Until this week I really hadn’t caught the ‘it’s nearly Christmas’ feeling. There’s been far too many other things going on for my brain to even manage Christmas thoughts… things like getting a new job and relocating back to Cardiff at two days notice…which has been stressful and exciting in equal measure. Fortunately for me I have the most amazing cousins, who conveniently happened to be making numerous drives between Cardiff and my home town last week, meaning I could grab a lift up to Cardiff with my stuff…I’ve no idea how I’d have done it without them. Also rather conveniently, they have now gone on a four month ski season in France -envious much- leaving a house in Cardiff in need of house sitting…ideal! The house also happens to be next door to my boyfriend’s…Now things can’t really get any more convenient, or freakishly coincidental, or brilliant than that.
But about mince pies…mince pies, for one, are not FODMAP friendly. Pastry = wheat and mincemeat = apples, so even the gluten-free ones are off the cards (at least in the elimination phase). This week my boyfriend’s house mate was throwing her annual mulled wine and mince pie evening, providing the perfect excuse for me to attempt a batch of FODMAP friendly mince pies.
Not having attempted gluten-free pastry before, I was dead chuffed at how these turned out. The pastry was light and slightly flaky and the apple-less mincemeat filling was delicious – zesty and spiced and tasting just like Christmas! It was Christmas in a bowl, on a spoon and warm inside pastry. (Yes, my excess mincemeat consumption quite possibly turned a FODMAP friendly endeavour into an unfriendly one overloaded with fructose…but you can’t win them all!)
Finally though, thanks to a couple of mince pies (and much too much mulled wine) it now feels very much like Christmas!
Crumble topped mince pies (Wheat free and FODMAP friendly provided you refrain from eating large spoonfuls of mincemeat straight from the bowl!)
makes 10-12 mince pies
For the pastry
- 150g gluten and wheat free plain white flour blend (I used Dove’s Farm)
- 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
- pinch salt
- 25g caster sugar
- 85g cold butter, cut into cubes
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- 1-2 tbsp cold water
For the mincemeat
- 50g raisins
- 50g cranberries
- 50g dates, chopped
- 25g pecans, chopped
- zest and juice of one orange
- flesh of half an orange (from a second orange…don’t used the juice-less flesh of the juiced orange!) chopped into small chunks
- zest and juice of half a lemon
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
For the crumble topping
- 40g plain flour
- 20g soft brown sugar
- pinch cinnamon
- 20g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 20g pecans, chopped small
- First make the mincemeat. Place the raisins, cranberries, dates and pecans in a bowl along with the chopped orange.
- In a small pan, warm together the orange juice and zest, lemon juice and zest, maple syrup, sugar and spices until steaming hot but not quite simmering. Pour the hot liquid over the dried fruit mix and stir well to combine. Smoosh the dried fruit against the side of the bowl a little with the back of the spoon to encourage it to go a bit paste like. Allow to cool.
- For the pastry, sift the flour, xanthan gum and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar.
- With your finger tips, rub the cold butter into the flour mix until no large lumps of butter remain.
- Add the egg to the mix and stir in using a table knife. Then begin gradually adding the cold water, stirring/cutting it in with the knife until the mixture just comes together to form a dough.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface, knead gently to bring together as a smooth ball, flatten to a disk about 3cm think then wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5 and grease the holes of a muffin or cupcake tin with a little butter.
- To make the crumble topping, stir together the flour, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Rub in the cold butter with your finger tips to form crumbs then stir in the chopped pecans.
- To assemble the pies, roll the pastry out on a floured work surface to about 3-4mm thick. Using a 6cm round cutter, cut out 10-12 discs. Place the discs into the tin, pressing them gently into the base and sides of the holes.
- Fill each case with about 1 tsp of the mincemeat, then sprinkle over a heaped tsp of the crumble mix.
- Bake the pies in the oven for about 20 minutes until the crumble is golden and the pastry is crisp on the base. Check the pies after about 15 minutes to make sure the crumble isn’t browning too fast, cover with a sheet of foil for the last few minutes of cooking if it is.
- Allow the pies to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.