Cream Cheese Mince Pies
A perfect end to the Christmas meal or just as a treat. This makes 24 mini fruit mince pies. The fruit mince tastes even better if made a week before and refrigerated ready for use. Freezes well. Lovely served just warm. Ensure the cream cheese is at room temperature.
- 150g red apple, fresh, skin on, grated
- 85g dried apricots, diced
- 40g cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 150ml apple juice, 100% juice
- 1 teaspoon (2g) orange zest
- ½ teaspoon (2.5ml) vanilla essence
- pinch (0.4g) cinnamon
- pinch (0.5g) ground nutmeg
- pinch (0.5g) mixed spice
- 1 teaspoon sugar substitute of choice
- or xylitol (4g)
- 1 tablespoon (20ml) brandy
- 250g almond meal
- 2 tablespoons (40ml) sugar free maple flavoured syrup
- 30ml melted butter
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla essence
- 1 egg
- 3 teaspoons (6g) orange zest
- 2 teaspoons sugar substitute of choice
- or xylitol (8g)
- 60g cream cheese, regular fat
- Combine 2 teaspoons of orange zest with all the other ingredients and mix until a firm dough is formed. Roll out thinly between two sheets of baking paper and allow to rest.
- Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2.
- Place a teaspoon of orange zest and the remaining ingredients, except the brandy, in a saucepan. Cover and simmer over a gentle heat for about 60 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove from the heat, drain and add the brandy. Allow to cool. Refrigerate at this point if making ahead.
- Mix the remaining teaspoon of orange zest with the cream cheese until it is smooth and set aside.
- Grease the pie tins and cut the pastry into circles large enough to line the tins.
- Place ½ teaspoon of cream cheese mixture into the bottom of each tin and then fill to the top with the cooled fruit mince mixture.
- Cut out the remaining pastry to form a star on the pies.
- Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown.
- Cool before removing from the tins. Store in an air tight container.
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