My raw vegan interpretation of mince pies is so healthy it's almost embarrassing. But want to hear the best part? They taste insanely delicious! This idea came to me late at night when I was already tucked up in bed and ready to take a trip to the land of zzz's. Filled with this sudden burst of curiosity and excitement, I pulled my coat on and made my way to the local grocery store (only a 5 minute walk away, thankfully) to source out all the ingredients I'd need to create these beauties the next day. Interesting how most of my spontaneous acts involve food in some way.
Forget waiting 12 hours for an almond flour/cashew nut base to solidify in a dehydrator (only to disintegrate at the slightest touch), this method is quicker, easier and delivers on flavour. It's gluten-free, fat-free, sugar-free, junk-free, but - in anticipation of any snarky sceptics out there - definitely not taste-free. I honestly had no idea how this would turn out and I'm going to be real with you: I was blown away by how amazing they turned out. I ate my way through 3 of these in one sitting, with not an ounce of guilt.
As you can already tell from the picture, I used hollowed out apples for the 'crust'. I've used green apples in this case as they are not as sweet as the red varieties and therefore provide a nice contrast to the naturally sweet mince filling.
Give this a try yourself this Christmas season and let me know what you think! Don't forget to share if you like it and leave a comment with your feedback!
Wishing you all a delicious Christmas in advance.
[More pictures below]
- 2 cups mixed dried fruits (raisins, sultanas, diced apricots, cranberries)
- 1/4 cup desiccated coconut (plus extra for garnish)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1.5 tsp mixed spice
- 1/4 cup fresh apple juice
- 4-5 small apples
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
To make the mince pie filling, place the mixed dried fruit, desiccated coconut, mixed spice, juice of 1/2 a lemon, and apple juice in a food processor and blitz on high speed for a couple of minutes until you have a chunky paste that holds well together.
To make the apple 'crust', remove the stem, peel the apple completely and cut in half. [You can also slice off an extra thin layer off the top of each half to use as a pie cover later]. Using a small teaspoon, carefully scoop out the inside of each apple half. If you're 99.9% percent sure that you won't slice a finger off, then use a small knife to assist with the hollowing out process, otherwise I strongly recommend that you stick with a small spoon. Coat the apple 'crusts' in generous lashings of fresh lemon juice to prevent unnecessary discolouration.
Don't worry about having to throw all the scooped out apple away. Simply discard the seeds and add the rest of the pulp to your mince pie filling, blending again for a couple of seconds to combine.
Spoon generous amounts of the mince pie filling into your apple 'crust'. If you sliced off any extra thin layers to cover the mince pie then go ahead and place that on top, otherwise you can also decorate with little shapes cut out from the apple peel (can be a bit fiddly, so don't worry about perfection).
If you have any leftover mince filling, simply place into a container, refrigerate and use within 2 days.