Vegetarian Mince Pies

Vegetarian Mince Pies – crisp flaky golden pastry and rich fruity brandy-infused mincemeat and all ready in just over half an hour. Your kitchen will be filled with delicious seasonal baking aromas and you will be able to offer everyone, veggies and meat-eaters, a warm pie fresh from the oven. If you want to get into the Christmas baking vibe, without doing anything too complicated or time consuming, then this is your go-to recipe.

In a world where there is a proliferation of good-quality ready-made Mince Pies, I think it is still worth making your own as it is an easy short-cut to seasonal baking bliss without too much effort. At this time of the year, spending an hour or so making these beauties, ignoring the cold outside, is just what I want to do.

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Pimp your pies…

This is my manifesto for Mince Pie making heaven.

  • I think home-made Mincemeat is best and I have a recipe on this blog. However, you do need to make it in advance and, frankly, you may not have either the time or inclination to do this. Using shop-bought mincemeat is absolutely fine but try and go for one that is good quality. If you are using shop-bought mincemeat, you can add a teaspoon of brandy or port to the mixture, which will really lift the flavour, or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice if you don’t want to use alcohol. Adding some grated orange or lemon peel is also good.
  • Whether you are using home-made or shop-bought mincemeat, you can add an additional hidden treat to your pies. I will sometimes add the following to each pie, on top of the mincemeat filling, before putting on the pastry lid: a chunk of marzipan, a few dried cranberries, a piece of dark chocolate, a glace cherry or a lump of cheese.
  • Again, I think home-made pastry is best. It has a buttery crispness which even good quality ready-made pastry doesn’t seem to have. It is also really easy to make your own pastry. However, again, you may not have the time or inclination to make your own. If you want to use shop-bought pastry, that is fine. Just make sure you get a brand that is “all butter” as it will generally taste better.
  • You can go for different shaped “lids” for you pies but, honestly, stars are best. It is Christmas after all and you can’t get much more festive than a star!
  • When you are baking your pies, make sure that the door to your kitchen is open so the smell of baking and alcohol-infused fruit spreads throughout your house.
  • Without a doubt, mince pies are best eaten warm. If you are not eating them immediately, you can re-heat them by popping them in the oven at 180 C, 350 F or Gas Mark 4 for five minutes. You can eat them on their own. You can eat them with whipped or pouring cream (if you must). I eat mine with a lump of strong cheese (extra mature cheddar) and a glass of Pedro Ximenez sherry, if I can. Try it before you judge.

To make this recipe you will need

Vegetarian Mince Pies

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Vegetarian Mince Pies

Vegetarian Mince Pies

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 large pies 1x
  • Category: Pies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

These easy Vegetarian Mince Pies combine crisp buttery pastry with rich, brandy-infused dried fruit.  They are the taste of Christmas!


Scale

Ingredients

For the pastry:

  • 275 g plain flour
  • 125 g fat (I use a mix of half butter and half Trex as I think this makes the lightest pastry)
  • Salt
  • A little water

For the filling:

  • 1 large jar of mincemeat – see my easy Vegetarian Mincemeat recipe or use good quality shop-bought
  • A little milk and caster sugar

Vegetarian Mince Pies


Instructions

  1. Set you oven to 180 C, 350 F or Gas Mark 4.
  2. Make the pastry. Put the flour in a bowl.  Add the fat and combine –  either by “rubbing in” by hand or processing – until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add a little cold water (2-3 tbsp) and shape the mixture into a dough.  
  3. If you have time, allow your pastry dough to rest for half an hour, wrapped in cling film, as this will make the resulting pastry more tender.  If you do not have the time, don’t worry!
  4. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface so that it is as thin as possible.
  5. Using a round pastry cutter which is slightly larger than the depressions in your pie tin cut circles from your pastry.  I use a 7.5 cm diameter pastry cutter which is fairly standard.
  6. Place a circle in each of the depressions in your pie tin.
  7. Put 2 teaspoons of mincemeat onto each pastry circle.
  8. Using a star shaped pastry cutter, cut stars from the remainder of the pastry. Place them on top of each mound of mincemeat.
  9. Paint the top of each star with a little milk using a pastry brush.  Sprinkle with caster sugar.  This will make the top of the pies golden and crunchy.  (Some people add beaten egg instead but I always think it is a waste of an egg as you don’t need very much of it!)
  10. Put the pies in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.  They will be done when the pastry is golden.
  11. Remove the  pies from the tin immediately and place on a cooling rack.

Vegetarian Mince Pies

Vegetarian Mince Pies

 


Notes

  • This quantity of pastry and mincemeat makes approximately 12 large pies.  It will vary according to how thin you roll your pastry and the size of the depressions in you pie tin.
  • This recipe is vegetarian (as long as you use vegetarian Mincemeat)

Keywords: Mince Pies, Christmas, baking

This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare with Lost in Food  and #FiestaFriday with Fiesta Friday and Jhuls at The Not So Creative Cook and #BakingCrumbs with Apply to Face Blog

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Mushroom and Chestnut Pies

Vegetarian Mushroom and Chestnut Pies
Mushroom and Chestnut Pies

Mushroom and Chestnut Pies

These Mushroom and Chestnut Pies make a fantastic vegetarian main course at an autumn or winter dinner.   I often make them for Sunday lunch when I usually serve both vegetarian and non-vegetarian guests.  The non-vegetarians get a roast and the vegetarians get the Mushroom and Chestnut Pies.  They both go well with the same accompaniments – roast potatoes, cauliflower in white sauce, buttered carrots, parsnips – which makes things easy!

What makes these pies particularly good is the combination of the mushrooms and the chestnuts.   The chestnuts add a sweetness which goes very well with the bosky savouriness of the mushrooms.   Also, I think there is something special and celebratory about dishes that include crisp flaky pastry.   These pies are part of my traditional Christmas Day dinner when I serve both vegetarians and  non-vegetarians.

Mushroom and Chestnut Pies

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Vegetarian Mushroom and Chestnut Pies

Mushroom and Chestnut Pies

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 50
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Pies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

These Mushroom and Chestnut pies are the perfect autumn main course combining savoury mushrooms and sweet chestnuts wrapped in crisp buttery pastry.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 25 g butter and 1 teaspoon oil (or 2 tsp if vegan)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bulb of fennel
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • Salt and pepper
  • 250 g mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Several sprigs of fresh thyme (or one teaspoon of dried thyme)
  • 180 g of peeled, whole chestnuts
  • 500 g packet of puff pastry
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. Heat the butter and oil in a large heavy-based pan
  2. Peel and chop the onion, fennel and celery. Add the vegetables to the pan and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook very gently for around 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft and sweet. Slow cooking caramelises the natural sugars in the vegetables and greatly improves the flavour of the dish.
  4. Slice the mushrooms and add them to the pan together with the peeled and crushed garlic clove. Cook for a further five minutes.
  5. If using fresh thyme, remove the leaves from the woody stems. Add the thyme to the vegetable mixture.
  6. Roughly chop the chestnuts and add them to the vegetable mixture. Cook for a further five minutes.
  7. Roll out the puff pastry to a thickness of approximately half a centimetre.  Cut circles from the pastry.  Either use a pastry cutter or cut around a small saucer or plate.
  8. Break and lightly whisk the egg.  Use a pastry brush to paint egg around the circumference of one of the pastry circles.    Place a spoonful of the mushroom and chestnut mixture in the centre of the circle and then fold the pastry circle in half to form a semi-circular pie.   Paint some more of the egg over the top of the pie. Repeat for the rest of the pastry circles.
  9. Place the pies on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Keywords: vegetarian, mushroom, chestnut, pies

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