These Christmas Fruit Parcels are a lighter alternative to cakes and puddings which has no suet and very little fat, no eggs and can be prepared quickly. They can easily be adapted for vegans too.I’ll make this 8th post in the 12 Days of Christmas series quick and snappy because that’s precisely what the recipe is. The beauty of the recipe is that it is great if you have a vegan/vegetarian/lactose intolerant guest.
With no eggs in the recipe either, the only thing you need to worry about is the wheat in the filo pastry but always check the labels for the exact ingredients.
Did I mention the recipe is refined sugar free as well? The only sugars in this dessert are those from the fruit. It really doesn’t get much better than that.
On Christmas Eve buy some fresh filo pastry from your local supermarket. You should find it in the chiller section. If you’re worried you won’t get some at the last minute then buy some now and freeze the packet of pastry until next week. In a pinch, some wonton wrappers will do either.
- 100g Dried Fruit
- 1/2 Cup of Orange Juice
- 2 Cooking Apples (Bramleys are good or Granny Smith apples will do if you’re stuck)
- 1 Packet of Fresh Filo Pastry
- 30g Melted Butter
The night before, make sure your filo is out of the freezer (if you put it there) and defrost in the fridge overnight. Pour the orange juice and dried fruit into a bowl then mix well and cover. Leave overnight and forget about it.
On Christmas Day, peel the apples then grate them into the dried fruit mix and stir well. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Spread out the filo pastry and cut the sheets into 4 equal (square) pieces. Most filo packets come with 6 sheets so this will give you 24 squares or 12 parcels. In the middle of 12 of the squares put a teaspoon of the mixture. Brush the outside of the squares with melted butter then bring the edges together to make the parcel. You will now have 12 parcels and 12 empty squares. Put the parcels into the middle of the empty squares, brush the edges again and bring those together so that each parcel has 2 layers of pastry. Put the parcels onto a tray lined with greaseproof baking paper then bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Once golden and crispy at the edges, remove and let cool for 10 minutes before serving with a dusting of icing sugar, maybe a splash of cream/brandy butter/custard/ice-cream on the side?
- If making this dessert for a vegan or lactose intolerant guest then substitute the regular (dairy) butter for almond butter instead.
- If your guests don’t like dried fruit then don’t put it in at all but I’d suggest that along with the grated apple you could add some chopped crystallised ginger which will sweeten and spice the mix slightly.
- For a bit of punch add some whiskey or brandy when soaking the fruit with orange juice the night before if you wish.