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Raw vegan mince pies

Raw vegan mince pies

Christmas is upon us again. I cannot believe how this year has zoomed by, but truly I am not complaining.

I adore Xmas – not so much the presents and all the pallava, but the food is right up my alley. There is something about sitting at a long table with people you love and feasting that makes me a very happy little vegemite. I love the fact I need to be kitchen savvy and get myself organised in advance. Now is the time I need to start imbibing my fruit for my fruit mince pies, bottling chutney and condiments to serve with ham and turkey and preparing my special food gifts. One of my favourite things about Christmas is the dessert table, and I am not known for my sweet tooth.

I have created a wonderful raw mince pie recipe. This one takes no time at all to prepare and looks really pretty on a dessert table. You will need a good food processor and some really stunning ingredients but apart from that they are pretty much no muss no fuss, and you don’t have to fluff around with turning the oven on, rolling pastry and all that jazz.

Raw vegan mince pies

  • 250g pitted dates
  • 1/3 cup almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon unhulled tahini (at room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons goji berries (available at health food stores)
  • 1 teaspoon white chia seeds (available at health food stores)
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 100g blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut

Method

  1. Put the dates into a food processor and process until roughly chopped.
  2. Add the almond meal and process until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Remove and stir in the pistachios and goji berries.
  4. Press the mixture into a ball.
  5. Roll out the mixture between two sheets of baking paper to 1cm thick.
  6. Use a 5cm fluted cutter to cut out circles, press your thumb into the centre to form a small indentation for the blueberries and pinch around the edges to form a star.
  7. Fill the centres with blueberries and finish with a little shredded coconut.

Makes 16.


Raw vegan mince pies - Recipes
























Ingredients
(makes 8-10)
- 2 cups mixed dried fruits (raisins, sultanas, diced apricots, cranberries)
- 1/4 cup desiccated coconut (plus extra for garnish)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1.5 tsp mixed spice
- 1/4 cup fresh apple juice
- 4-5 small apples
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice

To make the mince pie filling, place the mixed dried fruit, desiccated coconut, mixed spice, juice of 1/2 a lemon, and apple juice in a food processor and blitz on high speed for a couple of minutes until you have a chunky paste that holds well together.

To make the apple 'crust', remove the stem, peel the apple completely and cut in half. [You can also slice off an extra thin layer off the top of each half to use as a pie cover later]. Using a small teaspoon, carefully scoop out the inside of each apple half. If you're 99.9 % percent sure that you won't slice a finger off, then use a small knife to assist with the hollowing out process, otherwise I strongly recommend that you stick with a small spoon. Coat the apple 'crusts' in generous lashings of fresh lemon juice to prevent unnecessary discolouration.

Don't worry about having to throw all the scooped out apple away. Simply discard the seeds and add the rest of the pulp to your mince pie filling, blending again for a couple of seconds to combine.

Spoon generous amounts of the mince pie filling into your apple 'crust'. If you sliced off any extra thin layers to cover the mince pie then go ahead and place that on top, otherwise you can also decorate with little shapes cut out from the apple peel (can be a bit fiddly, so don't worry about perfection).

If you have any leftover mince filling, simply place into a container, refrigerate and use within 2 days.


Vegan mince pies

It’s still a while till Xmas and I cannot zip my jeans up anymore – true story (well, not quite…I have taken to wearing my yoga leggings all day long now to spare myself the heartache of that inevitably happening!) In all seriousness, my kitchen has been on full steam for a while now, I am testing so many Christmas appropriate recipes lately that in my head it’s Christmas time already. The nice side effect of that is that the house smells insanely good right now, of spices and citrus.

If I were to guess what is the most universal symbol of Christmas here, in the UK, I would say it’s mince pies! People go crazy for these pretty pastries hiding a delectably oozy and boozy filling of quintessentially Christmas flavours. Beloved by Santa’s reindeers apparently, mince pies start making an appearance on supermarket shelves as early as late November and it’s a rite of passage to overindulge on them throughout December.

Traditionally mince pies used to be meat and suet (yummy!!) and some recipes still call for the latter but shop-bought ones tend to contain butter and eggs. Since veganism has become more popular, most supermarkets now offer vegan versions of these iconic pies too but if you have the time and the inclination, I would really encourage you to make these yourself. Like most foods, they are ten times nicer home made.

The same goes for the mincemeat filling. Again, you can simply use a shop-bought one if it’s available to you, but mince pie filling requires no cooking skills other than stirring and it fills your house with the most beautiful, Xmassy smell and of course it’s so much better than what you can buy. I urge you to try it and, especially if you don’t live in the UK, don’t worry too much about sticking to the recipe exactly. You could use any dry fruit that you love – as long as it screams Christmas, that’s the only rule here!! I went for a medley of raisins and cranberries but sultanas, currants, sour cherries, apricots, figs…they are all above board.

