One of the many lovely things about Christmas is mince pies. They are scrummy. And very plentiful. From now on there may well be mince pies at meetings, at gatherings, when you go for a cup of tea or coffee at a friends. But sadly, many will be very fattening and will turn to fat on you! It really is the case that one mince pie could hurt. Indeed, you may need to walk about 4 miles to walk off just one mince pie! So if you are watching your weight then you need to think carefully about how many you can eat this festive season.
Many mince pies will be shop bought, and most shop bought goods come with more calories which turn more quickly to fat than home-made or unprocessed food. But as we know Christmas is not a time to deny yourself everything. So here is my solution. If you love mince pies, make your own, and take them to places where you know there will be.
This is just one suggestion from my new 5 Golden Rules of Christmas which I’ll be sending out in coming days. In the meantime, here is a lovely, quick, easy and lower fat/sugar free mince pie recipe.
Low fat and sugar mince pies
For the mincemeat:
500g apples (use cooking apples if you can)
900g mixed dried fruit
3 tsp mixed spice
2 tbsp brandy, whisky or rum.
For the pastry:
1 packets of filo pastry sheets
To make the mincemeat:
2. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the liquid has almost gone and the mixture is soft and pulpy.
3. Stir in the brandy, whisky or rum and leave to cool.
To make into mince pies:
You can either use a small muffin tray to make open pies or you can make parcels.
Using a muffin tray:
2. Cut the filo pastry into squares. Then use 2 or 3 squares depending on the size of your muffin cases. Place the first square over a cup and mould. Then take the second and put at an angle to the first and again mould. Do the same with any third sheet.
3. Bake at gas mark 4 or 180c for 10 mins.
4. Spoon in the mincemeat.
5. Bake for a further 12 to 15 minutes. Keep checking to see when they are ready. If your muffin tin is large you may need to bake for a further 5 minutes.
To make parcels:
2. Use 2 or 3 squares of file depending on how thick you would like your pastry.
3. Place a couple of spoonfuls of mincemeat in the centre of the square.
4. Bundle up into a nice parcel.
5. Bake at gas mark 3½ or 150c until the tops are brown but the bottoms of the parcels are also cooked. I baked them for around 20 minutes; larger parcels may need more time to bake the bottoms.