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Plant-Based Festive Mince Pies

christmas recipe Dec 23, 2020

Zero refined sugar & baby-led weaning friendly.

If this is your baby's first Christmas and you are looking to introduce them to all of those festive flavours, then this recipe has got you covered. Plant-based pastry, plus no refined sugar is a win-win for your baby-led weaning infant. The best thing is, these mince pies are still packed with flavour so you can enjoy them just as much as your little one. 

I know baking when you’ve got infant's can be a squeeze sometimes, however it's the festive season and this recipe is very forgiving for busy family life. You can make the pastry one day and the mincemeat the next. If you are really tight for time you can even assemble them on day three and bake them fresh when you are ready. Pastry is better handled after being chilled in the fridge anyway (as long as it’s been well wrapped) and the mince pie filling will continue to mature in flavour if refrigerated over night.

 

I made these pies this week and the smell that filled the house was so festive, as if Christmas Day was here already. This quantity made enough for 12 mince pies. I used a tin mince pie tray and I have some left over mince filling which I will use later this week so the girls can pop Santa a fresh one out on Christmas Eve (lucky me).

 

Ingredients

Mince Pie Filling

2 eating apples, coarsely grated (naturally sweeter than a cooking apple)

280g mixed dried fruit (sultanas, currants, raisins & mixed candied peel)

6 dates, pitted & chopped small

1 teaspoon mixed spice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

80 mls orange juice

 

Pastry

150g plant-based butter, cold from the fridge

320g plain flour

Zest of 1 orange (optional)

 

Instructions

Start by making the pastry. Weigh out the pastry ingredients and blitz in a food processor or rub with the tips of your fingers by hand until you’ve rubbed all of the butter in to the flour. Bring together as a firm ball. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

 

Place the grated apples, mixed dried fruit, dates, mixed spice, cinnamon, vanilla and orange juice in a pan and simmer stirring occasionally until the dried fruit has plumped up, the orange juice has evaporated and the mixture has absorbed all of the flavours. Add a little more juice if your mixture is too dry or hasn’t plumped the fruit well enough. Once the mixture appears thicker and there is no runny liquid in the bottom of the pan you can remove from the heat.

 

Using a little flour, sprinkle onto a work surface in preparation for rolling the pastry. Unwrap the pastry and place the ball on the floured surface. Roll the pastry out using a rolling pin until you have achieved a thickness of around 4mm (this doesn’t have to be too exact).

Using a cutter that is approximately 1cm wider than your choice of mince pie tray, cut out 12 circles. Lay them into each tray hole and lightly press the pastry in to the corners of the tray. If your pastry has cracked in parts like mine did simply press the cracked areas together.  

Spoon mince pie filling into each prepared pastry hole until they are level to the top of the tray (approx. 1 tablespoon).

Cut 12 stars or circles (or shape of your choice) out of the remaining rolled out pastry and place one over the top of each mince pie. Using a small amount of plant-based milk of your choice and a pastry brush, brush a small amount of milk over the pastry.

Place in to a preheated oven 190 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes or until golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to fully cool before enjoying for a festive snack with your baby.

Top Tip - to give them that dusted white look usually achieved with icing sugar, use coconut flour instead. I didn't have any when I made these and they still look cute, but the dusting will add that little bit extra!

For another added element, try making a cashew cream with orange zest folded through to serve on the side.

 

Please always assess your own baby's abilities, eating skills and risk of allergies. If in doubt consult your health professional before trying this recipe.

Is your baby ready to start solids? Not sure on the correct signs to look for? Click Here to download our free "Three signs" reference guide. This quick and easy guide will share the three common signs your baby is ready to start solids, as well as the often mistaken signs and including evidence on why you should consider offering vegetables first. Get it now here.