The other day, my better half was reading a book which said “if you’re going to eat mince pies, they should be the best available” and that the best mincemeat did not come from a shop bought jar.
So, I decided I would make my own mincemeat and gluten free pastry for the mince pies. Here’s the recipes:
Mincemeat (2.5 Jars)
- 1 large Bramley apple (200g ish) cored and chopped into currant sized pieces – there’s no need to peel;
- 75g shredded suet (we used vegetable suet)
- 120g raisins;
- 75g sultanas;
- 75g currants;
- 75g candied mixed peel;
- 120g soft dark brown sugar;
- Zest & juice of 1 orange & 1 lemon;
- 1.5 tsps ground mixed spice;
- 0.5 tsp ground cinnamon;
- 0.25 tsp grated nutmeg;
- 3 tbsp brandy
Thoroughly mix all of the ingredients except the brandy in an oven proof dish (with a lid) and leave them covered overnight or for 12 hours.
Then, pre-heat the oven for 110C and cook for about three hours. At this point, the mixture will look very fatty, but don’t worry, what you are trying to do is to coat everything in the melted suet.
Leave it to cool, stirring occasionally. Sterilise the jars by washing them in warm soapy water, rinsing and putting them into the oven at 180C. When the mincemeat is quite cool, stir it again and pack into the jars, covered with waxed discs and sealed.
Leave it to mature for a few days.
Gluten Free Pastry
I’ve struggled with Gluten Free pastry. It seems to come out more like cardboard. However, I found that by adding an egg, it improves the texture but, it’s important not to make it too wet and sticky otherwise you can’t roll it out. So, this recipe seems to work for me.
Ingredients (for 9 mince pies)
- 88g gluten free plain flour;
- 0.25tsp xanthum gum;
- 25g castor sugar;
- 38g unsalted butter (cold & cut into small cubes);
- 1 egg – beaten
Mix the flour, xanthum gum and sugar together in a bowl. Add the butter and work carefully with your fingers until it’s the texture of breadcrumbs. Now is the careful bit. Add the egg a little at a time, mixing with a fork until it just comes together. It’s best to add less egg, rather than more because you want it dry, not sticky. Work with your hands to form into a smooth ball wrap it in cling film and leave it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Roll out the pastry between floured sheets of baking parchment. Cut bottoms and tops, fill with the mincemeat. Use the left over egg mixed with a little milk to make a wash on the top.
Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes at 170C.