Spiced pumpkin, quince and amaretto mince pies

Tasty and healthy Christmas mince pie recipe

This recipe was developed for an annual charity auction called the Mince Pie Project. In simple terms, 100 of the UK’s top chefs cook mince pies for charity and people bid via eBay for their favourite ones. As ever with my cooking, I have one eye on it being at least a little bit healthy. So this is my take on the traditional mince pie. Remember mincemeat is very high in sugar, usually 60 per cent!!! Then add the buttery pastry and you have a nutritional disaster on your hands. By using pumpkin & quince you add at least 65 per cent fruit and veg to the equation! Technically it’s still not quite health food, however you have to live a little and this is a much healthier option.

Written by Alan Murchison

Alan is a Michelin chef, restaurateur and cookery author who has appeared regularly on the Great British Menu, both as a competitor and a mentor. He currently runs a string of Michelin-starred restaurants.


Spiced pumpkin, quince and Amaretto mince pies

Mince pie ingredients

2 medium quince, peeled and diced (approx 250g of quince).

250g of peeled and diced pumpkin, butternut squash can be used as an alternative

100g sugar

1 tsp of each mixed spice, ground ginger and star anise powder

Pinch of black pepper

Seeds from 1 vanilla pod

125ml water

50ml Amaretto

500g good quality mincemeat

Amaretti biscuits


1. Place sugar, water, vanilla seeds and spices into a heavy bottomed pan.

2. Cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until a caramel consistency is achieved. Add the quince dice and cook gently for 10 minutes.

3.Add the Amaretto and pumpkin and cook gently for a further 20 minutes until the quince and pumpkin are soft. It is also important that all the liquid is well reduced and 'sticky' or as we chef types say 'caramelised'. Then set aside and allow to cool.

4. Line small tart cases with sweet pastry. Add one heaped teaspoon of the mincemeat, then one heaped tablespoon of the spiced pumpkin and quince mix. Make sure that the tart cases aren't too full.

5. Then generously sprinkle over some crushed Amaretti biscuits.

6. Place into a pre-heated at 190c oven for 12-15 minutes and enjoy.


Vital Statistics

Serves: 24
Preparation: 40 minutes
Cooking: 12 - 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Good for: Post or pre training snack

Calories (kcal): 186
Protein (g): 2
Carbs (g): 33
Fat (g): 5
Fiber (g): 15

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