Hey, hi, hello! And as per usual, Merry Christmas! I can’t get over saying that to everyone at the moment. I mean I only have one chance to say it all year long!
Today we are jumping into the land of pies…Vegan Fruit Mince Pies that is. And wowza, these are so good that a celebration of their own should be had for them. So to all those dried fruit lovers (like me) and pastry lovers (also me!!), this one’s for you.
Let’s begin with the shortcrust pastry. It’s a basic recipe and definitely a fundamental in baking. It starts off by rubbing the fat (coconut oil or vegan butter) into the flour mix, which is done to help distribute the fat evenly into the mixture and to create a lighter and airier texture when baked. I used Niulife Coconut Oil in my pastry. Their oil is 100% certified organic plus is ethically farmed and produced to help those in need. Once the fat’s been rubbed in, add the liquid, stir and you’ve got yourself a pastry!
As per pastry rules, the pastry does require some fridge time to chill so that the fats in it can go hard again. This is very important because it helps to keep the shape of the pastry as it bakes. Cold fats also help to create a flakey crust rather than a greasy one. As the fats melt in the oven they release steam, which helps to create the layers of flakiness. So the colder the fats are, the more steam they release in the oven.
The fruit mince in these Vegan Fruit Mince Pies is simple, which is should be. Throw together your mixed dried fruit, orange juice and zest and some spices in a saucepan and let that simmer for 10-15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. You can either use it now or let the flavours intensify by leaving it in the fridge overnight. Both ways are great but if you have the extra time, let those flavours deepen.
For more Christmas recipes everyone will enjoy, check out this Cherry Pie, Vegan Panettone, Cinnamon Sugar Cookies with Vegan Royal Icing, Christmas Chocolate Bark, Thin Mint Cookies, Gingerbread Snowmen, Fruit Mince Cheesecake and this Berry Swiss Roll.
- Fruit Mince
- - 200g dried fruit mix
- - 150g peeled and diced into small cubes pink lady apples
- - ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- - ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- - ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- - ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- - zest of ½ orange
- - 180mL fresh orange juice
- Short Crust Pastry
- - 1 cup (160g) plain all-purpose flour
- - ⅛ teaspoon salt
- - 2 tablespoons (30g) Niulife Coconut Sugar
- - ½ cup (100g) Niulife Coconut Oil
- - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- - 1 tablespoon (15mL) ice cold water
- Make the Fruit Mince first. Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan and simmer over a low heat for 10-15 mins, stirring every now and then until the liquid is absorbed. Leave to cool and it's ready to use now, however if you can leave it overnight do so as the flavours will intensify.
- Make the Short Crust Pastry. Grease a 12-tin muffin tray or tart tin and set aside. In a medium sized bowl, mix the flour, salt and coconut sugar together. Rub the coconut oil in using your fingertips, the pastry should resemble bread crumbs or wet sand. Add in the vanilla and water and mix to form a soft pliable dough.
- Bring the pastry into a ball using your hands and place on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll to ½ cm thick. Using a 7cm round cookie cutter, cut as many circles out as you can and gently place them into the greased muffin tin. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until you have 11 circles. With the remaining dough, cut out shapes for the tops of the tarts, I cut out stars. Place the tops of the tarts on a baking tray lined with baking paper and place them and the tart shells into the fridge to chill for an hour. This is essential.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
- Once they have finished chilling, begin to assemble. Add a generous amount of the Fruit Mince to each tart shell. Gently place the tops onto each tart and press down lightly to make they’re flat and even. Brush the tops with a little plant based milk and sprinkle a little coconut sugar over the tops.
- Bake in the preheated oven to 30-35 minutes or until golden. Cool completely before removing them from the tin.