Tea and a mince pie anyone? One of the true pleasures of Christmas are these sweet little fruit mince pies.
These ones are gluten free and pretty easy to make once you know all the tips and tricks to dealing with the pastry.
I’m going to show you how.
You’ll need some special equipment to make these little cuties.
I used the food processor to make the pastry, but you could do it by hand (read on to learn how).
You will need:
Making gluten free pastry can be a bit tricky but honestly, this is easy. You just need to get the consistency right.
Let’s start with the ingredients.
The ingredients are all pretty standard things that anyone who cooks gluten free products should have in their kitchen.
Gluten free flour which you can make using my gluten free mix recipe and guar gum, which you can buy at most organic stores, are the only oddities here. Other than that, it’s butter, one egg yolk, a little sugar and a pinch of salt, as well as some ice cold water.
This year I used store bought pre-made Christmas fruit mince but you could use homemade as well.
The trick to making good pastry is to ensure the butter and water are cold. You can even freeze the butter if you wish, especially if you are making these without a food processor, but I don’t do that.
Place the flour and butter into a food processor and pulse. If you are making this pastry by hand, grate the butter into the flour then rub it into the flour with your fingers.
What you are aiming for here is the consistency of bread crumbs.
Once that’s done, add the egg yolk and mix again until it’s all incorporated.
Next, you need to drizzle the ice water in, a little at a time. You may not use all of the water, it depends on how well the flour absorbs the water.
You’ll know when it’s ready when you can make a clump out by pushing it against the sides of the bowl. It should hold together.
Turn the pastry out onto a well floured bench and make a ball.
Put the ball into a plastic bag and pop it in the fridge for about half an hour – or overnight if you don’t have time to make the pies now.
When the pastry is adequately chilled, it’s time to roll it out. Now, this is where lots of gluten free pastries fall apart (literally) but this one should be OK.
Cut it into two pieces – one piece will be about a third of the mixture and the other about two thirds.
Place the one third piece back into the plastic bag and back in the fridge.
On a well floured bench, using a well floured rolling pin, roll the pastry out. You will need to use a reasonable amount of flour on both the bench and the rolling pin.
If you have any problems with it cracking warm it up a little by kneading it – yes, I know I said to chill it and everything being as cold as possible is best, but believe me, this works.
Roll it out to about 3mm thick. You will need to roll and re-roll as you cut out the shapes. I find that the best way to get the circles off the bench is to turn the cutter slightly and then lift it with a spatula.
You should get 16 circles out of the piece of dough. If you don’t, just put it aside until you have made the stars and then cut the rest out of what’s left.
Lift each circle out as you go and place it into the well-greased (yes, even if it’s non-stick you will need to grease it) shallow patty tins.
When you have cut out all the circles, add the filling.
No matter how tempting it is to fill these bad boys to the brim with this delicious mince – don’t!
Use only one teaspoonful per pie!
Nothing will destroy your beautiful finished product more than overflowing filling – it may seem like you haven’t put enough in but, believe me, you have.
Remove the remaining pastry from the fridge, roll out and cut the stars. Place a star on top of each of the pies.
Now you’re ready to bake them. While they are in the oven, keep an eye on them as they can burn very quickly.
Put the flour, salt and butter into a food processor (if you don’t have a food processor follow the instructions above). Pulse until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
Add the sugar and egg yolk and process again until combined.
Drizzle the water in with the motor running. Be careful not to overprocess as this will make your pastry hard. It should just be incorporated enough to form clumps (see above).
On a floured bench, form the pastry into a ball. Place in a plastic bag and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
Cut the pastry into two pieces – 1/3rd and 2/3rds. Place the 1/3rd back in the refrigerator while you roll out the bases.
Roll out the remaining piece following the instructions above.
Place 1 teaspoon of filling in each pie base and then add stars on top.
Bake at 190 degrees Celsius (375 fahrenheit) for 20-25 minutes.
Cool on a rack then dust with icing/confectioner's sugar.
Store in an airtight container.
I hope you try this recipe. It’s very easy and results are lovely. Let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried it.
Please pin and share. Merry Christmas – enjoy these wonderful treats.
December 23, 2020