I wanted to make a quick filling for mince pies for small guests who don’t like mincemeat! To keep them child-friendly, I used eating apples and dried cranberries, orange zest and a little touch of vanilla extract. Happy to say they were all gobbled up! You could add chopped nuts and a glug of brandy if you’re making these non-traditional mince pies for adults.
Makes: 12 mince pies
4 eating apples, peeled and diced
80g dried cranberries
60g caster sugar
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 or 2 drops vanilla extract
1 orange, zested
1 (500g) packet ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg, beaten for glazing
1 or 2 tablespoons sugar for decorating
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Place diced apple, dried cranberries, butter and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over a low heat and stir gently until the butter has melted. Stir in the mixed spice, orange zest and a few drops of vanilla. Continue to heat up the mixture until it begins to simmer. Cook for another few minutes until apples have softened but still have a bit of a bite. Remove from the heat and allow the apple mincemeat to cool down.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Lay out puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Cut out 12 circles using a round pastry cutter or a glass. Place the circles on the baking tray with a little space between them then add a spoonful of apple mincemeat into each one, being careful not to overfill, as the filling might bubble out of the pastry.
Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg.
Roll out the remaining pastry to cut out 12 pastry lids. Carefully place the pastry lids over the top of each mince pie, pinching the two edges together with your fingers or a fork. Make a small slash with a knife in the centre of each pie. Brush the top of the mince pies with egg and sprinkle over a little caster sugar.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Set aside to cool for a few minutes; transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm on their own or with vanilla ice cream.