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Starry Mince Pies

Brandied bites of Christmas cheer! You'll need a muffin tin and some silver foil cupcake cases to make these fruitmincy morsels. Perfect with mulled wine in front of an open fire or, for those of us in the Southern hemisphere, with an icy Sangria by the barbie ;) (And if you're running low on time, check out our 30-minute puff pies!)


For the fruitmince
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup sherry (or try port, tokay or a dry masala)
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, grated
  • 2 cups mixed dried sultanas, currants and raisins
  • 2 tablespoons mixed peel
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons of brandy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
For the pastry
  • 180 g plain flour
  • 30 g pure cornflour
  • 20 g self-raising flour
  • 10 g egg-free custard powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 120 g solid coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • icing sugar, to serve


  1. Make the fruitmince first. In a large pan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil then add the spices and stir for around 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the brown sugar and sherry, and stir until combined. Add the grated apples, and allow to soften slightly before adding the dried fruit, mixed peel, and the lemon and orange zest and juices.
  2. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the dried fruit has soaked most of the liquid and is plump and soft. (Add more sherry, or orange juice if it looks too dry!) When the mixture is nice and thick, remove from the heat, stir through the brandy and vanilla essence, and allow to cool.
  3. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with foil cupcake cases. Preheat your oven to 220 degrees C.
  4. To make the pastry, sift the plain, self-raising and cornflours together with the custard powder and salt. Cut the solid coconut oil into small cubes, then add to the flour mix. Rub the oil and vanilla essence into the flours with your fingertips until you've got a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the zest of the orange and mix, then add just enough juice, teaspoon by teaspoon, until the dough just comes together into a ball when you press it together gently. If you need more liquid to get the dough to hold together, add a little iced water -- a teaspoon at a time!
  5. Dust your kitchen bench with flour and roll the pastry out to about 1/2-3/4 of a cm thick. Cut out circles of around 8-10cm diameter, and line your foil muffins cases (the pastry won't reach the top, that's fine!). Fill each pastry shell with a generous tablespoon of the cooled fruit mince, then top each with a pastry star (or square, triangle, mini TARDIS, mystic spiral, anything goes!). Brush over a little non-dairy milk to glaze, then pop in the oven.
  6. Bake for around 15 minutes, or until the stars are lightly golden. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn. Remove from the oven and remove the pies from the tin as soon as they're cool enough to handle. Cool completely on a wire rack before dusting with icing sugar, if desired.


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