Mince Pies

Mince Pies

I honestly never thought I could create a recipe for healthy mince pies that would actually work so I am so excited to share this recipe with you, especially as there’s an awesome video to go with it so you can follow along! I made the video for Waitrose and when we finished filming everyone gobbled up all the pies and absolutely loved them, no matter what their dietary preferences were! These pies hold together perfectly, even as you eat them. The pastry is delicious and the mince is so sweet and fruity – so each bite is truly delicious. I always thought the concept of mince pies was totally weird, I mean the name itself is terrible and very unappetizing, so for those of you that are thinking the same thing I totally understand your lack of enthusiasm for these little pies! You have to trust me though and try this version, as it’s really one of my favourite recipes I’ve ever created and I think you’ll feel the same, plus it will make you feel so Christmassy, which always makes everyone happy! I have to warn you that the fruity mix is so addictive and if you’re anything like me you may find you’ve eaten half of it before it’s time for it to go into the pies, so it may be worth making extra – it’s also so delicious stirred into porridge or coconut yoghurt for breakfast.

Makes 12 mince pies

For the crust

– 400g of ground almonds

– 6 tablespoons of coconut oil

– 4 tablespoons of water

– 20 medjool dates (400g)

For the mince

– 2 apples (200g)

– 1 vanilla pod

– 100g raisins

– 100g sultanas

– 100g dried cranberries

– the juice of 2 oranges

– 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

– 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

– 1 teaspoon of ginger

Start by making the mince. Chop the apples into small pieces (discarding the core) and place them into a saucepan

Slice the vanilla pod in half and scrape the seeds into the pan. Then add in all the remaining ingredients and stir it together

Let the mince simmer for about 30 minutes, until the apples are nice and soft

While the mince cooks make the crust. Place all the crust ingredients together in a food processor and blend for a minute or so until everything has mixed together and the dates are totally broken down. Then sprinkle flour over a surface and roll the mix out so that it’s about half a cm thick

Heat the oven to 180C

Grease muffin tins with coconut oil and then mould the mix into the individual tins, once you’ve done this cut the remaining mixture into shapes (I normally do stars), these will go on top of the pies. Then place the tray of crusts in the oven for 8 minutes, until they start to turn golden brown – at which point take them out and allow them to cool while the mince mix finishes cooking

Once the mince has cooked start assembling the pies. Simply add two heaped teaspoons of mince into each pie before placing a star over the middle of the mince. Bake the pies again for 8 minutes

Once they’ve baked leave for twenty minutes to cool and finish setting before enjoying!

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  • Lesley Mott

    Ella, these sounds lovely, but I also fancy the filling inside baked apples. How long do you think it would keep in the fridge? Thanks for lovely recipes. Lesley

  • Liz Paganoni

    These sound amazing! Cannot wait to try them x

  • Kim P

    Thank you for this Ella! I’m so excited!! I can’t wait to make them :)
    My daughter can’t have nuts, do you know what else would work in place of the ground almonds? Thank you!

  • Morgane Enselme

    Amazing recipe and video. I’m so glad I’ll have healthy things to cook for my family during christmas. I hope they’ll try and follow me ton the road of a clean diet.
    Thank you Ella

  • Melanie

    Can you tell me what a sultan is? I am in the US so maybe it’s called something different here (or it’s just something new to me). Also, I might need to use juice from the store…how much orange juice do you add? Thank you and happy holidays!!!!

  • Adriane

    These look incredible and how i’ve missed mince pie since going vegan and gluten free! Our family always used a bit of brandy in our mince would adding a little to the mix affect the texture at all?

  • kelly

    Hi Ella,

    Do you use normal flour for rolling them out? Also do you think this recipe would work for other forms of fruit tarts?
    Recipe looks amazing xxx

  • http://lovealwayserica.tumblr.com lovealwayserica

    Ella! These look phenomenal! I know mince pies are a British thing, but maybe I’ll work on bringing them on over here to Canada, haha! xoxo

  • Lilli Reed

    these look amazing! I can’t wait to try! what kind of flour did you sprinkle on the bench to ensure the crust doesn’t stick?

  • My Meo

    I don’t have a food processor. Do you thik it will be okay to use date syrup in place of medjool dates?

