There are so many treats available at Christmas, but mince pies have to be one of the tastiest. It’s amazing how many calories and fat those little pies can contain though, so I’ve come up with a healthier alternative using filo pastry. Filo pastry is only 3% fat and easy to work with. You can buy it ready-made – look for it in the freezer section of the supermarket. These filo mince pies contain almost half the calories of shop-bought shortcrust pastry mince pies. When compared to puff pastry mince pies, they are 3 times lower in fat and 20 times lower in saturated fat! See the table below the recipe for comparison.
Makes 12 mince pies
6 sheets readymade frozen filo pastry (defrosted)
1 jar good quality mincemeat
2 tbsp sunflower or rapeseed oil
Zest of 1 orange (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180oC.
Mix together the mincemeat and grated orange zest (if using).
Lay the stack of filo sheets on a work surface or large chopping board, and using a sharp knife, cut stack into two equal strips down its length. Then cut each strip into four equal squares. You will end up with the stack cut into 8 equal-sized squares.
While you are preparing the mince pies, cover the filo pastry with cling-film to prevent it drying out.
Lay one square of pastry on to the work surface and brush with a small amount of oil. Place another on top, at an angle and brush with butter.
Repeat until you have 3 squares on top of each other at different angles. Gently press the square into the hole of a 12-hole bun tin.
Repeat with the remaining squares – at this point you will have 12 spare squares of pastry.
Spoon 1 tbsp mincemeat mixture into each of the pastry cases.
Brush the remaining squares of filo with the remaining oil and scrunch each one and place on the top of the mince pies.
Bake for 15-16 minutes, until golden.
Leave to cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar before serving. Serve with a little reduced-fat crème fraiche instead of cream.