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Mince pies are a long-standing Christmas tradition, but the standard versions use mincemeat or suet. Nineteenth-century American housewives began making mock mince pies, and they're so good that probably no one ever missed the meat. This version has an additional twist—a bit of cocoa for a deep, rich flavor.
- 1⁄4 cup dry unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee
- 1⁄4 cup natural granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1⁄2 cup dark raisins or 1⁄2 cup currants
- 1⁄2 cup golden raisin
- 2 medium granny smith apples, peeled,cored,and finely chopped
- 3⁄4 cup fine fresh breadcrumb
- 1⁄4 cup finely chopped walnuts or 1⁄4 cup pecans
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon allspice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 prepared pastry crust
- 1 tablespoon nonhydrogenated margarine
- 1⁄4 cup fine fresh breadcrumb
- 2 tablespoons natural granulated sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large saucepan with 1/2 cup of water.
- Bring to a simmer and stir until smoothly dissolved and combined.
- Add the currants, raisins, and apples and simmer over low heat, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the bread crumbs, nuts, vanilla, and spices.
- Pour in the mixture from the saucepan and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Pour into the pastry crust.
- Melt the margarine in the same saucepan used previously.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the bread crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon.
- Sprinkle over the top of the pie.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden.
- Let cool and serve just warm or at room temperature.