Our favourite Christmas recipe – wholemeal mince pies – from our lovely recipe analyst and researcher Caroline…
The supermarket shelves are full of mince pies. I find them far too sweet and prefer to make our own tastier, more wholesome wholemeal version. By baking them yourself at home you can cut out a vast amount of sugar and get creative by doing different lid designs. It’s a really fun way to spend an evening, pop on some Christmas tunes and start feeling festive.
Depending on how thin you manage to roll the pastry, the size of your cookie cutters and how efficiently you cut the pastry this recipe will make up to 30 mince pies. You do not have to cook them all at once as the pastry and mincemeat will keep well in the fridge for several days. If you are pushed for time you can always make the pastry dough the night before and you can even prepare it in a food processor. We recommend using a hard margarine like Stork for making the pastry, but butter will also work.
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 17 mins
- 200 g – Flour, plain, wheat, white, soft
- 200 g – Flour, wheat, wholemeal
- 250 g – Stork, margarine, block
- 60 ml – Water, tap
- 100 g – Suet, vegetable, reduced fat
- 300 g – Dried mixed fruit
- 50 g – Dates, dried, flesh & skin
- 50 g – Sugar, dark muscovado
- 1 tbsp – Syrup, golden
- 1 tbsp – Brandy
- 200 g – Apples, cooking, raw, flesh only, peeled
- Mix the hard margarine and the flour together in a large bowl. Rub the mixture through your fingers to blend until it forms a sand like consistency.
- Gradually add the cold water to the mixture, stir and kneed the dough. You may not need to add the full amount of water. Once the dough has formed then roll it in to a ball, tie it up in a plastic bag and put it in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
- While your pastry is chilling it is time to make the mincemeat. In a big bowl add the vegetable suet, dried mixed fruit, dates, muscovado sugar, golden syrup and brandy together then stir. Finely chop the cooking apple then add to the mixture.
- Roll the pastry out onto a floured surface. Make sure the pastry is an even thickness and approximately 5mm deep before cutting out the shapes. Use large circular cutters to create the base of the pie and smaller shapes to make the lids. A simple design of holly leaves and berries is quite effective.
- Grease the trays of muffin tins with margarine and then sieve flour over the tray so that you will be able to get the pies out easily when they are cooked. Place the larger base shapes into the tin, push them down before spooning in the mince meat. Do not over fill your pies otherwise the mincemeat might bubble over in the oven.
- To finish assembling the pies put the smaller shapes on top of the filled cases and press down gently. Brush the lids with milk to help them go golden brown in the oven. If you are doing the holly design then brush the holly leaves with milk first, then roll up small bits of dough to make the berries and roll each ball in the milk before sticking them on to the holly. This will prevent the berries from falling off in the cooking process. Place the trays in to a preheated oven and cook for 17 minutes at 180° Fan / 200°C / 400°F / Gas mark 6.
Nutritional values per serving
Carbs – 21.8 g
Calories – 170
Fat – 8.7 g
Protein – 1.8 g
Sugar – 10.0 g
Fibre – 1.1 g
Check out the nutritional values! 21.8g of carbs and 170 cals each compared with 32.2g of carbs and 217 cals in the shop bought version. So much less sugar and so much more taste than the average supermarket brand. It’s a no brainer… get baking!
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