Rob Hobson November 22, 2017

Traditional shortcrust is replaced with almond pastry for a healthier twist on a Christmas classic, from nutritionist Rob Hobson.

Makes: 12 mini pies
Calories: 160 calories each

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without mince pies. This recipe uses ground almonds, which are rich in monounsaturated fats (oleic acid) to help lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol and increase ‘good’ HDL cholesterol, plus vitamin E. Raisins and sultanas contain resveratrol, a polyphenol antioxidant thought to be associated with good heart health, as well as soluble fibres which bind to cholesterol and bile acids in the intestine, encouraging their removal.

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 100g raisins
  • 50g sultanas
  • 50g dried goji berries
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp runny honey
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the pastry:

  • 250g ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 egg
  • ½ vanilla pod, split open lengthways
  • 1 tbsp gluten and wheat-free flour, for dusting

 

Method

  1. To make the filling, combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover with clingfilm and leave to macerate in the fridge for between 3 – 24 hours.
  2. To make the pastry, combine the almonds, honey, oil and egg in a large bowl. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add to the mixture.
  3. Using your hands, combine everything together to form a dry mixture. Transfer to a board and add 50ml of water. Work the mixture into a dough, cover with clingfilm and leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat your oven to 200’C/fan 180’C/gas 6. Flour a 12-hole muffin tin.
  5. Remove the pastry from the fridge. Dust your work surface with a little flour and roll out until approximately 3mm thick.
  6. Cut 3cm rounds and place them carefully in the holes in the muffin tin to line the bottom of each one. Gather the trimming, roll out again and cut out a top for each pie (preferably star-shaped)
  7. Fill each pastry case with the fruit mixture and cover with a pastry top. Bake for 25 minutes until golden and crisp.
  8. Allow to cool slightly in the tin before removing carefully and placing on a wire rack to cool further.
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