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Close up shot of lighter mince pies dusted with icing sugar

Lighter Mince Pies

Servings 12 mince pies

Ingredients

Mincemeat:

  • 85 g (3oz) currants
  • 85 g (3oz) raisins
  • 85 g (3oz) sultanas
  • 85 g (3oz) dried figs chopped
  • 50 g (1.75oz) candied mixed peel
  • 60 g (2oz) reduced fat vegetable suet
  • 3 Tbsp Splenda granulated
  • 25 g (1oz) almonds chopped
  • 1 small bramley apple (about 200g prepared weight) peeled, cored and finely diced
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch ground cloves
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
  • drop of water as needed
  • 3 Tbsp rum or brandy

Pastry:

  • 300 g (2 + 1/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 160 g (2/3 cup) vegan spread (I used Violife), cold (or cold unsalted butter)
  • 2 Tbsp Splenda granulated
  • 1-2 Tbsp ice water

Instructions

Mincemeat:

  1. To make the mincemeat, place all of the ingredients apart from your choice of alcohol into a pan over a low heat. Cook at a gentle simmer, stirring regularly, for 10 minutes; add a drop of water if the mixture seems too dry.

  2. Remove from the heat and leave to cool until just warm then stir in the alcohol. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Mince Pies:

  1. Place the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the spread. rub in with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the Splenda then gradually add ice water, a drop at a time, until the pastry comes together into a ball. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for an hour.

  2. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Roll the pastry out thinly on a lightly floured surface and use a 9cm round cutter to cut out 12 circles of pastry.

  3. Press the rounds of pastry into a 12 hole muffin tin, they won't come all the way to the top of the cavity. Fill each one with a spoonful of the mincemeat (you won't need all of the mincemeat).

  4. Re-roll the pastry scraps and cut out 12 star shapes. Place a star on top of each pie then bake for 20-25 minutes until pale golden.

  5. Leave the pies to cool in the tin for five minutes then carefully turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.