  • Daphodil Music

    Hi Ella
    Thanks for this post yum!
    I was wondering how you get the ground almonds to be so floury? When I grind almonds it’s usually a much bumpier result. Do you buy them ready ground or do you put them for longer in the food processor?
    Thanks and happy festive season

    Daphne

  • http://www.thepurelife.ca Sisley

    Oh yum! Thanks so much for sharing Ella :) I’ve never tried Mince Pies before so this would be a great time to start! Happy holidays. X

  • Sarah Cross

    Baked these this morning and they did not disappoint – they’re delicious and so simple to make! Thank you Ella for yet another perfect recipe

  • iml

    I have just made these and can’t begin to tell you how much myself and my family love them! Unbelievable smells when I was cooking it! Thank you so much for this recipe and all the other ones you have done. Keep going!!!

  • Buff Beauty

    Yay, have been hunting for a gluten-free & vegan mince pie option, absolutely thrilled you created these beauties! Thank you Ella! x

  • Hannah Elizabeth

    Love the idea but are there any good alternative to dates? The recipe sounds delicious but I’m on a sugar free diet… I miss mince pies!

    • ellawoodward

      Hey – unfortunately with the dried fruit and dates, I’m not sure would be possible to make a sugar free version! x

  • ellawoodward

    The filling mixture smells amazing doesn’t it! So glad you love them :) x

  • ellawoodward

    So happy to hear this! x

  • ellawoodward

    Happy holidays :) x

  • ellawoodward

    Hey Daphne,
    I think it’s probably the processing strength of your food processor which is able to get the almonds particularly finely ground. I love the little bumps and bites of almond, but you can always buy pre-ground almonds for this recipe! x

  • ellawoodward

    Hey, unfortunately you need dates here to bind the mixture together and create the substance of the crust! x

  • ellawoodward

    Hey Lilli, I think it was just buckwheat flour, but it may have been brown rice, whichever gluten free flour you have kicking about :) x

  • ellawoodward

    Do it! Hope you love them :) x

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Kelly, I just used buckwheat flour but you could use brown rice or whatever other gluten-free grain flour you have kicking about :) and yes the crust could definitely be used for other fruit (or chocolate!) tarts x

  • ellawoodward

    No it would’t affect the texture if you fancied adding it, just make sure you simmer off the alcohol :) x

  • ellawoodward

    Hey Melanie, a sultana is very similar to a raisin in that it’s just a dried grape – sultanas come from white grapes and raisins come from red grapes! The juice is just under a cup, but I think fresh will taste better than a store-bought variety :) x

  • ellawoodward

    I hope they do too! Have a lovely christmas, Ella x

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Kim, you could use a flour that suits her but it wouldn’t be as sweet or nutty, but would probably still work :) x

  • ellawoodward

    The filling is amazing inside baked apples, with coconut cream or in porridge! Yum yum. Keep them in an airtight container for about 5-7 days :) x

  • Madeline

    These look wonderful! Ella, do you think a vitamix would be sufficient in making the crust? I don’t have a very powerful food processor unfortunately.

  • Bethany Littleton

    Does the coconut oil have to be melted?x

    • ellawoodward

      No :) it should blend fine as a solid teaspoon in your food processor x

      • Bethany Littleton

        Thank you. They are currently in the oven 😀 ♡ xx

  • diginhobart.blogspot.com.au

    having just endured a store-bought mince pie with horrid, concrete-like pastry, these look wonderfully crisp and delicious!
    e

  • ellawoodward

    Hope they were yummy! x

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Madeline, whilst the vitamix is great in this case you really need a food processor as the blender will just struggle with the lack of liquid/dryness of the mix. Sorry about that x

    • Madeline

      Even with the dry grains vitamix container? Thank you :)

  • Tiffany

    Hi Ella,

    I want to make this but where I live we don’t use grams as a measurement. We use cups. How many cups of almond meal and raisins should I use? (I’ve looked online but it seems like it varies so much from item to item and would love to know what measurements you think are best)

    Thank you!

  • Kate

    looks delicious! do you think I could sub oat flour for the ground almonds?

  • Jasmine Perry

    I made these this week and the almond base is the best pastry substitute I have ever tried. I also made a pie version with more apple in the base which was luscious! My boyfriend said the pie pastry
    was better than normal pastry. Amazing.

