Mincemeat pies (GF)

IMG_2972I can now officially start sharing Christmas recipes with you without feeling guilty. Nothing says Christmas more than a delicious mincemeat pie. Of course mincemeat pies are sweet not savoury and certainly don’t contain meat these days.

Shop bought mincemeat is full of suet and I always think it’s a bit slimy in texture and limited in fruit. It’s also not gluten free so as my Mum has a gluten free diet I need something, which suits her. So I’ve made my own and while I tend to do a little bit of this and a little bit of that – this time I’ve captured what I’ve done so I can share with you.

It also seems to be fashionable to top the mincemeat pie with a Viennese biscuit – these are so easy to make so again I’ve included this in the recipe although you certainly don’t need to  do this.

First up – make your short crust pasty as this has to chill for at least 30 minutes before you use it:

UPDATE – December 2016

Okay it’s taken me all year to work this out – but I’ve now created a vegan pastry, which is soft and crumbly but holds its shape and rivals that exceedingly good pastry found in the shops.

This will make a fair amount of pies but will depend on your cutters

  • 150g plain flour
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 140g PURE vegetable spread
  • 35g TREX

This was my original pastry recipe – nice but not as nice as the richer version above.

  • 125g plain flour
  • 55g veg or soya spread chilled and cubed
  • 3 tbsp. cold water

For gluten free pastry:

  • 200g plain gluten free flour
  • 100g soy or veg spread, chilled and cubed
  • 3tbsp of cold water – you might need a little more if the pastry feels dry, it should be wet to the touch

Rub the fats into the flour and then add the water, using a knife to mix. Don’t over work your pastry – the trick is to handle it as little as possible – once the water is absorbed and the pastry is starting to come together – quickly finish mixing it by hand, wrap in cling film and chill.

Next up, make your mincemeat filling

IMG_2973In a saucepan add 200g of dried fruit (I used figs, apricots, sultanas, blueberries and cranberries), 2tsp cinnamon, 1tsp ginger, 1 tsp mixed spice, 1 tbsp. orange essence or a freshly squeezed orange, 2 tbsp. agave nectar and add enough water to mix the spices into the fruit.

Place the whole mixture over a gentle heat until the fruit starts to plump up then set aside to cool. You can add alcohol to the mixture or fruit juice – just play about with it until it meets your taste requirements.

Now for the Viennese biscuits – pre heat your oven to 150 degrees. If you want a soft biscuit you can increase the heat to 180 and reduce the cooking time.

Makes approx. 14 biscuits

  • 250g soy or vegetable spread
  • 50 g icing sugar
  • 250g plain flour (can substitute for gluten free plain flour)
  • 50g Birds Eye custard powder or cornflour
  • 2tsp vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together until smooth. Put the mixture into a piping bag – I use the rose nozzle (2D) to pipe the biscuits – pipe them the size of your mincemeat pie pastry cases as these are going to sit on the top.

Place in the oven for 15 minutes until hard and golden (or 10 minutes at 150 degrees). Just make sure they are baked through.

While the biscuits are baking, prepare your mincemeat pies – roll out your short crust pastry thinly and line your pie tray or individual tins. Fill each pie with a generous amount of mincemeat.

Once your Viennese biscuits are out of the oven turn the oven up to 180. When ready, put the pies into the oven for approx. 12-15 minutes, until golden – check there are no soggy bottoms.

Now this is where you can add get creative. You could make up a small amount of ‘cream to put on top of the pie and then place the biscuit on top of this. Or simply place the biscuit on top and dust with icing sugar or a mixture of cinnamon and cocoa powder. The options are limitless…

Of course you can also simply top with a little pastry too. And how to serve – well a little soy or coconut cream would be lovely, or my favourite – custard.

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