Alternative Fruity Mince Pie Fillings

29 November 2018

Mince pies are one of our much-loved festive treats! Yet their sugary centre and buttery crust can quickly tot up our calorie count. So how about trying something a little different this year?  

These recipes are free from added sugars - the natural sweetness of dried and fresh fruit making them a healthier, tasty twist on a traditional favourite.     

Nutritional highlights 

The festive season brings with it lots of delicacies that we may find ourselves battling to avoid or feeling guilty about when we indulge. Mince pies are a fine example of this, so we’ve come up with some solutions to help you control your sugar intake and reduce the extra calories, whilst still enjoying the occasional treat. These mince pie fillings not only provide lower sugar options but are a great way to squeeze some extra fruit into your diet at the same time. 

Raisins and sultanas are packed with fibre and contain antioxidants, which help to protect the body from cell damage and prevent illness. Spices like nutmeg and cinnamon have anti-inflammatory properties, which may also even play a role in blood glucose and cholesterol regulation

Brandy apple spice

Ingredients:

(Serves 12)
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 18 minutes

  • 2 apples, cored
  • 160g dried fruit (raisins, goji berries, sultanas)
  • 1 orange (zest and half its juice)
  • 1 lemon zest  (zest and half its juice)
  • ½ tsp ground mixed spice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 ½ tbsp brandy
  • Grated nutmeg – to tast
  • 25g coconut oil

Method:

Finely chop the apples so that they’re a similar size to the dried fruit then place all the ingredients into a large saucepan.

Cook over a medium heat with the lid on, stirring regularly, until the apples have softened (around 15 minutes).

For the final few minutes cook with the lid off to allow the extra liquid to evaporate.

Once cooked simply spoon into your chosen pastry shell and bake.

Zesty blueberry and cinnamon

Ingredients list:

(Serves 6 – 8)
Preparation Time: 2 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 minutes

  • 60g dried blueberry
  • 60g dried sugar free cranberry
  • 120g sultanas
  • 1 orange (zest and half its juice)
  • 1 lemon zest
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

 Method

Combine all of the ingredients and put them in the food processor or blender. Pulse until the mixture is a rough consistency.

Spoon into your chosen pastry shell and bake.

Cranberry punch

 Ingredients list

Preparation Time: 2 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

  • 120g sultanas
  • 60g raisins
  • 60g dried cranberries
  • 2 apples (chopped into small chunks)
  • 2 fresh oranges (zest and juiced)
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

 Method

In a small saucepan heat the coconut oil and start to cook the apple chunks on a low heat for 5 minutes.

Cut the vanilla pod in half and scrape the seeds into the saucepan.

Simmer for a further 5 minutes then add in all the remaining ingredients, stirring well to combine the flavours. 

Let the mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the apples are nice and soft.

Spoon into your chosen pastry shell and bake.

Festive fruit and nut with chocolate

Ingredients list

Serves 6 – 8
Preparation Time: 2 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 minutes

  • 140g dates
  • 70g dried cherries
  • 20g physalis
  • 45g roasted almonds
  • 40g currants
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1 apple (chopped into small chunks)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence

Method

Combine all of the fruit ingredients in a medium bowl. For a finer filling you may wish to blend the mixture in a food processor at this point.

Add the spices, cocoa powder, vanilla essence and lemon juice and mix well.  

Spoon into your chosen pastry shell and bake.

 

Top Tips for primping your (mince) pies:

  • Try to avoid shop-bought pies, pre-prepared fruit mix and even ready-rolled pastry - make your own! 
  • Try different pasty crusts - filo pastry, for example, as it has a lower fat content
  • Make smaller, bite size pies
  • Add festive tops (e.g. stars, Christmas trees, holly leaves) instead of the full pastry lid
  • Make ‘naturally’ sweet fillings by using dried fruits, fresh apple, orange and lemon zest
  • Finish with a dusting of coconut sugar, ground almonds or cinnamon
Calories:  Fat:  Saturates:  Total Sugar:  Salt: