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
Stéphanie Achar: Simple and Healthy
Stéphanie Achar is a qualified nutritional therapist and health coach based in South West London. She is collaborating with Culture Whisper to create a series of seasonal, wholesome and nutritionally balanced recipes.
Find more recipes or book a free nutrition consultation with Stéphanie on her website, www.simpleandhealthy.com