Festive Mince Pies

Having spent time exploring the free from ranges at different supermarkets, I’ve been disappointed to find that the majority of Christmas products all seem to contain ground almonds. Following a low fodmap diet can be a challenge, particularly with a nut allergy, however it just encourages me to bake more and find more low fodmap alternatives.

I must note that dried fruit is rarely low fodmap, so you may have to be careful when trialling your tolerance levels to these delicious treats. I can normally have one, served with some lactofree ice cream or soya custard.

This mince pie recipe has been adapted from my mum’s age old recipe… (which I recently found out was Delia Smith’s all along!) I hope you enjoy making them, and sharing them with family during the festive period. As always, let me know if you give them a try!

Ingredients
For the mincemeat filling:
350g raisins
225g sultanas
225g currants
225g whole candied peel
225g shredded suet (vegetarian available)
350g soft dark brown sugar
2 oranges (the zest and juice)
2 lemons (the zest and juice)
4 tsp mixed ground spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
6 tbsp brandy

For the sweet shortcrust pastry:
180g gluten free plain flour
½ tsp xanthan gum
88g butter
1 egg
30g icing sugar
a dash of milk for brushing on the pastry

Method:
First, make your mincemeat for filling your festive mince pies. Combine all of the ingredients (except for the brandy) in a large mixing bowl and stir. Cover the bowl and leave the mixture overnight (in a cool place) to allow the flavours to develop. The next day, preheat your oven to gas mark ¼ or 120°C, and place the mixture in the oven for around 3 hours, loosely covered with foil. Cool, and stir now and again, allowing the fat to mix with all the ingredients. Once the mixture is cool, stir in the brandy. Here you can either continue to make the pastry, or store the mincemeat for use later (in a sealed jar). If sealed properly, it can be stored and eaten within a year of making.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 or 120°C. To make the shortcrust pastry, put the dry ingredients into a bowl (flour, xanthan gum, icing sugar) and add the butter. Rub the ingredients between your thumb and fingers to create fine crumbs (almost like breadcrumbs). Then, add the wet ingredients (egg) and knead into a soft dough. If the mixture seems a little dry, add a little water until you are happy with the consistency. Roll out onto a floured surface (I often use cling film or baking paper instead if I don’t have a pastry mat to hand), until approximately 5mm thick, and begin cutting circular shapes. I use crimped cutters for a traditional mince pie and a star cutter for a more modern version. Use a slightly larger cutter for the base, and a smaller for the lid (as shown in the image). Brush the pastry with milk for a golden colour and use the milk to glue the lid to the base (this will also hopefully prevent any mincemeat leakage!) I used a fairy cake tin to bake them. This pastry mixture should make approximately 12 pies. The mincemeat you’ve made should provide enough for two batches. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a wire rack, then serve and dust with icing sugar (aka snow).

 Alice x

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