Christmas entertaining

As the Christmas holiday season approaches, we often have guests calling to visit and it can be hard to think of healthy recipe alternatives to offer. Mince pies are always a crowd pleaser but the store-bought options generally come loaded with butter, sugar, and fat. Preparing your own healthier alternative is easier to do than you may think. These gluten free mince pies store well in an air tight container too, meaning you will always be ready for unexpected guests to arrive.

Gluten free mince pies

Mince pies are a firm Christmas favourite in most households. They are a symbol of the festive season yet often come calorie laden, made with sugar, butter, or margarine. Made with almond flour and coconut oil, this recipe is free from gluten and is lower in fat and sugar than traditional recipes, a healthier option that does not compromise on taste.

Time: Two hours

Makes: 12 mince pies

For the filling

230g raisins or sultanas

230g dried cranberries

200g currents

110g pitted dates, chopped

140g apples, peeled and cut

Juice of half an orange

Rind of one full orange

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp ginger

2 tbsp walnuts, chopped

For the crust

200g ground nuts or almond flour (feel free to use a mix of almond walnuts, pecans, etc )

15g coconut oil at room temperature

A pinch of salt

3/4 tbsp 100 per cent pure maple syrup

1 egg

Directions

1.Preheat the oven to 170°C.

2.Place raisins, dried cranberries, currants, dates, apple, orange rind, orange juice, and spices in a medium saucepan.

3. Add just enough water to cover the fruit and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for one hour.

4. After an hour, stir in the walnuts and set aside.

5.While the mince is cooking, make the crust by adding all ingredients into a food processor. Blend and then chill in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes.

6. Divide the mix into three and roll it out on a home parchment paper. Then using a pastry cutter (approximately 9cm ) cut two thirds of your pastry into round casings.

7. Using some more coconut oil, grease a muffin tray and add the pastry casings. Cook in the oven for five minutes, then using a star cookie cutter, cut out star-shaped pieces of pastry from the rest of your pastry mix.

8. Spoon the mince into the baked pastry and cover with your pastry stars.

9. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the topping is lightly golden. If you want a little crunch on top sprinkle with some coconut sugar before baking. Remove them from the oven and leave them to cool on a wire rack.

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