Homemade Christmas treats are one of my favourite things about this season. However, sometimes you just want a quick fix – especially when dealing with allergy friendly food, as pretty much everything tends to be homemade! These mince pies are made using shop bought cheat ingredients, with a few added extras to really make them special.
Mince pies – I still find the name so unappealing, even though it has been many years since I got over that and discovered the world of mince pies. Despite the fact that the ‘mince’ it is talking about here is a sweetened dried fruit mix, I can’t help but picture beef mince… every time!
Unfortunately for me, I discovered the joy of mince pies before I gave up dairy, and I still remember one Christmas going completely without as I struggled to find any tasty dairy free varieties, and I definitely felt I didn’t have the time to make them. When you look for mince pie recipes, they tend to be from scratch, making the mince meat, then the pastry, then baking. Quite frankly, who has got time for that, especially around Christmas?!
So lo and behold this ‘recipe’ with only 2 core ingredients for mince pies. Yes, it is thoroughly cheating, but if at the end you are left with a much superior product to any dairy free mince pies you can find, so much the better! At a minimum, these can take 10 minutes to make, plus 20 minutes to bake. I’ve added in some extra ingredients to make these mince pies really scream of Christmas, but they are entirely optional and still ridiculously quick.
Makes 24 mince pies, takes 10 minutes plus baking and cooling time.
You will need either 2 x 12 hole jam tart or cupcake tray, and a round and star cutter which is the right size for your tray.
- 500g pre-rolled shortcrust pastry (I used Jus Rol shortcrust)
- 500g pre-made mince meat (buy the best you can – I used Sainsbury’s taste the difference)
- Zest of 1 orange
- Generous squeeze of orange juice
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp mixed spice
- 30g dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Prepare the mincemeat if using the optional ingredients – Add the mincemeat and all optional ingredients to a large bowl and thoroughly mix.
- Lightly flour your work surface and lay out the pastry. Using a rolling pin, lightly roll it out a little more so it is roughly the thickness of a 5p piece.
- Using a round cutter, press out 24 circles of pastry and 24 stars. Place each circle of pastry centrally into each hole (if you only have 1 tray, place the remaining 12 circles and stars on a baking tray and put back in the fridge whilst the first batch bakes) and lightly press down so it touches the bottom.
- Add roughly 1 tsp of the mincemeat filling to each circle of pastry – it should only be 1/2 – 2/3rds full as the fruit expands when cooked.
- Place a star on top of the mincemeat, and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown.
- Leave to cool for a few minutes in the tray, then leave to cool further on a wire rack.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days, and reheat for 5 minutes in a hot oven if wished.