Wednesday 29 November 2017

Mini Skinny Mince Pies

  Oooh it's December in two days!! Much excite! I mean, I know my blog has been getting kind of festive already, with winter spice chocolate porridge and lots of gift guides, but I've been kind of restraining myself. Christmas music doesn't happen until my advent calendar opens, movies and decorations don't happen until around the 7th, and Christmas wrapping under the Christmas lights with Christmas movies and a box of chocolates until the Monday before. Wrapping day is one of my favourites...
   Of course, I'm kind of lucky. With Seeg being Dutch, I have Sinterklaas on December 5th. Yes, it's 'for the kids', but I am a kid at this time of the year so I'll take it. I get one present, we watch a movie, eat kruidnoten and perhaps a chocolate letter. I love it.

   But while it may still be November, I'm sharing another Christmas recipe, and after my mini & healthy Christmas puddings on Monday, made with only 4 ingredients, you must have guessed that mini mince pies would be next! I love mince pies so very much more than Christmas puds, but while I am happy to eat them from the store, it certainly doesn't hurt to make some of them yourself, and make them both cleaner and smaller. It's kinder to the waistline. Also, they're freaking cute.

   Truly, you could make any mince pie recipe 'mini' - I've been using a petit four tin rather than pastry cases or a cupcake/muffin tin - but making them 'skinny' is just as important here. And 'skinny' refers to lower fat and lower sugar. The pastry contains no added sugar, uses half-yogurt half-butter rather than full butter, and while I opted to use pre-made mince pie filling (Meridian - organic and no added sugar), it's easy peasy squeeze the lemons to make your own at home without adding any nasties.
   There's also no need to worry about making more than you need - mince pie filling can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks and used in other dishes, and the pastry can be frozen for up to 1 month. There's no need to use everything up, which means less over-eating and less waste.
   And these, like my mini Christmas puds, also make great healthy Christmas canap├ęs.

   This recipe makes about 150g of pastry dough, which in turn makes 12-15 mince pies. I only made 6 (guess where the 6th went) and was left with a little over half of the dough, which I froze.

Makes 150g pastry; 10-12 pies
85g unbleached flour
30g butter
30g yogurt
1/2 tbsp cold water
pinch salt
mince pie filling

1. Combine the flour and the butter in a bowl and mix until they form crumbs.

2. Add the yogurt and water slowly, mixing as you add, and combine until it forms a well-incorporated ball of dough.

3. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. At this point, you can also freeze the dough, and it will keep for a month.

4. Preheat the oven to 190 C/375 F/gas mark 5.

5. Take a petit fours tray and dust the cavities with flour.

6. Dust a work surface with flour and roll the chilled dough to about 3mm thick. Using a 7cm scalloped scone cutter, cut circles from the dough and set them in the tray. I've made these countless times and they all average at 13g a piece.

7. Spoon your mince pie filling in until satisfied. I went a teensy bit overboard and it came to 20g of filling per pie.

8. Cut a small 2.5cm star for the top piece, which weighs about 2g, and put it on top. I also used a snowflake texture from a cookie stamp on mine.

9. Set on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until browning.

• For the pastry, I used: Doves Farm organic white bread flour, Stork 70% vegetable spread & Yeo Valley natural yogurt.
• For the filling, I used: Meridian's organic mince pie filling.
• You can make your own mince pie filling or use a store bought version. I chose Meridian because it was cheaper than buying in all the individual ingredients, but it also has nothing artificial and no added sugar, sweetened instead with apple and molasses.
• I used a Wilton petit fours tin.

Per 35g pie: 110 cals, 3.5g fat, 17.25g carbs, 0.4g fibre, 1.6g protein
15g Pastry (13g base, 2g top): 57 cals, 3g fat, 6g carbs, 0.4g fibre, 1.3g protein
20g Meridian Filling: 53 cals, 0.5g fat, 11.25g carbs, 0.3g protein


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