As I am a lover of small, dainty things, I loved making (and eating) these little festive looking pies and I hope you will too!

PS: If you make my vegan mince pies, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @lazycatkitchen and use the #lazycatkitchen hashtag. I love seeing your takes on my recipes!


Vegan Mince Pies with Raw Cashew Cream

Vegan Mince pies with Raw Cashew Cream

You may remember a few weeks ago I posted a recipe for vegan mince meat. Well it was finally time to crack open the jar and make some mince pies! I decided to go fully vegan and made a batch of vegan pastry and vegan raw cashew cream. The pastry was super simple to make and incredibly easy to use, the coconut oil giving the pies a flaky texture. The cashew cream, whilst not as smooth as traditional cream, was quick to whip up and tasted surprisingly good. So why not give this english classic a try?

Vegan Mince Pies – makes 8 small pies

100g coconut oil (it should be in a solid state) or vegan margarine

almond milk to brush before baking

To make the pastry combine the flour and salt and add the coconut oil/ margarine. Quickly rub the oil/ margarine into the flour until you have fine breadcrumbs. Next, add a few teaspoons of ice cold water at a time , stirring in with a knife until your pastry begins to come together. You should then be able to use you hands to form the pastry into a ball. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 20 -30 minutes.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin and roll out your pastry to around 3 mm thickness. Cut 7-8 cm rounds from your pastry and place half of them into a pie tin. Spoon a generous helping of vegan mincemeat on to each pie base and top with another pastry round. Crimp the edges of the pie to seal the filling inside. Using a sharp knife cut a small hole in the pie lid to allow steam to escape. Brush with almond milk.

Bake in the oven at 200 degrees for 12 – 15 mins until golden

To make the cashew cream, soak your cashews for at least 3 hours or overnight. Drain and add with the rest of the ingredients into a blender. Blend, adding a little water until you have the desired thickness. You may need to blend for around 10 to 15 mins to make your cream super smooth.


How to make Vegan Mince Pies

What’s probably most important to point out is that this dough needs to rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before you can roll it out. Otherwise, it will be too soft and you will struggle to lift it into the cupcake tins. It might be slightly crumbly and crack around the edges but don’t worry you can simply fix this by pressing it with your fingers.

Roll it out about 1/2 cm thick, cut out 2-3 circles at a time, re-shape the remaining dough into a ball and roll it out again until you run out of dough. Use pastry cutters or the rim of a glass to cut out the circles, they should be slightly bigger than the moulds of the cupcake tin. Carefully transfer the circles into the cupcake tin. Repeat the process with the second dough ball but use a star-shaped cookie cutter (or any other shape).

Now, fill about 1-2 tablespoons of vegan mincemeat into each form and cover it with a star.

Bake for about 12 minutes at 180°C.

As I wanted these Vegan Mince Pies to be healthy I disliked the idea of dusting them with icing sugar but then I realised that coconut flour looks almost identical and that even the flavours worked well together.

Mr Healthy Tart who isn’t very much into healthy eating requested mince pies and I promised to make them but I didn’t tell him that I was going to put a healthier spin on them. Therefore I was quite anxious when I presented them to him. To my delight, he liked them a lot and kept munching away on them over the next couple of days.

They keep for about a week if you store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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Vegan Mince Pies

It’s not Christmas without mince pies. This recipe makes a dozen and a half gently spiced jammy minced pies with a no fuse easy to make vegan pastry!

INGREDIENTS

350g organic unbleached flour
Pinch fine Atlantic sea salt
2 Tbsps. organic raw sugar
150g non-dairy margarine
2-3 Tbsps. cold water

For the mince pie filling

60g raw organic coconut oil

Generous pinch ground nutmeg

100g organic coconut sugar

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Zest and juice of 1 clementine

Non-dairy milk for brushing

SERVES
DIFFICULTY
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METHOD

Start by making the pastry. Place the flour, salt and sugar into a food processor, and pulse briefly to combine. Add the margarine to the flour and pulse until the mixture roughly resembles bread crumbs. Transfer the flour and butter mix to a bowl and add one Tbsp. of water at a time, briefly mixing between each addition of water until a dough forms. Cover and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To make the filling add the coconut oil to a large pot on medium heat. Once the coconut oil has melted, add the cinnamon, mixed spice and nutmeg and gently warm for 1 minute. Add the brandy and cook for another minute.

To the pot, add the remaining ingredients for the mince pie filling. Stir well, and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. Once all the sugar has dissolved and, the filling is jammy, remove from the heat.

