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Eggless Mince Pies

I am sure everyone is busy either preparing to celebrate the occasion or waiting in anticipation for a public holiday to rest and relax! Traditional Christmas mince pies are not suitable for vegetarians as they are usually made of suet and minced meat. This is one of my most popular recipes when I conduct my Christmas baking classes. All my students love this recipe! This year, I have decided to share the recipe with you. You can make the filling a few days before you bake the mince pies. The mince pies taste better this way. Any remaining baked mince pies can be kept frozen for up to a year!

TO MAKE THE FILLING

200 g currants

200 g raisins

200 g sultanas

60 ml orange juice

6 tablespoons Cointreau or Grand Marnier or orange juice

180 g toasted walnuts, chopped coarsely

200 g melted Q.B.B. Pure Ghee

180 g candied orange or lemon peel, finely chopped

180 g soft brown sugar

180 g grated peeled Granny Smith apples

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

METHOD

  1. Soak the first 3 ingredients in the orange juice and liqueur for about 2 hours or until the dried fruits have soaked in the liquid.
  2. Combine all the ingredients well.
  3. Fill up in sterilized jars and seal tightly.   You can store this in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

TO MAKE THE CREAM CHEESE PASTRY

450 g plain flour

60 g icing sugar

½ teaspoon salt

100 g Q.B.B. Pure Ghee, chilled and diced

150 g cold unsalted butter, diced

250 g cream cheese, diced

80-100 ml evaporated milk

750 g prepared filling

Milk for brushing

Caster sugar for sprinkling

METHOD

  1. Sift the first 3 ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Add in the diced butter, Q.B.B. Pure Ghee and cheese. Rub in till mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Add enough milk to form a soft dough. Keep refrigerated for 20 minutes.
  4. Roll out into a thin pastry and cut into circles of 6 cm and 7 cm diameter or that would fit your tin or mould.
  5. Grease the small pastry tin or individual moulds. Line the tins with the bigger 7 cm circles and place 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of filling. Place the smaller 6 cm circle on top and lightly press to seal the edges.
  6. Poke a hole gently in the centre of each pie to let steam escape.
  7. Preferably keep refrigerated for 30 minutes before baking.
  8. Preheat oven to 220°C. Bake for 10 minutes and reduce the temperature to 180°C and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Brush with milk and sprinkle with caster sugar and bake for further 1-2 minutes.
  10. Cool for 5 minutes before cooling the pies on a wire rack.

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