Gluten Free Mince Pies

VO66mincep6

Once you have allowed your mincemeat to fully develop its flavour over a few weeks you can start on the mince pies. There is nothing like the smell of a baking mince pie, it is better than any Christmas scented candle for making your home smell festive. The pastry recipe here has always been my go to but this year I have been experimenting with psyllium husk instead of  xanthan gum and  I would add 2 teaspoons of  psyllium husk instead of the 1 1/2 teaspoons of xanthan gum to the 12 ounces of flour in the recipe below but feel free to use whichever you have to hand, both will work but adding either to the flour does make a pastry that is easier to handle

It is now getting perilously close to Christmas, this week for me is going to be full of the madness of finding and decorating a tree, starting my gift shopping, going to a couple of Christmas parties and trying to wrap up work for the year, in other words this is going to be a stressful  few weeks. As an antidote to this I am planning on spending as many evenings as possible wrapped in a blanket on the couch watching Christmas movies and eating nice things.
A good mince pie should be full of flavour, ideally a bit sticky from syrupy juices that have bubbled up over the crust during baking, it should be golden brown, crisp and very moreish.
I have had a few dodgy experiences with bought Gluten Free mince pies in the past, one exploded in a cloud of sweet dust as soon as I bit in to it and I spent the next ten minutes choking on icing sugar and crumbled pastry, this was not pleasant. I am sure things have improved but to be honest I like my own so much that I am not going to spend ridiculous money on GF mice pies just to see if they are any good.
The pies I make use a pastry that is a version of the pastry I make for quiche and savoury tarts as I find it stands up well to a rich fruit filling. This basic recipe is embellished with sugar, orange zest and juice and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar to give it a seasonal flavour.

Ingredients
12 ounces Doves Farm Gluten Free plain flour
1 &1/2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum OR 2 teaspoons of pysllium husk
¼ teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of caster sugar
3 ounces of butter, chilled
3 ounces of lard, chilled
Zest and juice of one large orange

1 egg beaten for egg wash
1 tablespoon caster sugar mixed with a ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon for sprinkling

V066mincep1 (1)

  • • In a bowl stir together the flour, sugar, xanthan gum (or psyllium husk), salt and orange zest
    • Grate or cut in the chilled butter and lard.
    • Rub in the fats with your fingers until you have a fine breadcrumb consistency
    • Make a well in the centre and add enough of the orange juice to make a nice firm dough, if you don’t get enough juice from your orange you can add a bit of water.
    • Wrap the dough in cling film and allow to chill in the fridge for at least a half hour.
    • While the dough is chilling pre heat the oven to Gas 6, 200, 400f
  • V)66mincep2
    • Butter your baking sheet, I use a bun tray as I like a deep filled mince pie but use whatever mould you like.
    • Remove the dough from the fridge and place on a floured surface, roll it out to a thickness of about ¼- ½ cm.
    • Using a pastry cutter or a giant wine glass, cut the pastry to fit your baking tray.
    • To top the pie you could use another circle of pastry to make a completely closed in pie, you could use a star cutter or any other shape you like or you could cut your pastry in to strips and create a lattice work effect on the pie.
  • VO66mincep3
    • Fill each pie with about a teaspoon and a half of mincemeat and brush the edges and the top of the pie with the egg-wash.
    • Sprinkle the surface of the pie with the cinnamon sugar mix and pop the trays in the oven. This amount of pastry made 2 trays of 12 pies and I swapped shelves halfway through the baking to ensure even cooking.
    • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, keep an eye on them towards the end of the baking time as they can go from pale gold to charred in a matter of minutes.
  • VO66mincep4 (1)

These pies freeze really well, just defrost and heat in a warm oven and they should crisp up nicely. Enjoy on their own, with a good dollop of whipped cream, or brandy butter but definitely enjoy them with good company and as much festive cheer as you can muster.

VOmincep5

Advertisements

Gluten Free Mincepies

 

 

VO66mincep6

One last repost from last year as the pastry in these mincepies is the best and works so well gluten free that I don’t think I will ever risk trying any other kind. The combination of lard and butter makes for a crisp yet sturdy crust that holds upwell against the bubbling juices of the mincemeat and the addition of orange juice gives it an extra bit of luxury. Coming up soon will be the best gluten free sponge for trifle and some other festive treats.

