Healthier Mincepie Tart

One giant mincepie.  Its not traditional, but its better for you and it makes a nice change.   Enjoy!

Servings:

8-10

Ready In:

1 hour prep + 45 mins cooking

Good For:

Christmas

About this Recipe

I know this won’t appeal to everyone being one large tart rather than indiviual mince pies.  However I find it much more time efficient, and also it tends to mean eating less of the pastry and more of the mincemeat, which I prefer and generally is better for those watching their weight.  The original recipe was Hemsley & Hemsley, it can be found on their website if you wish to follow for traditional mincepies. 

Ingredients

Mincemeat

  • 60g each of raisins, cranberries, sultanas & chopped dates
  • 2 – 3 tbsp of brandy, or fresh orange juice
  • Zest and juice of 1 small orange
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp each of ground mixed spice, & cinnamon + a little freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 apples (approx. 170g) finely chopped (no need to peel)
  • 35g of coconut oil (or butter)
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • Splash of apple juice (if too dry)

 Pastry

  • 200g ground almonds
  • ¼ tsp of sea salt
  • ¼ tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 15g butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp spice of your choice
  • 1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
  • 1 medium egg
  • 30g Flaked almonds (for the topping)

 

Method

Mincemeat

  1. If you wish you can soak the dried fruit in the brandy or orange juice for a few hours beforehand, in which case reduce to 2 tbsp of brandy.
  2. Mix all the ingredients well in a medium saucepan, chopping the apple last so that they do not go brown. Cover and gently simmer for about 15 – 20 mins, until the apples are soft.  If you think there is too much liquid take the lid off, if too dry add a little apple juice.
  3. You can make this ahead (lets the flavours develop) & store in a sealed jar for at least 2 weeks.

Pastry

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a food processor until a dough forms. Cover in clingfilm / beeswax, refrigerate for at least 30 mins.
  2. Turn the oven on to 190 / 170 fan. You will need a baking tray 30cm x 26cm, or similar
  3. Roll out the pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper until the right size for your tin.
  4. Blind bake for 10—12 mins (no baking beans needed), until crispy and starting to go brown

Pulling it all together

  1. Lower the oven temperature to 180 / 160 fan.
  2. Spread mincemeat into the tray, scatter with flaked almonds.
  3. Bake again for 15 minutes, until the mincemeat is starting to bubble & the almonds are golden.

Health Benefits

Dried fruits are high in many essential vitamins, minerals, fibre & plant nutrients.  However their high natural sugar content means they will raise blood sugar levels more than seeds & nuts.  They are a wonderful addition to any diet, in moderation.

 

Apples—Research shows apples are great for the gut & aiding digestion, reducing cholesterol due to their high pectin, helping with cancer prevention,  & appetite control.  Apples are cleansing & wonderful for the immune system.

 

Cinnamon historically was used for insomnia, menstrual cramps, & nausea.  It is probably best known now for stabilising blood sugar levels, great for helping to prevent Type 2 Diabetes & for weight management.

 

Coconut oil is high in saturated fats, but thought to be better than animal fats, a controversial area at the moment.   Found to help with weight control by burning off fat in the body, & provides the brain with a quick source of energy.  Research indicates it can help raise good cholesterol.

 

Almonds are a rich source of many nutrients such as Vitamin E, calcium, magnesium.  They are also a great healthy fat to eat, as well as fibre and protein. 

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