Christmas 2018: How to make mouth-watering mince pies
Britons consume more than 780 million mince pies each Christmas. These sweet treats are a staple for the season for many, but not all Britons are able to eat traditional mince pies. Express.co.uk has compiled a tasty recipe for gluten-free and dairy-free mince pies to satiate the hunger of those unable to eat traditional mince pies.
How to make a gluten-free and dairy-free mince pie
- One large apple (around 200g), peeled and grated
- 200g mixed dried fruit
- 390g jar black cherries in kirsch
- 100g skinless hazelnuts, roasted and roughly chopped
- One orange, zested and juiced
- One tsp cinnamon
- One tsp ginger
- One tsp allspice
- 150g dark brown sugar.
For the pastry:
- 400g flour
- 200g coconut oil, straight from the fridge (as solid as possible)
- 20g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 50ml ice-cold vodka (see tip below)
- 50ml non-dairy milk, for brushing
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Begin by heating your oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas Mark 4.
Place all of the mincemeat filling ingredients into a casserole dish and make sure to include half the kirsch from the jar of cherries.
Mix all these ingredients together before covering with a lid or a sheet of foil.
Bake these ingredients for 35 to 40 minutes, until all the sugar has melted, the mixture is bubbling slightly at the edges and the liquid has reduced.
The mixture firms a little as it cools, so make sure not to over-reduce these ingredients.
Set these ingredients aside to cool.
You can store these baked ingredients for up to three days once chilled in the fridge.
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To make your pastry you should tip the flour and coconut oil into a food processor and pulse the ingredients until the mixture becomes breadcrumb consistency.
Add sugar and pulse these ingredients to combine.
Pour in the vodka and two tablespoons of ice-cold water.
Pulse the pastry mixture until it is just beginning to come together.
Add after two tablespoons of ice-cold water if the mixture is too dry.
Tap the dough onto a clean surface and pat it into a disc with your hands.
Be sure to avoid touching the dough when your hands are overly warm as it can affect pastry dough.
Wrap the dough in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and cut off at least one-third of the pastry, keeping this part covered under a tea towel.
Cut the rest of the mixture into five chunks and squeeze one chunk at a time with your hands until it is malleable.
Roll out the mixture onto a well-floured surface to 0.5cm thickness and cut out circles using a 9cm cookie cutter tool.
Line 18 holes of two 12-hole cupcake tins with these pastry discs.
Place a heaped spoonful of the mincemeat in the middle of each circle before placing the pies in the fridge.
Take the remaining pastry from underneath the tea towel and roll out 0.5cm thickness.
Transfer this to a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and chill for up to 15 minutes to firm up.
Heat your oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas Mark 4 and then remove the pastry sheet from the fridge and cut nine circles using an 8cm cookie cutter tool, then use a star cutter to cut out the middle of those circles.
Bridge the mince pies out of the fridge and top half of them with the stamped out circles and the others with the stars.
Use your fingers to seal the tops and bases before brushing them with milk and then proceed by baking them for 30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden brown.
Cool the pies a little before dusting with icing sugar.
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