Transfer the filling to a heatproof bowl and set to one side to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly grease and flour two shallow cupcake trays.

Divide the pastry in half. Dust a clean work surface with flour and roll the first pastry half into a large round, 2-3mm thick. Use an 8cm round fluted cookie cutter to cut out 18 rounds of pastry for the bottoms. Repeat with the second pastry half and use a 6cm round fluted cookie cutter to cut out 18 rounds of pastry for the tops.

Assemble the mince pies by placing the 8cm pastry rounds into the cupcake tray and gently shaping to the base of the tray. Place 1 Tbsp. of filling into the pastry and top with a 6cm round. Brush the pastry tops with non-dairy milk and bake for 15-20minutes or until golden.


Vegan Recipes

Just about all of our raw food recipe at The Raw Chef are vegan. If you come across any with honey, you can simply substitute for any liquid sweetener. Coconut nectar or maple syrup are good.

Which vegan recipes to try? Well, raw food is famous for Raw Vegan Lasagna and Raw vegan Pizza, so definitely check those out.

If you want something a little simpler, how about Raw Vegan Sushi?

Hosting a dinner party? How about Lychee Ceviche with Smoked Cashew Cheese. This is one seriously delightful dish.

If you’d like a deeper dive into raw vegan food preparation, check out our online raw food courses.


Vegan Mince Pies

These homemade Vegan Mince Pies hold the very essence of Christmas in their delicious pastry crusts. Nothing can beat one warm from the oven with a glass of mulled wine!

Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without Vegan Mince Pies. At least to me. It's become clear since I published my Vegan Mincemeat recipe and my Festive Mincemeat Tart that mincemeat as an ingredient, is not very widespread in North America. I hadn't realized that it was such a British thing.

MAKE VEGAN MINCE PIES A TRADITION

I am sure me posting my mincemeat filled recipes here in the run up to Christmas won't make mincemeat a tradition here like it is back in England, but it would be lovely to think I may have introduced a few of you to something new that you might never have tried otherwise.

Making my Vegan Mince Pies is a breeze. The pastry comes together in a food processor in minutes. You can also make it by hand if you prefer. Cut rounds with a cookie cutter then fill with the festive, rich and fruity mincemeat, top with a lid (star shapes add some cute factor ♡), then bake until golden and bubbling.

SPICE IS NICE

While they bake, your house will fill with the warmly spiced, festive scent of Christmas. The only thing that can come close to beating the smell is a simmering pan of mulled wine on the stove. Do both at once and you will think all your Christmases have come at once!

HOW TO SERVE VEGAN MINCE PIES

Vegan Mince Pies are great served warm straight from the oven. Eat them as they are or top with a generous dollop of melting brandy butter (you can find my recipe here).

You can also top them with whipped coconut cream, custard (another pretty British thing), vanilla ice-cream or vegan spray cream if you can get it. Any or all of them are good!

STORING YOUR VEGAN MINCE PIES

My Vegan Mince Pies will keep in an air tight container for up to a week. They can easily be reheated in the oven to bring them back to their fresh out of the oven status. You can even make them up to the point of baking, then stop and freeze them in their trays. When you decide it's mince pie time, pull them out of the freezer and bake straight from frozen. They will take abut seven to ten minutes longer than the time stated.


Vegan Mince Vs Beef Mince: Environmental Implications

When it comes to comparing the environmental impact of beef mince to that of vegan mince, there really is no contest. We’ve covered a lot of the relevant information in our article on the environmental reasons for veganism. But – based on the BBC’s Climate Change Food Calculator – consuming 75g of beef once or twice a week would contribute 604kg to your annual greenhouse gas emissions if you consumed tofu (soy) instead, it would contribute just 12kg to your annual greenhouse gas emissions.

Of course, this is a rather simplistic tool and there are various contributing factors that could affect things. But there is little doubt that consuming beef mince is far, far worse for the environment than consuming any of the vegan mince options would be. In terms of producing calories and even protein, plants are a far more efficient use of land and water than animals and also generate far less carbon too.


Raw vegan mince pies - Recipes

If you ask any British person what the quintessential Christmas food was, they probably wouldn’t say turkey. They’d probably say Mince Pies. These little fruity, boozy treats are so synonymous with Christmas in the UK that it’s insane to think of the holidays without them, and if you find out that someone doesn’t like them, you quickly rethink your friendship with such a heathen. They ARE Christmas.

You can imagine my despair, then, when I found out that the vast majority of Americans don’t embrace these little tarts of delight – and, in fact, most of them have never even HEARD of a Mince Pie. I couldn’t speak I could barely breathe.

