Mince pies

Since I was a little girl growing up in England, every year, come December, the house would be filled with the scent of minced pies. A family favourite, I much enjoyed until my coeliac diagnosis. As many coeliacs would know - pastry is never an easy task for us gluten free folk but this recipe is simple and delicious! I hope it brings some festive joy back to those who've been missing these little treats.

Ingredients

40g rice flour

40g arrowroot (tapioca flour)

70g GF plain flour

70g unsalted butter, chilled

1/4 cup coconut sugar

2 cups of mixed dried fruit (I used 1/2 cup cranberries, 1/2 cup apricots, 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup dates)

zest of an orange

70ml orange juice

1 teaspoon each of nutmeg, cinammon & mixed spice

2 star anise

2 tablespoons of brandy

Method

Mix the dried fruit with the spices and orange juice, stir well and refrigerate for two hours.

Meanwhile, make the pastry. Combine the flours, sugar and butter in a bowl. Add the zest of an orange, then rub the butter into the mixture with fingers until smooth.

Roll the dough into a ball, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for half an hour.

At this point, add the brandy to the fruit mixture and stir well. Return to the fridge.

Once the dough's cooled, place the ball between two sheets of baking paper and roll out until 1cm thick.

Preheat the oven to 160C fan forced.

Grease a muffin tin (7.5cm wide x 3cm deep) then use a round cutter to cut out 8 circles in the pastry.

Round up the cut-off pastry and roll out once more. This time use a star-shaped cutter to cut out 8 stars to top your minced pies with.

Place the round pastry discs in the bottom of each mould and press the edges firmly into the sides.

Remove the fruity "mince" from the fridge and discard the two star anise. Add a tablespoon of mince on top of each disc, then top with a pastry star.

Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until lightly golden, and enjoy :)

#dessert