    • ellawoodward

      I am so happy you both loved it!

  • ellawoodward

    I haven’t tried them with oat flour but I would imagine it might work fine! x

  • ellawoodward

    I think you could use olive oil but it may affect the taste. I am not sure raisins would work as well because medjool dates are really sticky so help to hold it together. x

  • ellawoodward

    I really find that a food processor is much better but by all means give it a try, I just don’t want to recommend it as I haven’t tried and wouldn’t want you to waste ingredients x

  • ellawoodward

    I am so happy to hear that and hope your dad enjoys them on Christmas day! x

  • Vicky

    Can you advise which is the best ‘sugar’ to use – you seem to always use Maple Syrup where as other people use Agarve (which I have heard is not actually good for you), Rice Syrup or Honey – which in your opinion is the best? Thanks very much

  • Kris Kras

    Would these little bad boys be ok to freeze as I’m trying to be ahead this year and prep stuff as I go to make Xmas morning all about opening pressies and enjoying the festivities rather than hiding in the kitchen (hosting this year so going all out). Will make a test batch tomorrow just in case tho 😀

  • Patricia Owens

    Medjool dates are very expensive. Would it work with ordinary dried dates?

  • LindaJane

    Hi Ella
    Can these lovely mince pies be frozen please?

  • LindaJane

    Hi Ella

    Just wondering if these can be frozen? Thank you x

  • http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk/ Jessica Rose

    I love the fact that these look a bit rough around the edges or to be more polite homemade!! They look delish. I suffer with Tinnitus and I have been told changing my diet, could help…so I’ve been having a good nose around your site x

  • Madame Cholet

    Ella, I have just made these and quite frankly they are: THE BEST MINCE PIES I HAVE EVER EATEN! Thank you for the recipe :) I absolutely love them! Even hubby is converted and says they are an epicurean’s delight. His verdict: ‘they taste like Christmas cake and coconut macaroons. Yum!’. The only snag is I found them a tad fiddly to make (practice will make perfect!), but they are certainly worth every ounce of effort.

  • Jane

    Hi
    I’ve tried to make these pies, but the pastry went a bit wrong. I’m new to food processors, and have just bought a Magimix 4200XL. Which attachment should I use? Do you use the same attachment for all your recipes? I might have used too big a bowl, as the mixture, instead of mixing, just stuck to the sides and the dough hook kept whizzing around in the middle, so nothing got mixed. I then moved the now clumpy mixture to the smaller bowl, but it still didn’t mix at all! Should I have used the smallest bowl? Or could I be using not sticky enough dates?

    Thankyou

  • http://www.alanaandkyra.com/ Alana and Kyra

    This must be so delicious !!!

    http://www.alanaandkyra.com/

  • Annabelle Fulcher

    Hi! I’ve just been shopping but have forgotten dates!!!! Is there anything that would be a substitute?
    Thanks.. Annie!

  • Olivia

    Hi Ella! These look amazing – gonna make them tomorrow! I am really tempted to opt for a completely vegan lifestyle due to health issues. I was wondering if you knew anyone who suffered from anxiety and who found it improved from following a whole food vegan diet?
    Love your blog and best of luck with the book coming out!! x

  • Hannah Goodall

    I never used to eat mince pies but loved their smell. This recipe is so tasty and it fills the kitchen with such a festive smell. The leftover pastry, I rolled it out and used my Christmas cutters, made amazing festive biscuits that when baked felt like biting into a biscuit, so good!
    Thank you, please keep providing us with the recipes to fuel our days with healthy goodness! X

  • ellawoodward

    I’m so happy to hear you like them! x

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Olivia,
    I have heard of people finding a change in diet and lifestyle, especially including things like yoga and meditation, really valuable in dealing with things like anxiety x

  • ellawoodward

    Unfortunately you really need the dates I think x

  • ellawoodward

    Yes I always just use the regular blade for all my recipes in the large bowl. I am not to sure why that would be happening, sorry! You really need to use medjool dates though to stick it all together.

