‘Tis the Season….

It is indeed the season to be joyful.

Gluten free Mince Pies

And there is no excuse required in this house, to eat and enjoy a gluten free mince pie. All the more when the pastry is a little thicker than normal and a little extra rich! For me, this newer gluten free recipe for pastry has a little extra melt-in-the-mouth experience and, and if you have some added festive spirit to hand, add this to your sweet Mincemeat for that added touch of indulgence. It’s Christmas after all, although I don’t need an excuse to eat mince pies any time of the year 😀😀😀

Yes, you can buy gluten free mince pies in the shops, yes the gluten free range is increasing, there is though, nothing like baking your own. It takes no more time to make or bake gluten free versus ‘normal’ and I’ll be honest, these taste great! So, go on, give it a go. What’s the worst that can happen??? 😀😀

Preheat your oven to gas 5, 200c fan, 215c

Have to hand you pastry topper cutter to hand (I used a Tala Christmas Tree one), an 8cm round cutter for the base and a deep 12 hole tray (used twice). This recipe makes about 18 mince pies.

70g ground almonds

310g gluten free plain flour

1 level teaspoon of xanthum gum

100g caster sugar

280g diced butter

2 eggs

540g gluten free Mincemeat

Alcoholic beverage of choice. Optional of course, but I’ve used Calvados, brandy and amaretto to make these mince pies.

Using a food processor, blend the ground almonds, gluten free plain flour, xanthum gum and sugar together for about 30 seconds until fully combined. Alternatively sieve the ingredients together over a bowl to mix them all together.

Then add the diced butter to the processor and blend on pulse until you have a mix that resembles fine breadcrumbs. No more than a minute. Alternatively rub the butter into the dry mix with your fingertips to reach the same state.

Crack the 2 eggs into a cup and lightly whisk with a fork.

Pour roughly 1.5 (save the other half as egg wash for the finished pie) of the egg mix into the flour and butter mix and blend together in the processor for about 20 seconds and then tip out on to the table top and bring together to form a dough. Or likewise, pour the egg mix into your bowl, if making by hand and again bring together to form a dough.

Let this dough rest a little in the fridge, wrapped in cling film, to firm the butter up, if nothing else. Otherwise the dough can get a little greasy.

Once the dough has rested for about 15 minutes, take it out of the fridge and unwrap it from the film. Place it on a lightly floured surface and roll out the dough to about 4mm in thickness.

You may need to gather and reform the dough and roll out again to get the right amount of bases and tops.

Cut out 18 rounds for the base and 18 toppers. Brush the inside of each pastry round with some of the remaining beaten egg.

Place the bases in the cake tray, pop in about 30g of Mincemeat into each base and splash on about a tablespoon or 2 of optional alcoholic spirits….. top with your pastry topper of choice, brush this with egg wash and place into the oven to bake for around 15 – 20 minutes or until lightly bronzed.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool, before removing from the tray and sprinkling with icing sugar and serving. If you need to bake the remaining batch of mince pies, repeat – and line, brush, fill, splash, top, brush and bake…..

Once fully cooled, these can be placed in a tub, placed into the freezer and kept for no more than a month. So if you need to bake ahead, now is the time.

Can be served warm with your favourite – brandy butter, brandy custard, or just warm and on their own.

 

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Gluten Free New Year

Here is hoping you have had a good Christmas so far, and that you have plans for a pleasant New Year surrounded by those whom you love.

And perhaps now is a good time to think about using up some ingredients you may have in the cupboard or the fridge?

There will I’m sure be something leftover after all the festivities.  If not, a small purchase will suffice.  This is a lovely rich and moist bake and can be eaten warm or cold.  You’ll need to taste the orange once you have cooked it, unless you already know if the orange is going to be sweet or sour.  This one certainly needed some additional sugar!

For the pastry;

  • 300g gluten free plain flour
    170g butter – taken out the fridge an hour or so before hand
  • 60g Caster sugar
    1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum (or similar binding agent)
  • Level teaspoon of cinnamon
    milk to bring together to form a dough

To bake the pastry blind, preheat the oven to gas 4, 180c, 160c fan.

