Christmas Mince Pies

Nothing says Christmas like a gluten free fruit mince pie. While Christmas Day might be officially over, in my mind the Christmas period extends right up until New Years Eve, when other festivities take over! This gluten free version of the mince pie is perfect for sharing with friends and family over afternoon tea.

Flaky pastry coupled with tangy fruit mixture and sweet icing sugar evokes memories of those snowy set Christmas movies, where the children are huddled around the fireplace, listening to carol singers outside.

Don't be put off by the mention of mince in this recipe as no meat is involved! It all comes back to the medieval origins of the mince pie or chewette (as it was called) which contained liver or chopped meat mixed with boiled eggs and ginger. If that wasn't unappetising enough, dried fruit and sweet ingredients would later be added to the chewette's filling for variety. Following the ban of eating mince pies on Christmas Day (made illegal by Oliver Cromwell); common sense prevailed and in the mid-17th century the meat components were replaced by suet (beef fat) and thankfully later omitted altogether!

Superstitions abound regarding mince pies. Eating at least one mince tart on each of the twelve days of Christmas is thought by some people to bring luck for the coming year. Others abide by the tradition that you should make a wish while eating your first mince tart of the festive season and that mince tarts should always be eaten in silence. Superstitions aside, I can promise you that this recipe for gluten free fruit mince pies will satisfy even your non-gluten friends!

Here's what you'll need...

To make 12 gluten free pastry pie cases

To make gluten free fruit mince

And here's how to make the pastry...

1. Place flour, icing sugar and xanthan gum in a food processor. Add frozen grated butter and pulse until mixture resembles (but only resembles) breadcrumbs.

2. Add egg white and pulse until just combined.

3. Dump pastry onto a lightly gluten free floured board, knead briefly to form one big dough mass, shape into a flat disk and wrap in plastic. Chill in freezer for 30 mins. Cut off one-quarter, rewrap and place back in freezer.

4. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius or 140 degrees Celsius fan. Grease a 12-hole muffin pan. Roll out pastry between sheets of baking paper , but not too thin as gluten free pastry has a habit of breaking!

5. Cut out 24 x rounds and ease 12 rounds into greased tins. Prick each pastry with a fork a couple of times. Bake for 10-12 mins, or until golden-brown.

And for the fruit mince ...

1. Combine fruit mince ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer for 5-6 mins, or until thickened. Cool completely.

2. Fill each pastry with fruit mince. Place remaining 12 pastry rounds over the top of each pie. Bake for 8-10 mins, or until golden and crisp.

3. Dust with icing sugar, to serve.

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