  • ellawoodward

    I am so happy to hear that you loved them – and your husband too! xx

  • ellawoodward

    I really hope you love them and that your lifestyle changes help with your tinnitus! x

    • http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk/ Jessica Rose

      Thank you Ella. x

  • ellawoodward

    Yes they should freeze well x

  • ellawoodward

    Yes I think they should freeze well x

  • ellawoodward

    Unfortunately regular dates aren’t quite as sticky so you really need to use medjool dates x

  • ellawoodward

    I actually love date syrup, but honey and maple syrup are also good too as they are low GI x

  • ellawoodward

    I think they should freeze pretty well although I haven’t actually tried myself. x

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Tiffany,
    It varies depending on the ingredient so unfortunately I don’t know off the top of my head, sorry. x

  • ellawoodward

    Yes they would freeze well xx

  • Michelle KG

    I love the look of these mince pies but am allergic to nuts… what would you recommend as an alternative? Semolina, maybe?? Thank you!

  • Dorina

    Hello, I just bought your app but I can’t find this recipe in there. Please help

    • ellawoodward

      Hi Dorina,
      This recipe isn’t on the the app I’m sorry. There will be an update on the app soon with some exclusive new recipes on the app which I hope you love.

  • Anna Jay

    My little boy and I went shopping this morning, gathering all the goodies needed for these. We got home, started cooking and had a bonkers hour trying and failing to get our little mixer to tackle those dates. We ended up round at an elderly neighbour’s and jammed up his blender too! Anyway, with a bit of manual labour, I finally managed to put the pies together … And, despite their rocky start, they were AMAZING! I am a real pastry lover, but these have completely turned me. So, with this in mind, could you recommend a) a decent blender to tackle the sticky stuff and b) the best way to buy ingredients without breaking the bank … Thank you for inspiring this reluctant cook!

  • ellawoodward

    You could use buckwheat flour perhaps?

  • ellawoodward

    Yay! I am so happy they worked out x

  • ellawoodward

    I am sorry you had so much trouble! You really need to use a food processor for this but there are posts on my recommendations for food processors and blenders on the blog which I hope you find helpful and I use Amazon to bulk buy ingredients!

  • Amanda

    I’m deffo going to have to make these…my hubby is currently going through a six pack of shop bought ones nearly every day!!! (with a little help from me..oops) ..

    • ellawoodward

      I hope you both love them! x

  • Alexandra

    Hey Ella,

    lovely recipe!! I would love to try them but unfortunately I am allergic to almonds (and oats and gluten). Can you recommend an alternative? Thank you very much!!

    Best, Alexandra

  • ellawoodward

    You could try using a gluten free flower like buckwheat instead maybe?

    • Alexandra

      thank you! i’m gonna try it

  • http://purecottongrass.com/ Inge

    I’d love to serve these mince pies for my family on Christmas morning, but I would rather make them the day before, do you think that would be possible? Or will they go soggy?

    • ellawoodward

      They will definitely last – just keep them in an airtight container.

  • http://www.sophiesfoodiefiles.wordpress.com/ Sophiesfoodiefiles

    Hey Ella!
    I made them & loved every bite! they are so delicious & special!
    Very delicious! :) x

  • Julia

    I made these exactly as the recipe said but the pastry turned out greasy and stayed soft even after cooking. Do you think that there was too much coconut oil in it, is it really 6 tablespoons? I can’t think what else it might have been, they are now on the bird table which is sad as the filling was so delicious. I want to try making them again but I don’t want to repeat whatever mistake I made!

  • Sinead Finn

    I just dropped the muffin tin taking the pastry out of the oven…oh no!! :-(

  • Cassandra

    Just made these mince pies on the off chance a Vegan friend visits. There won’t be any left. Delicious. The mince is lovely and Christmassy, will be enjoying in my porridge in the morning. I didn’t have quite enough ground almonds so I used 100g fine oatmeal so I think gluten free flour would work weak too, you might need a bit more coconut oil and/or water though.

  • English Rose

    Hi Ella, these look delicious and I plan to try them over the holiday. 20 dates in the pastry suggests that it would be very sweet – and as the filling is also sweet I am wondering if you have any suggestions to dial the sweetness in the pastry down a couple of notches by using less dates and perhaps something else? Perhaps some apple? Or orange juice?

  • cindy

    hi ella!
    i don’t have a vanilla pod; could i sub with vanilla extract, or not use it at all?

