Mince pies

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Its nearly December and I'm beginning to feel festive! Nothing beats wrapping up warm with your favourite scarf, gloves and bobble hat, grabbing a festive cinnamon latte and biting into a warm mince pie whilst walking around the Christmas markets with friends and family. 

Now we all know Santa is a very busy man visiting billions of children in one night. Now if each child leaves Santa a treat of milk and a mince pie, he is theoretically likely to consume a total of 150 billion calories in just one night - 60,000 times his daily recommended intake. I guess thats how he achieves his jolly round belly. 

These classics christmas treat are on average 289 kcals per mince pie. Now what if we could alter the recipe, maintain the delicious traditional taste but lower the calories (and fat content).  I decided to experiment with healthier mince meat fillings to mimic the taste of classic mince pie. The filling is so yummy that i always end up making too much, but its always enjoyed scooped on top of my morning porridge, added to ice cream, dolloped on top of french toast, or simple enjoyed by itself. 

I hope you enjoy my take on this years mince pie recipe. feel free to look in my recipe archive to find last years recipe. 

Ingredients

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2 apples, diced into very small pieces
1 tangerine, pith removed and dived into small pieces
70g dried apricots
160g raisins
40g mixed peel
20g blanched almonds, chopped finely
1tbsp chia seeds
zest of an orange
2tsp mixed spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup apple juice 

Pastry

2 cups spelt flour
125ml Oat milk
110g Margarine
4 tbs maple syrup

Method

1. Place all the ingredients for the mince meat in your slow cooker and set on a high heat for 1-2 hours. Remove and allow to cool. Then place in the jar and set aside to use as you please

To Make mince pies

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl, then add the butter and stir until it forms a breadcrumb like texture. Slowly stir in the milk and maple syrup until it forms a dough.

3. Sprinkle flour on a work surface and begin rolling out your dough. Using a cookie cutter cut 12-14 circles. Lightly grease a muffin tin before placing the pastry circles. 

4. Take your mince meat out of the fridge and scoop 1-2 tsp into each pastry case. Roll out the rest of the dough mixture and make your tops. Use a brush of milk to help stick the sides together. Poke two small holes in the top, and place in the oven to cook for 15-20 minutes (or until slightly brown). Serve straight away or reheat later.

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