6 years ago, a couple of weeks before Christmas I went gluten-free.It was a real life-changer as I had been in pain for 4 years. I know now that after having my second child (having children is often a trigger) I can’t eat gluten or quinoa.
It had been a long old road and was not an easy decision to make just before Christmas so I was on a fast-track and deep learning curve with regards to how to cook and bake without gluten.
Mince pies are an important Christmas treat for me so it was one of the first things I was determined to bake well. (Shop-bought ones are never the same as homemade in my opinion.) After a lot of failed attempts I came up with my own recipe as follows:
160g plain gluten-free flour (my favourite is Doves Farm)
50g icing sugar
A pinch of salt
1tsp Xanthan gum
90g unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk plus one egg for glazing
1 jar of mincemeat (do look at the labels as some have barley in them) I really like this GF Organic mincemeat which I mix with a supermarket one to get the right amount of ‘tang’
Heat the oven to 180 degrees – obviously you’ll need a mincepie tin or similar, some pastry cutters and a pastry brush. This recipe makes around 12 mince pies (plus a couple more if you roll the pastry nice and thinly). I always double the quantity as they go very quickly in our household.
First: make the pastry by melting the butter, then weigh out the dry ingredients including the xanthan gum and icing sugar and mix the dry ingredients together. Once the butter has cooled slightly add the egg yolk and then sift the dry ingredients into the butter/egg yolk:
Mix together (you’ll then have to use your hands) and if the pastry is still not quite coming together add a tbsp of cold water.
My pastry in this pic looks quite streaky as I forgot to add the yolk to the butter so had to add it later on – thankfully it still turned out alright!
Wrap the pastry in cling film and put it in the fridge for 30mins plus (you can even leave it in overnight if you wish).
The pastry will feel quite solid when you get it out but it soon warms and softens up. When you first start to roll it out on a floured surface it will seem quite fragile because of the lack of elasticity (which gluten provides) but it does improve as you handle it.
Roll it out quite thinly and use your larger cutter for the base of the pies:
Then fill your pies with the mincemeat (I always tend to over-fill mine!) and brush the edges with egg and a splash of milk or cream mixed together before placing the smaller ‘lids’ on the top and pushing the edges down with your finger.
Don’t worry if the lids crack slightly (I always think they don’t look homemade if they’re not slightly rustic) and then brush the lids with the egg/milk glaze and put a hole in the top of each one with a skewer or something similar:
Place them in the middle to top shelf of the pre-heated oven for 20 mins. Then leave to cool for 5 mins before putting them on a cooling rack:
Sprinkle with icing sugar.
Personally I love to eat them warm, straight from the oven but they are just as good cold and you can also warm them up in the oven from cold. The pastry is really nice and crisp so they keep well.
People honestly can’t tell these are gluten-free which is a real win in my opinion!
If you make them please let me know what you think as I’d love to know and do tag me in any pics.
I’ll try and do more gf recipes in the New Year.