My father’s favorite dessert for Christmas is, hands down, mince meat pie. Had to have one every year and I silently suffered the weird, savory taste and strong liquor accents. But since going Paleo, we realized just HOW much sugar and crap is in those wonderful jars of mince meat filling, and even doing it yourself to control the ingredients, you’d still deal with the horrible-for-you, to-die-for pie crust. What’s a mince meat pie fan to do? Turn to the Pinterest gods of course. And they heard our supplication.

This is an awesome mince pie recipe with fun-to-eat almond crust and a more purified mince filling. (See the recipe for two additional kinds of crust.) There’s still dried fruit, so that’s sugar, but you can get dried fruit that doesn’t add extra sugar. We add a few things to make it our own (pecans, anyone??) but overall, it’s pretty simple to make, as pies go. Here’s to Paleo holiday yumminess!

Almond short crust

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (250g / 8 3/4 oz) almond meal or ground almonds

  • 2 Tbsp. honey, organic maple syrup or rice syrup

  • 30 ml / 2 Tbsp., macadamia or light olive oil, almond oil, melted butter or cold pressed coconut oil

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or extract

  • 200 g ( 7 oz) fruit mince pie filling, enough for 10 pies

Directions

  1. Combine almond meal, honey, oil, vanilla and egg into a large bowl.

  2. Mix by hand until you form a soft dough.

  3. Add a splash of water  if needed to form into a soft dough.

  4. Roll out carefully between 2 sheets of baking paper and cut into circles, large enough to to cover the base and sides of your tart shells.

  5. Make sure to prepare 10 tart shells before lining with a light coat of oil or butter, followed by a dusting of coconut or ground almonds to prevent sticking.

  6. Fill lined tart shells with 1 tbsp of the fruit mince.

  7. Roll out rest of the pastry and cut out in the shape of stars.

  8. Arrange stars over the top of the mince pies.

  9. Bake in a low 150 C (300 F) oven for 30 minutes or until golden.

  10. Cool completely before  turning out of the tin.

Makes 10 delicious fruit mince pies

Store in an airtight container for 7 days.

Fruit mince:

Ingredients

  • 500 g (17 1/2 oz) apples, finely diced with the skin (golden delicious, pink lady) are naturally sweet and delicious

  • 250 g (8 3/4 oz)  raisins

  • 100 g (3 1/2 oz)  cranberries or sun-dried cherries

  • 1 cup erythritol or other natural sweetener

    • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger

  • 1 orange (you will need the zest from ½ orange)

  • 500 ml (2 cups / 17  1/2 fl oz)  fresh apple juice

  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or extract

  • ¼ cup brandy

  • 1 cup toasted pecan pieces

Directions

  1. Combine the apples, raisins, cranberries, and erythritol into a pot.

  2. Add the apple juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla and the zest from 1 orange.

  3. Cover the pot and simmer over a gentle heat for 30 minutes, making sure to stir every now and then. Make sure not to boil too fast, just a slow gentle simmer.

  4. Add the brandy. Add more apple juice if needed  to keep the mixture plump and moist then simmer for another 30 minutes.

  5. Turn off the heat, add the pecans, and allow to cool.  Now at this stage your fruit mince will be ready to enjoy – but for those who want to add that festive cheer, you can stir through a generous splash of calvados ( apple brandy).

  6. Your fruit mince is now ready and it’s delicious made into pies, tarts or folded into Christmas Baked muffins.

Notes: The fruit mince will keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
the recipe makes enough for 40 fruit mince pies.