Enjoy these healthy Vegan Mince Pies - a plant-based version of the British Christmas classic. Gluten-free and refined sugar-free!
(Recipe was originally published December 13, 2018, but has been improved and updated as of Dec 13, 2021.)
Gosh I love mince pies (it probably comes as a shock to no-one that I love food in general). They're just the most festive treat! The ones my mama makes in England are a resounding memory of Christmas from an early age, and even now the smell of them baking can take me right back to that time.
For those of you that don't know, Christmas mince pies are small, sweet pies made of dried fruit and spices that we eat on their own as a snack or dessert. But traditionally, vegan, refined sugar free and gluten free mince pies don't really exist. So I decided I needed to come up with my own recipe! These Healthy Vegan Mince Pies are decadent but nourishing with a delicious oat and almond flour pastry, and a homemade vegan mincemeat.
They don't taste like your standard English, shop-bought ones, but they do taste amazingly rich and decadent. They also use completely natural sweeteners and don’t have half the preservatives and sugar that regular ones do. So all round winners really!
Why You'll Love this Recipe
The most Christmassy treat there is. There's nothing like mince pies to make you feel all festive - they're the ultimate treat.
A vegan take on a British classic. Made with homemade mincemeat that's completely vegan, they're just as delicious as their traditional counterparts.
Gluten free mince pie pastry. Made with ground almonds and oat flour instead of wheat.
Refined sugar free. These mince pies contain so much dried fruit there's no need for added sugar - they're sweet enough!
Mince Pie FAQs
1) What are mince pies?
I'm glad you asked. They're a delicious pie made with dried fruit and spices that we traditionally eat at Christmas in the UK.
2) Are mince pies savoury?
No! They're sweet due to the dried fruit and spices (aka 'mincemeat'). It's a common misconception outside of the UK that they're savoury.
3) But why is it called mincemeat if there is no meat in it?
Because mince pies used to be made with meat, most often mutton. In fact, mince pies are traceable back to the 13th century. In the Victorian era the meat was ditched and the pies became smaller, and the mince pies we recognize today were born. Find more info on the history of mince pies here.
4) Why aren't mince pies normally vegan?
Fruit mincemeat is usually made with suet, a form of fat that can come from animal or plant sources. Many mince pies these days are made with vegetable suet, but I've avoided this entirely in this recipe and used coconut oil instead, which works really well.
Healthy Vegan Mince Pies - Ingredient Notes
Arrowroot powder - This is important to the recipe as the arrowroot will help the dough to stick together. Without it your pastry will be crumbly and may not be workable. Please don't skip it! Arrowroot is available in most health food stores and many supermarkets.
Oats and other flours - Please note, I haven't tested this recipe with types of flour other than oat. Feel free to if you wish, but I can't vouch for the results. Personally I recommend using oats as I really enjoy their hearty texture and they behave reliably in this recipe!
Healthy Vegan Mince Pies (gluten-free)
- High speed blender
- 1 cup orange juice
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup currents or sultanas
- 3 small apples, cored and cut into 1cm wide cubes
- ½ cup dried apricots (chopped into rough 1cm pieces)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 cup almonds
- 2 cup oats (gluten free if needed)
- 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 13 dates
- 4 tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F. Lightly grease two 6-cup muffin tins with coconut oil and set aside.
- Place all 'mincemeat' filling ingredients into a saucepan on medium heat.
- Stirring frequently, let mixture bubble gently for 25-30 minutes - turning temperature down as needed - until apple is broken down. Set aside.
- To make pastry, add almonds to a blender and blend to a fine flour. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
- Do the same with oats and add to bowl.
- Add arrowroot powder to oat/almond mix and rub coconut oil into mixture with hands until a breadcrumb-like consistency is achieved.
- Blend dates and add to mixing bowl. Add water and mix everything together until a dough forms. If it's crumbly add a little more water.
- Spreading flour of your choice on worktop, roll out pastry until it’s about ½cm thick.
- Use 9cm circular cookie cutters to create 12 pie bases. Use a small star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out an equal number of pastry stars (these will be pie tops).
- Gently push circular bases into greased muffin tins.
- Fill each pastry base with 2 tbsp of filling and top with a pastry star.
- Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes until pastry tops are golden and cooked.
- Remove and allow mince pies to rest in their tins for 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire cooling rack and leave to cool completely. Enjoy!
If you’ve tried this recipe, please leave a comment or tip for others below. I'd love to know how you’ve made it your own!