I wanted to come up with a lighter, less sweet and more wholesome version of a mince pie. Ghee lends itself really well to making the pastry in place of lard and the result is a tender flaky pastry with a buttery taste.
Dried fruits are jammed to the rafters with natural fruit sugars so I see absolutely no necessity to add further sugar to a mince pie recipe. I have kept the spices to a gentle warmth; with a good dose of cinnamon and fresh ginger.
So, with the sweetness of the fruits, the fats from the ghee, the nourishment from the spelt and the warmth from the spices this a great recipe to pacify any excess Vata.
As they are packed with goodness you could even enjoy a couple as a light breakfast over the Christmas period or anytime through out the autumn and winter!
Now if you don’t use ghee you could try coconut oil instead and if you are gluten free experiment with other flours. I made a version of this using 240g maize flour instead of Spelt and it worked a treat. Albeit the pastry was harder to work with and produced a ‘crispier’ pastry, still super tasty!
Light Mince Pie Recipe
Preparation Time 20 minutes. Cooking time 25 minutes.
Makes approx. 12 pies
20g lightly crushed hazelnuts
The zest and juice of one large unwaxed orange
5g fresh ginger finely chopped
250g mixed fruit
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 small apple peeled, de-cored and grated
1 small pinch of grated nutmeg
240g spelt flour
1 pinch of unrefined salt
6 tbs cold water
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan (400ºF), Gas Mark 6.
Place all the mincemeat ingredients in a saucepan. On a very low heat gently cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally, allowing the ghee to melt and the flavour of the spices to be released. The aroma in the kitchen should be quite delicious! Turn the heat off and leave to infuse further while preparing the pastry.
Measure the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and combine well. Then add the ghee and combine it with the flour using a fork. Once you have a crumbly mixture add up to 6 tablespoons of cold water, one at a time, until all the dough comes together in a ball. Empty onto a floured work surface and roll out the pastry to 2-3mm thickness. Use a pastry cutter to cut out a 12 bases and lids to fit your chosen muffin tins.
Then place the base pastry pieces into a muffin tin, add 1 1/2tbs mincemeat to each base and top with the pastry lid. Press gentle on the sides to crimp the base and lid together.
Cook in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before gently lifting your mince pies out of the tin.
Your mince pies should keep well in a tin for a few days.