It is now getting perilously close to Christmas, this week for me is going to be full of the madness of finding and decorating a tree, starting my gift shopping, going to a couple of Christmas parties and trying to wrap up work for the year, in other words this is going to be a stressful week. As an antidote to this I am planning on spending as many evenings as possible wrapped in a blanket on the couch watching Christmas movies and eating nice things, I started this balm for the soul over the weekend with red wine, cheese and Fred Clause followed by a rousing dose of Die Hard and I am planning on moving on to mince pies, more red wine and possibly Elf this evening.
A good mince pie should be full of flavour, ideally a bit sticky from syrupy juices that have bubbled up over the crust during baking, it should be golden brown, crisp and very moreish.
I have had a few dodgy experiences with bought Gluten Free mince pies in the past, one exploded in a cloud of sweet dust as soon as I bit in to it and I spent the next ten minutes choking on icing sugar and crumbled pastry, this was not pleasant. I am sure things have improved but to be honest I like my own so much that I am not going to spend ridiculous money on GF mice pies just to see if they are any good.
The pies I make use a pastry that is a version of the pastry I make for quiche and savoury tarts as I find it stands up well to a rich fruit filling. This basic recipe is embellished with sugar, orange zest and juice and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar to give it a seasonal flavour.

Ingredients
12 ounces Doves Farm Gluten Free plain flour
1 &1/2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum
¼ teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of caster sugar
3 ounces of butter, chilled
3 ounces of lard, chilled
Zest and juice of one large orange

1 egg beaten for egg wash
1 tablespoon caster sugar mixed with a ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon for sprinkling

V066mincep1 (1)

  • • In a bowl stir together the flour, sugar, xanthan gum, salt and orange zest
    • Grate or cut in the chilled butter and lard.
    • Rub in the fats with your fingers until you have a fine breadcrumb consistency
    • Make a well in the centre and add enough of the orange juice to make a nice firm dough, if you don’t get enough juice from your orange you can add a bit of water.
    • Wrap the dough in cling film and allow to chill in the fridge for at least a half hour.
    • While the dough is chilling pre heat the oven to Gas 6, 200, 400f
  • V)66mincep2
    • Butter your baking sheet, I use a bun tray as I like a deep filled mince pie but use whatever mould you like.
    • Remove the dough from the fridge and place on a floured surface, roll it out to a thickness of about ¼- ½ cm.
    • Using a pastry cutter or a giant wine glass, cut the pastry to fit your baking tray.
    • To top the pie you could use another circle of pastry to make a completely closed in pie, you could use a star cutter or any other shape you like or you could cut your pastry in to strips and create a lattice work effect on the pie.
  • VO66mincep3
    • Fill each pie with about a teaspoon and a half of mincemeat and brush the edges and the top of the pie with the egg-wash.
    • Sprinkle the surface of the pie with the cinnamon sugar mix and pop the trays in the oven. This amount of pastry made 2 trays of 12 pies and I swapped shelves halfway through the baking to ensure even cooking.
    • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, keep an eye on them towards the end of the baking time as they can go from pale gold to charred in a matter of minutes.
  • VO66mincep4 (1)

These pies freeze really well, just defrost and heat in a warm oven and they should crisp up nicely. Enjoy on their own, with a good dollop of whipped cream, or brandy butter but definitely enjoy them with good company and as much festive cheer as you can muster.

VOmincep5

Gluten Free Homemade Mincemeat

 

 

VO62mm1

Now that another Halloween is behind us it is time to start focussing on Christmas! The Christmas lights have started to go up, the window decorations are in and it is time to get going on puddings, chutneys, pickles, mincemeat and Christmas Cake. This recipe for gluten free mincemeat is a repost from last year, I have a few new Christmas recipes to post but this recipe is tried and tested and I love it.

So we are trundling along with festive recipes starting with Gluten Free Pudding last week, soon I will post a recipe for my favourite mince pies but first I want to try and tempt you to make your own mincemeat, I have seen jars of GF mincemeat in a health food shops but I have to say there is nothing like homemade mincemeat, once you try it you may find that you never go back to the shop bought variety.

Making your own mincemeat gives you so much control over what goes in to your pies. If you don’t like currants ( fruit of the devil in my eyes) than you don’t need to add currents, you can substitute another dried fruit instead, if you hate candied peel again you can use something else, in the past I have used dried papaya, pineapple and mango instead of mixed peel and the results were delicious. I use flaked almonds in my mincemeat, my Mum thinks these resemble nail clippings so she uses chopped almonds. As long as the quantities work you can feel free to experiment.
What makes this Gluten Free is that I use lard rather than suet as suet is often dusted with flour to stop it sticking, if you want a vegetarian version of this you could use butter. Prep your jars by washing thoroughly and leaving to dry in a low temperature oven, Gas 1 or the equivalent. Store the mincemeat in a cool dry place.

