These vegan mince pies have the most delicious sweet, rich pastry thanks to the vegan cream cheese - so much better than shop-bought!
I hadn't planned to post so close to Christmas, but these mince pies were just too tasty not to share! I've always loved homemade cream cheese pastry as the 'ultimate' pastry for mince pies, as it is rich, crumbly, sweet and totally delicious, and this year decided to have a go at making a vegan version.
It really isn't rocket science, as good quality dairy-free cream cheese is now so readily-available in most supermarkets. Substitute in a good dairy-free block margarine in place of butter and dairy-free milk as a glaze, and Bob's your uncle.
What you need to make your Vegan Mince Pies
Vegan 'butter' I find the block butters are best for pastry making - the new Flora plant butter is great, as is naturli block if you can find it.
Vegan cream cheese There are now lots of varieties of vegan cream cheese available in supermarkets so take your pick! I like the Violife spread but pretty much any will work well here. Just check it is plain, not flavoured with garlic, jalapeńos or similar!!
Mincemeat Most shop-bought mincemeat is vegan but always read the label before you buy just to check. I always add a splash of brandy to mine, which makes it taste like a luxury brand even if it is cheap stuff! Or even better - make your own. Try my Beetroot & Hazelnut Mincemeat for a lovely, festive bright pink twist!
Variations on your Vegan Mince Pies
How about mixing things up a bit by topping your mince pies with:
- Frangipane - a rich almond sponge that's a perfect match for the boozy mincemeat. Use the vegan frangipane topping from my Cherry Bakewell Tart recipe (which is also for 12 mini pies so quantities will be perfect).
- Crumble topping - a basic crumble mix of 100g plain flour, with 50g vegan butter rubbed in to it, then 75g granulated sugar stirred through will make a delicious crumble topping for these little pies. Top each one with a sprinkle of demerara sugar for an extra crunch.
What else can I make with Mincemeat?
If you have mincemeat left over, take a look at these recipes:
For more quick and easy vegan recipes take a look at my latest book Vegan in 15.
"Brilliant! Chock full of easy recipes and great tips and advice" Hello! Magazine
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tagging me @thevegspace or using the hashtag #thevegspace to show me how you got on!
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These really are fantastic mince pies - just don't forget to leave one out for Santa!
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Vegan Mince Pies with Cream 'Cheese' Pastry
- 200 g plain flour
- 100 g block dairy-free margarine
- 75 g caster sugar
- 50 g ground almonds
- 75 g dairy-free cream cheese
- a little dairy-free milk for binding and glazing
- 450 g jar mincemeat (shop-bought - check it is vegan, or homemade - see previous post for my Beetroot & Hazelnut Mincemeat recipe!)
- Rub the margarine into the flour, (or blitz in a food processor) until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Stir through the sugar and ground almonds.
- Add the cream cheese and mix thoroughly to combine, then tip onto a clean, floured surface and bring together. You may find that this binds the pastry together into a smooth dough, but if not, add a tablespoon of dairy-free milk and continue to knead gently until a dough has formed.
- Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin tin with dairy-free margarine.
- Roll the dough to about 3-4mm thick, then cut out 12 large circles with a pastry cutter, and place into the muffin tins for the pie bases.
- Divide the mincemeat between the 12 mince pies - they should be fairly full.
- Re-roll the pastry offcuts a little thinner than before, and cut out either 12 smaller circles for the lids or your choice of decoration - I cut out 6 circles then a star out of the middle of each one, and alternated either the star or its cutout surround for each lid.
- Place the lids on the pies, squeeze together the edges to seal, then brush with dairy-free milk to glaze. Chill in the fridge until required.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 390°F / gas mark 6. Bake the mince pies for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and bubbling - watch them carefully for the last five minutes to make sure they don't burn. Leave to cool in the tins, then dust with icing sugar and serve.