Mince pies

Christmas. A time of year when everything is laced with butter and cream, and cakes abound. Lovely, except for those who can’t eat them! Off-the-shelf gluten-free cakes and biscuits are always taste like pale imitations of the real thing, and have a scary list of ingredients. So when it comes to mince pies, the choice seems to be to eat the rubbish ‘legal’ versions, or to abstain completely. Not so!

Mincemeat (usually) has no gluten or dairy, so it’s simply a matter of making the pastry compliant! So here’s my recipe, which builds on one from TV chef Lottie Duncan.

150g gluten-free plain flour (I use Dove’s Farm)
25g ground almonds
1tsp xanthan gum
75g dairy-free spread
1 small egg
1tbsp iced water
Grated zest and juice of a clementine
Mincemeat

Weigh the flour and ground almonds into a bowl, add the xanthan gum and the dairy-free spread and cut into the flour using a metal knife. When all the fat is worked into the flour, lightly rub in using your fingertips but don’t overdo it or the mixture will warm up.

Next, add the zest and juice, the egg, and a tiny bit of iced water if you need it. The dough should come together on its own. Chill for at least half an hour in the fridge, then roll out and cut into circles.

The dough will be very short, so it might be easier to roll out small sections and lift into the tins using a knife. Yes, this is a bit of a faff, but you will be rewarded with lovely crisp pastry!

Spoon a teaspoon of mincemeat into each case (don’t overdo as as the pastry will shrink slightly and you don’t want them to boil over and make a mess!), then top with a smaller circle, Christmas star, lattice, etc. Bake at 200 degrees (180 for a fan oven) for 15-20 mins until the pastry is cooked through and the tops are golden brown.

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