I used a food processor to blitz the flour, butter, sugar and gum into breadcrumbs. If you don’t have one, work quickly with your fingers to rub the mixture together to the same point. From the processor, tip the ingredients into a bowl and pour in 30ml of cold milk at first, then a tablespoon at a time, in order to bring the dough together. Adding a  little at a time will ensure the dough doesn’t get too sticky, but the dough will take a bit of sticky as the gluten free flour will absorb the liquid, if you do happen to add a little too much milk.
Once you have that dough, roll out to roughly the 4/5mm thick and fill the tart tin. Retain any surplus pastry dough and wrap in cling film, this will be for the decoration. Prick the surface, cover with a sheet of greaseproof, fill the tart with baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove and cool the pastry. Only half stage blind baking is required as it’ll go back into the oven to finish with the filling.

For boiling the orange;

Take an ordinary large orange and gently pierce the skin with a cocktail stick, just half a dozen times should suffice.  Place into a saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil.  Once the water is boiling, turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and cook the orange for about 20 – 30 minutes until the skin is soft and the orange feels squishy.  Allow the orange to cool before removing from the water.  Cut into quarters to cool more rapidly, but you do need the orange to go cold before ‘blitzing’ in a blender, before making the tart filling.

For the filling and preheat your oven to gas 4, 180c, 165c fan;

  • 1 blended orange (c200g in weight)
  • 100g soft brown sugar – depending on how sweet or sour you orange. The sweeter the orange the less sugar required.
  • 2 eggs
  • 110g gluten fee self raising flour
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 90ml sunflower oil
  • 50ml milk
  • 120g dried or fresh cranberries (I used dried)

Once the orange is cold, add to it all but the cranberries and beat with a hand-held whisk until all the ingredients are well combined.  Toss the cranberries in a little extra flour and fold into the mix.

Pour into the pastry case and level off.

With the remaining pastry cut out some seasonal shapes and place onto the sponge mix, then brush with some additional milk.

Then bake in oven for 35 – 40 mins or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.  Leave to cool before trying to remove from the tin.

May 2018 bring you peace and happiness.

Thanks for reading 😀

 

 

Its nearly Christmas

Just around the corner now, Christmas. It comes around every year, to some a complete surprise, to others – those who are well organised – something to relax to and enjoy. A time of family, friends and loved ones, to give and to receive.

To some a time of mixed emotions, memories of events that they may want to forget. Everyone tackles this time of year in a different way, spare a thought for the quiet ones, the not so over enthusiastic ones.  Go and say ‘Hello’ and spread the joy, you never know, someone might just need it.

From me a simple welcome to the festive season, with a simple recipe for the humble, gluten free mince pie.  A family favourite – warm or cold, with cream or custard, or any variation thereof. Only this time I decided to pop a teaspoon of Speculaas spice into the pastry, not too much to over power, but enough to enhance the overall experience of the mince pie.

This recipe should make around 24 x 7cm mince pies with the limited topping as show in the pastry.  If you need a little more, then the recipe should scale up (or even down) well.  Have your cutters at the ready…..and go….

Preheat the oven to Gas 5, 190c, 175c fan

  • 300g gluten free plain flour
  • 170g soft butter
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon Speculaas Spice – I used mine from The Speculaas Spice Company
  • milk to bind together – approx. 40ml
  • a jar of Mincemeat – Tesco or Sainsbury’s – have own brand no-gluten ingredient mincemeat

For complete ease I blended the gluten free flour, butter, sugar, gum and spices in a food processor until I had fine breadcrumbs, tipped this out into a bowl and added the milk until I had a lovely smooth dough.  Alternatively you could rub the butter into the dry ingredients until you have the fine breadcrumbs and then pick up with adding the milk.

Roll out to your desired thickness – some around the thickness of a pound coins – 2 – 3mm – and cut out shapes with your cutter. You can bring the remaining pastry together to form another ball, then re-roll to create more bases (and tops)

Line each disc with your mincemeat – around a teaspoon of the mixture in each and then cover with your desired pastry cover.

Brush with a little milk and bake in the oven for about 20 – 25 minutes until the pastry has a little bronzed look to it.

Remove and cool, sprinkle with icing sugar and enjoy.

Alternatively cool completely and they will freeze well for up to 3 months.  Defrost thoroughly before eating though.