So, for my American audience, let me first quell your fears that these treats are made with meat. They’re not. Neither are they made with mince, although they were back in the Medieval days when no one had tastebuds and the go-to method of improving a meal was to douse it liberally in animal fat. Mince Pies actually date back to the 13th Century – the Middle Ages -, although they’re a lot smaller, sweeter and I’ll bet more delicious than they were back then.

Although the mince is long gone from most Mince Pies these days, they often aren’t vegan due to the butter in the crust, and because the fat most often used to make the mincemeat is a beef suet. You can buy commercial mincemeats that are vegan, but me being me, I decided to make my own this year. And you know what? I won’t be going back!

It’s easy, cheap and fun to make your own mincemeat, mostly because it only involves chopping, waiting, then making your whole house smell like Christmas as you cook the ingredients together in a pan. Delia (that paragon of British cooking) will tell you that you need to bake mincemeat for 3 hours, but I simply cooked the mincemeat over a medium heat for about 15 minutes, and when it cooled, it was perfect.

Once you’ve made your own mincemeat, you’ll never go back.

You’ll need:
(Makes 2 of the Kilner jars shown above)
5 apples, chopped finely
2 cups of mixed raisins, currants and sultanas
3/4 cup candied peel, or dessicated coconut if you’re going for something a little different (I was)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup almonds, chopped finely
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 fresh freshly-grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons mixed spice (a mix of cloves, ginger and cayenne pepper)
1.5 cups coconut oil (you can also use vegan suet if you have it)
zest and juice of one lemon
zest and juice of one orange
1/4 cup brandy (or rum, if you’re feeling adventurous)

Method:
In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the brandy
Stir well, then cover and leave overnight to allow the flavours to mix
After a good long resting period, tip everything into a large pan and set to a medium heat
Add in the brandy, and cook over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced and your whole house smells good enough to eat
Take off the heat and allow to cool
Store in sterilized glass containers, or use immediately in Mince Pies (recipe to come tomorrow!)

I know what you’re thinking that’s incredibly easy. You’re right. And it’s delicious.

In this recipe, we’ve used coconut oil to replace the suet, as coconut oil also hardens at room temperature (or, rather, room temperature in a cold country!) and its a damn sight healthier than suet! However, if coconut oil is difficult to get or super expensive where you live, you can use any solid vegan fat alternative (such as Copha). Use whatever works for you!

If you have any mincemeat left over from your Mince Pies, pop it into a Kilner jar and give as a gift! Homemade foods are the best gifts at Christmas, I think.

Although I “tropicalised” this recipe with the rum, coconut and coconut oil, my friend James, on first tasting, said “Oh my god….that tastes exactly right”. You will not believe how perfect this recipe is!


It’s not Christmas without mince pies. This recipe makes a dozen and a half gently spiced jammy minced pies with a no fuse easy to make vegan pastry!

INGREDIENTS
Pastry

350g organic unbleached flour
Pinch fine Atlantic sea salt
2 Tbsps. organic raw sugar
150g non-dairy margarine
2-3 Tbsps. cold water

Mince pie filling

60g raw organic coconut oil
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. mixed spice
Generous pinch ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. brandy, optional

75g organic raisins
75g organic currants
60g mixed peel
75g organic sultanas
1 brambly apple, grated
30g blanched almond meal
100g organic coconut sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Zest and juice of 1 clementine

Non-dairy milk for brushing

Icing sugar to dust

SERVES
DIFFICULTY
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METHOD

Start by making the pastry. Place the flour, salt and sugar into a food processor, and pulse briefly to combine. Add the margarine to the flour and pulse until the mixture roughly resembles bread crumbs. Transfer the flour and butter mix to a bowl and add one Tbsp. of water at a time, briefly mixing between each addition of water until a dough forms. Cover and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To make the filling add the coconut oil to a large pot on medium heat. Once the coconut oil has melted, add the cinnamon, mixed spice and nutmeg and gently warm for 1 minute. Add the brandy and cook for another minute.

To the pot, add the remaining ingredients for the mince pie filling. Stir well, and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer for 10 minutes. Once all the sugar has dissolved and, the filling is jammy, remove from the heat.

Transfer the filling to a heatproof bowl and set to one side to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly grease and flour two shallow cupcake trays.

Divide the pastry in half. Dust a clean work surface with flour and roll the first pastry half into a large round, 2-3mm thick. Use an 8cm round fluted cookie cutter to cut out 18 rounds of pastry for the bottoms. Repeat with the second pastry half and use a 6cm round fluted cookie cutter to cut out 18 rounds of pastry for the tops.

Assemble the mince pies by placing the 8cm pastry rounds into the cupcake tray and gently shaping to the base of the tray. Place 1 Tbsp. of filling into the pastry and top with a 6cm round. Brush the pastry tops with non-dairy milk and bake for 15-20minutes or until golden.