Image above: Fruit Mince Pies photographed near our Australian native Holly Shrub (only one red berry on the whole tree!)
I love discovering new recipes, and found a great one for Fruit Mince Pies in the local newspaper, you can find it here. Unfortunately because of the dairy and egg allergies in our house I could only use this recipe as an inspiration to tweak my version of this Christmas treat.
I also thought I’d try out my new Vegan Shortening recipe – this is very easy to make and does improve your pastry markedly; it’s all about the food chemistry and the incorporation of air. A must ‘go to’ site is Vegan Baking and the Vegan Butter and Vegan Shortening pages. I used my mini cup-cake silicone baking tray to set my shortening in the freezer - you can also use an ice cube tray.
I added jam and black strap molasses to the fruit mince and dutch pressed cocoa to the pastry. It turned out very well!
Image above: Vegan Shortening (home made)
Fruit Mince Pies
Short Crust Pastry Recipe
1 cup Atta Flour
1/2 plain flour
3 tbsp of chickpea flour (besan flour)
1 tbsp of coconut flour
2 tbsp of dutch pressed cocoa powder
2 tbsp of icing sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
150 grams of Vegan Shortening
2-3 tbsp of iced cold water
In a food processor, pulse the dry ingredients until uniform in appearance, add the shortening and pulse until the mixture starts to look like breadcrumbs, slowly add the cold water and continue to pulse until the mixture forms a dough ball. Remove from food processor and roll into a ball and wrap in cling film, allow to rest in fridge for at least 1 hour. After an hour roll out the dough between two sheets of baking paper, cut out base of each pie and stars for tops. I used a mini cup cake baking tin, but you can make whatever size you prefer.
- 200g raisins chopped
- 200g currants
- 200g sultanas
- juice of one orange
- 1 tsp mixed spices
- 2 tbsp of black strap molasses brown sugar
- 1 apple, peeled and grated
- zest of 1 lemon
- 40g coconut oil melted
- 50g jam – strawberry
Mix all the ingredients together and place in an air tight container, best to do this first thing in the morning to give the fruit a chance to absorb the liquid.
To make up the fruit mince pies, cut out the base from the pastry, place a spoonful of mince in each pie, garnish with a pastry star and bake in a moderate/hot over around 180′C for around 10 minutes.
If you have any fruit mince over, you can place it in an airtight jar in the fridge for about a week or so.