The quintessential Christmas treat, veganified. This is one of those things, though, which is often vegan all the time… ready-made pastry is usually vegan (albeit featuring palm oil) and the filling doesn’t require any animal products at all.
Makes about 20 regular-sized pies.
2 cups chopped dried fruit – I used cranberries, raisins, currants, figs and dates
1 cup chopped, peeled apple
1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
1/3 cup brandy
1.5 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground mixed spice
Small crack of black pepper
225g plain flour
100g vegan butter, cubed (I used a 2:1 balance of softened vegetable shortening and sunflower oil, for a neutral flavour and buttery texture)
2 tbsp cold water, or more if needed
1/4 cup caster sugar
A little plant-based milk, for brushing
Demerara sugar, for sprinkling
Mix all fruit mince ingredients together and store in the fridge leading up to use (at least overnight) to soak.
To make the pastry, combine flour and butter and rub butter in with fingers until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add cold water and sugar and mix, then bring together with fingers and knead until a smooth dough forms. Roll into a ball and rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180*C.
Roll pastry out about 5mm thick and cut out rounds to fit regular-sized muffin tin holes. Grease muffin tins, then lay pastry inside, pat to fit, and prick the base with a fork. Pop a little bit of baking parchment inside each unbaked pastry case and fill with baking beans or rice to act as a weight, then bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until nearly cooked. Remove weights and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden-brown, then remove from oven and let cool slightly.
Fill pastry cups with fruit mince, then from the remaining uncooked pastry, create cute shapes or lattices to use as pie tops, if you like. Place them on top of the pies, press to seal, brush with a little plant-based milk, and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until tops are golden.
Leave to cool, then serve! Store in an airtight container for about 5 days after baking.
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