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Give your favourite Christmas recipe an ethical twist

World Vision
13 December 2014 by Ruth Dearnley
Give your favourite Christmas recipe an ethical twist

Make your traditional mince pies taste even better with ethically sourced ingredients this Christmas.

I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in being prone to over indulgence at Christmas. But I try and make sure that the festive treats that I serve my guests are good in more ways than one. It’s easy to find ethically sourced ingredients, if you know where to look. By purchasing more ethical products, you’re choosing to support the companies that are doing the right thing and valuing the people who grow, harvest and prepare them.

So before you head out to stock up the pantry for your Christmas feasts, make sure you take your Shop Ethical! guide or app with you! Don’t forget to keep an eye out for these logos when you shop, to make sure you’re choosing one of the most ethical products, so you can indulge in your Christmas favourites without the guilt!


Why not try an ethical twist on the traditional mince pie?

360g (2 cups) dried mixed fruit
200g (1 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar (I love the caramel flavour of this fair trade Alter Eco sugar)
50g (1/3 cup) slivered almonds, finely chopped
1 organic Granny Smith apple, peeled and coarsely grated
40g butter, melted
3 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 free range egg, lightly whisked
White sugar, to dust

300g (2 cups) plain flour
160g chilled butter , chopped
1 free range egg yolk
2 tablespoons iced water

Step 1: Finely chop half the mixed fruit. Add the brown sugar, almond, apple, butter, brandy, lemon rind, lemon juice, cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg and the remaining mixed fruit. Stir until well combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside overnight, stirring occasionally.
Step 2: Transfer the fruit mixture to a fine sieve over a bowl and stir to remove excess liquid.
Step 3: To make the pastry, place the flour, sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and water, and process until the mixture just starts to come together (see tip 1). Turn onto a clean work surface. Shape into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest.
Step 4: Preheat oven to 180C. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until 5mm thick. Use an 8.5cm-diameter round pastry cutter to cut 20 discs from the pastry. Use a 5cm-diameter star-shaped pastry cutter to cut 20 stars from the remaining pastry.
Step 5: Line twenty 80ml (1/3-cup) capacity muffin pans with pastry discs. Divide the fruit mince among the pastry cases. Top with pastry stars. Brush the stars lightly with the egg and sprinkle with white sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden. Set aside in the pans for 5 minutes to cool before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Have you give any other recipes an ethical twist? Let me know!

Original recipe available from

Ruth Dearnley Ruth Dearnley

Ruth is the former Public Advocacy Manager at World Vision Australia and a passionate advocate for all the little things we can all do to make a more just world.


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