Ho! Ho! Ho! Healthy Mince Pies for A Slimline Santa
It’s that time of year when you can’t resist the odd treat. The problem is, the odd mince pie, office chocolate, or cream liquor soon adds up and before you know it, you have consumed a day’s worth of calories just in “just one” snacks.
Aside from the (frankly mad) minority who can’t stand them, mince pies are a serious temptation to even the most determined food abstainer. One easy way to keep control of the calories is to make your own, lower calorie, alternative.
Of course, a healthy eating cookery course or festive cookware is an ideal Christmas gift for someone who is health conscious, but in the meantime, this simple recipe will help you to save at least 100 calories per mince pie. Yes, you read right. A normal mince pie contains around 250 calories, while these delicious bundles of crispy loveliness contain an average of 150 calories, so you can indulge without feeling guilty and you get that smug knowledge that you baked your own mince pies. From scratch.
Healthy Mince Pies
For the filling
One apple peeled, cored and finely diced
One pear, peeled, cored and finely diced
50g mixed dried fruit
50g dried blueberries or redcurrants
Juice and finely grated zest of half an orange
2-cm piece of fresh ginger with skin scraped off and grated (optional)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp mixed spice
For the casing
Approximately 140g (3 sheets) of filo pastry
1 egg yolk, beaten with a drop of cold water
Icing sugar, for dusting
Preheat your oven to 180˚C/ 160˚C fan/ gas mark 4
Carefully grease a 6-hole, non-stick, deep muffin tin (low calorie oil spray is a great way of controlling the amount of oil you use)
- Place the filling ingredients in a small saucepan and stir over a medium heat until the liquid evaporates, and the pear and apple begin to soften. Set aside to cool.
- You want to cut each filo sheet into 8, to give you 24 squares (or rectangles) of filo. The easiest way to do this is to place the sheets on top of each other, carefully cut them in half, then cut each half into quarters. Cover the sheets with a clean tea towel to stop it from drying out.
- Line each of the muffin holes with two pieces of filo.
- Spoon the cool filling into the each case and top with another two pieces of pastry.
- Top the mixture with another two pieces of pastry. The beauty of filo is that you can scrunch it and it still looks and tastes delicious!
- Brush the filo topping with eggs and place in the centre of your preheated oven for ten minutes – keep an eye on the filo as it can burn very quickly.
- After ten minutes, your pastry will be fairly firm. Carefully use a knife to ease the pies out of the tins, brush with the egg mixture, then return the pies, upside-down, to the oven for five minutes, to let the base crisp up.
- Cool on a wire rack, dust with icing sugar and enjoy – without guilt!