee Elliott, the founder of Planet Organic. She taught me how to make a healthy, wholegrain version of this shop bought English Christmas delicacy.
The 'mince' comprises a burst of spiced oranges, cranberries, apricots and sultanas inside a wholegrain pastry. They are packed with nutrients and delicately sweetened by the dried fruits.
I also make a gluten free version using teff flour instead of a mixture of spelt and kamut flour. Although this gives the pastry a crumblier texture, I personally prefer the deeper flavour which perfectly balances the sweetness of the mince.
(Makes 12 mince pies)
For the crust
120g wholegrain spelt flour
155g wholegrain kamut flour
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
100g cold butter, cubed
2 tbsp plain yoghurt
8-9 tablespoons of water
For the mince
70g dried cranberries
1 apple, chopped into small pieces
25g flaked almonds
The juice and zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground all spice
To make the pastry: place the flours, salt, cold butter, yoghurt and water in a food processor and mix.
Remove the dough. It should form a ball andy hold together easily. If too crumbly add a little more water. Rest pastry for an hour or overnight.
Preheat your oven to 180C
Soak the mixture of sultanas, dried apricots and dried cranberries in 4 ounces of water
Add the apple, almonds, cinnamon, all spice, orange zest and juice to the dried fruits.
Sprinkle flour over a surface and roll the dough out.
Use a 8-10cm pastry cutter and cut 12 circles rounds.
Use a knife to cut 12 smaller star shapes.
Fit the rounds of pastry in a muffin tin, fill them with the mince mixture and then place the pastry star on top.
Bake in the oven for 18 - 20 minutes. Enjoy!
Vegetarian, free from refined sugar
STEPHANIE ACHAR RECIPES
Foodie and nutrition expert Stephanie Achar has worked with Conde Nast Traveller, Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire. She is currently studying Nutrition and has teamed up with Culture Whisper to create a series of seasonal, wholesome and delicious recipes.
See more of Stephanie's recipes on Instagram