Start off preparing the mincemeat filling. In a large pan add the grated apple, vanilla paste, dried fruit, orange juice, lemon and orange zest, coconut oil and spices. Simmer for around 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 180°C and use coconut oil to grease a 12 hole muffin tray.
Whilst the filling is cooking, make the pastry. Add all the ingredients to a food processor, ensuring the all stones from the dates are removed. Mix thoroughly until the dates are well combined with the almonds. The mixture should be moist and able to stick together to form a dough.
Tip out the pastry onto a lightly floured surface and roll out until it’s about 3mm thick.
Using a round cutter (about 10cm), cut out 12 bases. You may need to re-roll the trimmings and cut again to complete your 12 bases.
Re-roll out the spare pastry to a thickness of 3mm and using a shaped cutter (I usually do stars or hearts, here I’ve done circles with holly leaves) cut out 12 shapes which will form your pie lids.
Line the base and sides of each muffin ‘hole’ with the pastry base and place in the oven for 7 minutes, or until the pastry goes golden brown in colour.
Remove from the oven and allow the mincemeat to finish cooking, if it hasn’t already.
Add 1 tablespoon of mincemeat to each of the pies – being careful not to overfill as otherwise it will bubble out during the cooking time. Place your star/ heart shape on top of the filling and cook for a further 7 minutes.
Remove from the oven, leave to cool before releasing them from the muffin trays.
Dust with some flour and cinnamon and enjoy hot or cold!
By Jess, graze nutritionist.
Our nutritionist extraordinaire, Jess trained at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and is a registered practitioner with the British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She's the creator of our health badges, to help you choose the snacks and boxes that are right for you. Check out everything from Jess on our blog, with recipes and tricks to help you keep making better choices, or go to Jess's blog at jessipes.co.uk for even more.
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