Ingredients
400 grams of raisins
400 grams of sultanas
115 grams of dried cranberries
115 grams of dried cherries
350 grams of soft dark brown sugar
4 teaspoons of mixed spice
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
½ nutmeg grated
50 grams of slivered almonds
450 grams cooking apples, peeled, cored and grated.
225 grams of lard, grated
Zest and juice of 2 lemon
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
6 tablespoons of brandy

VO62mm2
1. Place the dried fruit, sugar, spices and almonds in a bowl and stir with a fork to combine.

VO62mm3
2. Add the grated apple, grated lard, the zest and juice of the lemons and orange and stir through the fruit until thoroughly mixed.
3. Cover the bowl and leave to sit in a cool, dry place for 12 hours or overnight.
4. Heat your oven to Gas ½, 120c / 225, and place the mincemeat in an oven proof dish. Cover loosely with foil and place in the oven for 3 hours. This process melts the lard which will then coat the fruit preventing fermentation taking place.

VO62mm4
5. Remove the mincemeat from the oven and leave to cool completely, stirring now and then to stop the lard from setting in pools, you want to make sure the lard is evenly distributed and fully coats the fruit.
6. When the fruit is cool stir in the brandy and spoon in to your prepared jars. Cover with wax discs and seal tightly.

VO62mm5
Store the jars in a cool dry place until you are ready to use it. Try to give the mincemeat at least a few weeks to mellow and for the flavour to develop before using.

Gluten Free Christmas Pudding

VO61pud2

 

Things are starting to feel very festive and the chaos of Grafton Street last week with hundreds of people giddy about the Christmas lights being turned on ( or seeing your man from Love Hate) I was reminded that it was about time I got a move on with my Christmas baking. First up was the pudding and as my Mum had made a beautiful pudding for me last year I asked for the recipe and it turned out to be from Nevin Maguire.

 
I don’t know if you have ever watched Nevins Maguire’s cooking shows but having recently discovered the joy of the internet and RTE Player I have been getting a quick fix of cooking shows and I would recommend his show to anyone with high anxiety, that show is possibly the most relaxing thing on television, I can actually feel my stress levels decrease as I am watching. I also enjoy that he shows how the very intricate looking recipes from his restaurant can be broken down and prepared at home, it reminds me of the very excellent blog, French Laundry at Home, http://carolcookskeller.blogspot.ie/, by Carol Blymire, the site is no longer active but the archives are definitely worth a read.

 

 

On to the pudding, this is Nevin’s recipe with three tweaks, the first is that he calls for rice flour, I didn’t have any and as it was only 50gramms I used my Plain Gluten Free flour, second, he uses mixed peel and I abhor mixed peel, it is vile stuff so I substituted dried cherries, thirdly he uses rum but to me Christmas baking is all about brandy so that is what I used. If you like the sound of the original recipe I will include those ingredients so you can choose your own adventure.

 

 

Ingredients

 
This makes one 1.1 litre pudding

VO61pud4 (1)
140 grams gluten free bread crumbs. I whizzed up some of the Aldi white bread for this.
50 grams of Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain Flour (or rice flour)
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground mixed spice
½ teaspoon gluten free baking powder
50 grams of ground almond
100 grams light muscovado sugar

200 grams of raisins
200 grams of sultanas
50 grams of dried cherries, roughly chopped (or mixed peel)

100 grams of butter, melted
100grams cooking apples, peeled and grated (about 1 large apple)
100 grams carrots, peeled and grated

Zest of half a lemon
Zest of half and orange
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of black treacle
2 tablespoons of brandy (or rum)

VO61pud6
1. Butter your pudding bowl and line the base with baking grease proof paper

  1. Sift together the flour, spices and baking powder

  2. Pour over the melted butter and stir to combine

  3. Add in the dried fruit & cherries, grated carrot & apple, brown sugar, bread crumbs and ground almonds, mix thoroughly

  4. Warm the treacle slightly and add the eggs, brandy and zest and whisk to combine

  5. Add the treacle mix to the fruit /flour mix and give the whole lot a good stir

  6. Spoon the mix in to the prepared pudding bowl and line the top with a piece of grease proof paper, cover the top of the pudding bowl with a double thickness of grease proof paper and secure the paper tightly with a piece of string, cover this with a layer of tinfoil or the lid of your pudding bowl.

  7. Place the bowl in a large pot and fill the pot with hot water until it is up to two thirds of the side of the pudding bowl. Bring the water to a steady strong simmer and put on the lid on the pot, steam the pudding for four hours until the pudding has risen and the surface is firm to the touch. Check the level of the water every now and then and top up with hot water as needed.

  8. Once the pudding is cooked remove the foil and grease proof paper and recover the pudding with fresh layers of each. Store your pudding somewhere dry and cool and when you are ready to reheat steam the pudding again for two hours.

VO61pud7

Serve this warm with fresh whipped cream, ice cream, custard or brandy butter.