December Lunch Recipe – Christmas Mince Pies

December Lunch Recipe – Christmas Mince Pies

A true Christmas favourite tweaked to suit an anti-inflammatory diet. The old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” holds true. Research suggests that eating apple on a daily basis might lower levels of cholesterol as well as C-reactive protein (CRP), a key marker of inflammation in the blood. Cranberries are high in antioxidants as well as anthocyanins, which give cranberries their deep red color and have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that cinnamon and its antioxidants have potent anti-inflammatory properties, helping to lower your risk of a disease and excessive inflammation. Ginger is high in gingerol, a substance with good anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Nutmeg is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds called monoterpenes, including sabinene, terpineol, and pinene. As someone following an anti-inflammatory diet refined and processed grains such as white flour should be avoided as they promote inflammation. Substituting with whole grain/whole meal can go a long way to improving inflammation. Whole grains are high in fiber and loaded with antioxidants.



Fruit mince:

  • 2-3 naturally sweet apples, finely diced with the skin left on
  • 1 cup of pitted chopped dates
  • ½ cup of cranberries
  • ½ tsp. of ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. of ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp. of ground nutmeg
  • Zest from ½ an orange
  • 1 cup of cranberry, raspberry or apple juice
  • ½ tsp. of vanilla extract

Wholemeal spelt short crust:

  • 1¼ cups of whole wheat flour (substitute with spelt flour, rice, barley, amaranth and kamut flour for low/no gluten alternatives).
  • 1 cup of butter (unsalted) and chilled
  • 2 tbsp. of maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1-2 tbsp. of water to mix, if required



Fruit mince:

  1. Combine apples, dates and cranberries in a pot.
  2. Add the juice of your choice and the spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom), vanilla extract and the zest from the orange.
  3. Cover and simmer on a low heat for approximately 30 minutes.
  4. Stir frequently to ensure it does not boil.
  5. If the fruit mince becomes too dry, add more juice to moisten and simmer on a low heat for another 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat, and allow the mixture to cool.

Wholewheat flour short crust:

  1. Combine flour, maple syrup, and sea salt in a large bowl.
  2. Cut butter into cubes and rub it into the flour with your fingertips. The mixture should look crumbly.
  3. Add vanilla extract, a little water and mix into a soft dough. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  4. After an hour you can roll out the dough on baking paper and cut into circles using a cutter. Lightly coat with coconut oil and dust with flour to prevent sticking – place in tart trays for cooking.
  5. Add fruit mince – approx. 1 tbsp. per tart. Roll out the remainder of pastry and cut into star or snowflake or other festive shapes. Place on top of tarts and add a little maple syrup brushed on top.
  6. Place in preheated oven (180 C) for 30 minutes until golden. Leave to cool before removing them from the tray to prevent breakage. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!

(This recipe makes approximately 12 pies).

Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Writing articles about the patients affected and the science being done to find a cure shows why we need to come together to #CureArthritis!

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