  • Lizzie

    Hi Ella, these are delicious, thank you! I tweaked the recipe a little bit – used fresh cranberries instead of dried, and the zest of one of the oranges, and I used 2 tsp mixed spice and 1/2 tsp cinnamon instead of the cinnamon and ginger – and they were amazing! I also just wanted to thank you for your inspiration; I’ve always been into healthy eating but struggled to keep it up all the time, but since reading your blog earlier this year my diet (and lifestyle) have moved onto a whole new level and I won’t be going back! Thank you so much and have a happy Christmas!

  • Chrisy

    Help! I made these for tomorrow’s Christmas Eve dinner. While they are super delicious they don’t seem to be willing to come out of the tray. I greased it with coconut oil as per the instructions, but the edges seem to be well stuck and the bottom is very soft and moist. I’m afraid I’ll break them all or will have to serve them with the tray and spoons :( Anyone had a similar problem?

  • Karen

    Tada! Thank you Ella! They worked perfectly. I managed to make 21 of them so I must have a smaller fairy cake tin than you. :)

  • Andrew Davies

    I was a little disappointed with these because the “pastry” was a little soggy. Is this normal, or do you think I didn’t bake them long enough? Still delicious though, thank you

  • ellawoodward

    Hi I am so sorry I switched off over Christmas totally. I hope the mince pies turned out well x

  • ellawoodward

    I don’t use vanilla extract but yes that would work fine x

  • ellawoodward

    Oh no! Hope you managed to recover some x

  • ellawoodward

    I am sorry to hear that – when I make them the pastry isn’t soggy at all. Glad you still liked them xx

  • ellawoodward

    So sorry to hear this. I don’t know why that would have happened but you could try less oil – for me this worked really well and I have heard the same from others so I am not entirely sure, sorry x

  • ellawoodward

    Thank you for sharing this – I am so pleased you loved them x

  • ellawoodward

    I’m so happy to hear that you are feeling good and glad you liked the recipe x

  • ellawoodward

    I actually find that they are not as sweet as you would think and the dates really hold the pastry together so they are quite important.

  • Sarah M

    Hi!
    I’m following the auto-immune protocol so can’t have nuts. Do you think this would work with tigernut flour (tigernuts are a tuber)? I’m looking for an alternative to a mix of coconut and arrowroot flours that most AIP recipes have.
    Thanks!

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Sarah, I’ve never used tigernut flour before but you could give it a go. Perhaps you could use buckwheat flour as a nut-free alternative too. Have a lovely day. X

    • Sarah M

      There are no seeds or grains at all on AIP, so buckwheat is out too, I’m afraid.
      Made them today with tigernut flour and the dates I happened to have were half medjool and half deglet nour and it turned out really well; the whole family really enjoyed them :-)
      The dough was great to work with without any flour for rolling out and didn’t stick to anything. I’ve got a small amount of filling left over and made a whole big try of biscuits with the extra dough, so I’m a very happy camper. Thank you Ella!!!
      One thing occurred to me for the people with “soggy bottoms” – were the oranges big? Mine were pretty small and there was plenty of liquid in the mince.

  • Sandie

    I hate mince pies but LOVE these (and so does my husband!). I use half the qty and a muffin tin and I still got 12 out of the mix – maybe I have a small muffin tin?? Any leftover mix I make into biscuits, they just need a little less cooking time. Thanks Ella for all your fab recipes :-)

  • ellawoodward

    You could use the juice from apples instead x

  • Elena

    ive got extra virgin coconut oil which is currently in its solid format – do you use this or buy already in liquid format? Looking forward to making my first mince pies

    • ellawoodward

      I use it as it’s solid x

  • Ana

    Hi Ella, just wondering if you know how long these will last if made in advance or whether they freeze ok? Thanks Ana

    • ellawoodward

      They freeze really well! They last about 3-5 days. Hope you love them! X

  • ellawoodward

    Really hope they tasted delicious x

    • sonya ritchie

      Awe they deffo did Ella will deffo make them again for sure xx

  • ellawoodward

    Awesome, so happy you enjoyed them x

  • ellawoodward

    Yes this is the recipe we used! So happy you loved them x

  • ellawoodward

    I would defrost them at room temperature, hope you love them x

  • ellawoodward

    Unless it says otherwise, it’s usually always solid coconut oil. Hope you love these mince pies x