Mince Pies No Sugar No Gluten No Suet
The easiest and quickest mince pie recipe you can find with everything being made from scratch including the mincemeat filling. And of course as usual, no sugar, no gluten, no suet, no rolling pin, no mess, no curing mincemeat for 4 months, no hard to get ingredients!
Ingredients (makes 12 pies):
For mincemeat filling:
2 sweet red apples
50g French Brandy
1 tbspoon Allspice (Pimento)
1 tbspoon red wine vinegar
110g maple syrup
½ tsp salt
300g gluten free flour (we use a 50/50 mixture of cassava and oats)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
To make mincemeat filling: grate an unwaxed orange and lemon on a medium grater into a large bowl. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a saucepan. It’s important to use a saucepan because it will be heated up on the hob in a few minutes and it’s easier to remove the lemon pips if it’s squeezed separately. Don’t be tempted to squeeze the orange as well because it will make the mixture too moist. Peel and slice apples and add to the lemon juice and cook for 15-20 min until soft. The important thing here is that you don’t use green cooking apples, but the sweetest red ones you can find in the supermarket. While the apples are cooking add raisins, sultanas and French brandy (like Cognac or Armagnac) to the orange and lemon zest and mix. It is important you don’t substitute brandy with whisky or any other grain based spirit. It’s got to be a fermented grapes spirit like Cognac or Armagnac.
Once the apples are cooked, take them off heat and drain the excessive fluid into your raisins. Then mash them with a hand blender into a smooth puree. Add butter to the puree and mix until butter is melted. This apple puree is what will stop the butter from leaking down and ruining your pies. The fibres in the apple will stick to the butter and retain it where we want it to be - Inside the pie and not on the baking tray! – It won’t create exactly the same texture as suet would. You will lose a little bit of the airiness of a regular mince pie but it will still be delicious and the main point is it will work.
Also, add 1 table spoon of balsamic vinegar of Modena (or any red wine vinegar). This is just to make your apple puree darker but don’t worry if the colour is still not dark enough, it will get darker in the oven later. Don’t try substituting it with other types of vinegar that are not dark as they will not bring any colour. Add 1 table spoon of Allspice (also known as Pimento).
Combine the 2 mixtures together and add honey. Leave to cool before filling the pies.
To make pastry:
Separate the white from the yolk. Pour the egg white into a bowl, add maple syrup and salt and whisk well. the reason we use white and not the yolk (like in traditional recipes) is, because white is more binding than yolk and since we don’t have any gluten in our flour, we need something that will bind the dough together.
In another bowl combine flour, baking powder and nutmeg. Add chilled butter that’s been cut into cubes. Rub it in with your hands, breaking the butter cubes into smaller pieces.
Combine the two mixtures together and knead inside one of the bowls by hand, until a uniformed consistency is achieved. The dough should easily come off your hands and form one lump. If it is too crumbly, add 1 tspoon of water or the egg yolk (which you had separated before). If the dough is too sticky, add 1 tbspoon of flour. Do not refrigerate.
Roll it into a cylinder shape using your hands and divide it into 12 equal parts. With your fingertips, flatten every piece into a circle slightly bigger than your cookie cutter for pies. Cut out the circles and gently press them into your greased mould. If they crack while you do this (and they often do -)), just patch them up with some small pieces of leftover dough. It will all seal up nicely in the oven anyway. With the palms of your hands, roll out the leftover dough into small (1.5cm diameter) balls and flatten them on the surface into a shape which is slightly bigger than your star cookie cutter. Cut out the stars and put them aside.
Fill the pies with mincemeat and cover them with your pastry stars. Bake on 160◦C (gas mark 3) for 25 mins.