I never really liked fruit mince pies before, this truth be told. They made me wheeze a bit and were way too sweet. If you look at the ingredients in a recipe for them, one can understand why. 2 cups of sugar in a filling that’s going to end up as 2 cups total volume? I’m not dead against sugar – especially for holiday treats, but that explains that sickly sweet vibe I didn’t love. Dried fruits and glacé fruits that it turns out were packed with sulphite preservatives ( which are known to cause asthma in some). That probably explained the wheezing I used to get, then.
They are, however, my Dad’s favourite thing in the world at Christmas time – except of course the joy of being with family. No actually I think mince pies come before us!
So, I set about creating some of my own a few years ago and not just with crappy gluten free flour store bought. Good news is, this homemade Gluten free sweet pastry flour is AWESOME. Double batch it and store just the flour for the next time you need gluten free flour. Just be sure to shake it up in the jar before using again next time.
Give yourself a morning for this recipe. Play some Christmas tunes. Do some wrapping while you wait for pastry to bake or set. They will keep really well for a good 5 days, so you don’t have to make them on a hectic Christmas eve, which is great. After a couple of trials on the pastry front, I am super thrilled with this pastry. The texture will please even the most gluteny of glutinous fiends – like my Dad!
My Dad couldn’t believe how good they tasted. “How did you make this pastry without wheat? That’s not possible!” He proclaimed.
Please share your creations with me on FB on the wall or over at instagram @lowtoxlife hashtag #lowtoxlife. Can’t wait to see them!
And if you fancy a whole bunch of festive season inspiration, our new EBook CELEBRATE is available for just $12AUD – 113 pages of feasts, finger foods, celebratory desserts, cocktails (yes, cocktails!) DIY gifting, waste-reduction and more
Real Food. Happy Bodies.
Gluten Free Fruit Mince Pies Recipe
- 1 mini muffin tin fits 18 pies
- 1 pc Small star or christmas cookie cutter for the tops if you fancy or you could do like in my 2nd example and just do little round ‘hats’ for the pies)
- 18 pcs mini muffin liners
For the PASTRY
- 1 cup tapioca
- 1/2 cup buckwheat or rice flour
- 1/4 cup almond meal (if it needs to be nut free, just add 2 tablespoons buckwheat/rice and 1/2 tablespoon coconut flour to your mix and ditch the almond meal)
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 126 g butter, nice and cold and roughly cubed
- 2 tbsp really well chilled water
- 1 whole egg white
- 3 tbsp maple syrup or rice malt syrup
For the PIE FILLING
- 1 cup currants (sulphur free / 220 free)
- 1 cup loosely packed dried dates (ie, don’t press them in to fit more, just measure the cup worth), fine chopped
- 1 1/4 cup finely chopped red apple (organic is best as apples are heavily sprayed)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped orange peel (organic is best as pesticides linger in citrus peels. You’re worth it!
- 1/2 cup rice malt syrup or maple syrup
- 1 heaped tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla bean powder (or 2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract)
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1/3 tsp nutmeg
- juice of 1/2 an orange
- 30 g butter (or coconut oil)
- 2 tbsp water
- desiccated coconut
Place chopped apple, orange peel, orange juice, water, tablespoon of the butter into a saucepan and simmer on low for 20 minutes to soften the apple and orange with the LID ON. Then lift the lid and simmer a further 5 minutes. If for some reason all liquid has evaporated and ingredients are sticking, don’t panic, just add a tiny splash more water or o/j.
Add all the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10-15 minutes on low until a smooshy gooey texture has been created. Once you’ve achieved that, switch off and spoon into a cool bowl and set aside. If you can leave this over night for the flavours to all get to know each other, then that’s perfect, if not, no stress. They’ll still be delicious!
For the pastry, get all of your flours into your food processor. Blitz them for a few seconds together to aerate.
Then, add your cold chopped butter and pulse until butter is in tiny pieces through the flours / a bit sandy looking. Usually takes 4-5 pulses.
Then, add your syrup, your egg and pulse a couple of times.
Then add 1 tablespoon of water. Pulse again a couple of times. If pastry hasn’t come together yet, pulse again with another tbsp of chilled water.
Now, spread a little tapioca flour onto a parchment paper sheet and put your ball of pastry onto it. Sprinkle some on your hands too.
Get your mini baking paper cups ready and then roll your pastry quickly in your hands into a double sized macadamia ball and pop one each into all the mini muffin cups.
Then press the centre of the ball with your thumb and then easy the pastry out to the full width of the muffin cups, and your pastry at this point should be about 3mm thick all around. Coax the pastry lined muffin cups into your mini muffin tin, and repeat until you’ve done them all. Don’t make more than 18 if you want star shaped tops, but if you’re just doing little round tops, you can do 20.
Now, put those pastry lined tins into your fridge for 15 minutes. If you skip this step, you will not have the best pastry result possible. Trust me, it’s worth it for that beautiful crumbly, biscuity vibe.
Preheat the oven to 200 celcius / 400 farenheit, without the fan setting on. The fan will give too much power and brown the edges too much resulting in over cooked + under cooked combo – not good!
While your pastry cups are chilling, make your tops either little circular biscuits or cookie cutter christmas shapes.
Pull out your pastry cups, and swap with the tops now to give them some fridge time before baking.
TO BAKE YOUR CUPS
Place them in the oven, and at about the 10 minute mark, put your thumb in a tea towel so you don’t burn yourself, and press the pastry out and down at the bottom, so it doesn’t puff up and leaves plenty of room for a good dollop of mince.
You could blind bake with a few beans or pastry weights in another muffin liner inside each cup – I did half and half, but there was no difference other than the base not crisping up as well, so I feel the press half way method was the best result.
Bake your ‘tops’ – they will take less time around 12 minutes. Once the edges go a little golden, take them out to cool.
When everything is cool, fill the mince into the cups and top with your chosen topper.
TO PREPARE THE SNOW
Blend your desiccated coconut on high for 10 seconds, so that it’s particles become a little finer. Don’t do it for longer though, as you will start to release the oils and then it won’t sift in an airy, light way.
Grab a sifter and sift the coconut onto your mince pies.
Stand back and be proud. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, isn’t it?
And these little ones done with a simple round top, also very cute if you don’t have any Christmas cutter shapes!