62. Vegan mince pies

NOTE – This recipe used to include a method for making vegan brandy butter. However my 2nd attempt failed miserably so I have withdrawn the recipe until I have had chance to retry! 

 

I hate Christmas!!!

Maybe it would be better if I had kids so I could watch them enjoy the magic, but to me it is just a season of waste: wasting food, wasting money and wasting time!

The ridiculous amount of food that remains uneaten and gets thrown away unnecessarily. The obligation to buy people presents and struggling to come up with something they actually want and will use. The stress of spending hours that you don’t have, wrapping presents and hoovering up glitter…. Rargh!!

HOWEVER, all that said, I AM a sucker for a mince pie ;o)

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The inlaws are staying at ours this year so I am trying to make an effort and not be miserable. So, I am trying to be super organised so I don’t have to add stress to the equation. I’ve made and frozen (or eaten!) 92 mince pies already so I’m well prepared should we have any unexpected visitors or should we feel peckish on an afternoon.

One has to be careful with mince pies of unknown origin – there is a risk of there being butter and maybe even lard in the pastry and the mincemeat itself may contain animal suet.

Lucky for me, my age-old mince pie recipe happened to be “accidentally vegan” so I’ve not had to change a thing since giving up animal products, hoorah!

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Vegan mince pies (makes 12)

Ingredients:

260 g plain white flour plus extra to dust

65 g vegan friendly marg (I used Stork – the block, NOT the tub)

65 g vegan shortening (I used Trex)

Pinch of salt

Cold water to bind

Jar of vegan friendly mincemeat (I used an 822g jar from Costco – this should be more than enough)

Icing sugar for dusting (optional)

Method:

Put the flour in a large bowl.

The marg and shortening should be completely chilled in the fridge before using. Add to the flour and use a butter knife to chop into chunks.

Using your fingers, rub the marg and shortening into the flour. Keep going until you have made soft, golden breadcrumbs.

Add a little bit of cold water at a time and knead into the breadcrumbs until a soft dough is formed. It shouldn’t take too much water to form the dough so be really careful not to to overdo it. The amount of water can vary depending on the absorbency of the flour, which can differ from bag to bag.

Cover the pastry with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for an hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 190oC

Flour a flat, clean surface and a rolling pin. Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out until around 1/8th inch thick. Using a pastry cutter, cut out 12 circles and place each into the hole of a patty-pan (good pastry shouldn’t stick so you shouldn’t have to grease the tin, however if you’re worried, it won’t hurt).

In each case, add around 2 heaped teaspoons of mincemeat. The secret is not to use too much or else the mincemeat will bubble up and burn and make a mess of your pastry! Trust me, less is more!

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ps6 2014-11-09 14.32.35 This year I got my mincemeat from Costco. I also really like the Co-op’s own brand which is also vegan friendly.

Using a star shaped cutter (or a small round cutter if you want a more traditional pie) cut out 12 tops and place on top of the pies.

Put the pies in the oven and bake for 10 mins.

I like to scoop my pies out of the tin using a spoon before placing on a cooling rack. It’s a good idea to carefully remove the pies whilst they are still hot as any excess mincemeat will cool down and stick the pies to the sides of the tin.

Once cooled, either eat or freeze for later. They look extra pretty if you sprinkle some icing sugar on top using a sieve.

If only everything about Christmas was this sweet!

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Flash-Gordonette…X

 

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