Gluten Free Vegan Fruit Mince Pies6
It seems only fitting that the last of my gluten free Christmas recipes be a homage to my late grandfather, Frank; who could proudly polish off a dozen fruit mince pies in one sitting. We always wondered in amazement, how anyone could stomach that many? We also needed to isolate him to read his newspaper the next day, when all of that fruit mince was making its departure, starting with a series of unending lethal farts that contained enough gas to levitate a hot-air-balloon. Sufficed to say, grandpa spent a great part of Boxing Day on the toilet. But, when teased about it, he smugly claimed that "it was the sweetest way to clean out for the new year"!
For those of you who are not familiar with fruit mince pies, they are part of the Christmas tradition in the UK, Australia and New Zealand; and certainly a favourite at our "Fisher Family Christmas Extravaganza". Now, fruit mince pies are not for everyone - they are incredibly rich; and if you are not into dried fruit - steer clear! As for Frank - he couldn't get enough. As he would say - "bloody beautiful".
So when I set about creating my own fruit mince pie blend, it had to be "Frank worthy" - meaning, it was "all about the mince". My auntie Lynne's famous fruit cake mix makes phenomenal filling for fruit mince pies. But it is a tad too fiddly, frightfully expensive, needs to marinate for a month, and contains some toxic nasties not suitable for us sensitive piggies. There are some wonderful pre-made fruit mince mixtures on the market around Christmas time. However, seeing as I am not fond of packaged mixes, I wanted to make my own. However, if you want to make these gluten free mince pies even easier, you could always use pre-made mince. Most mince pie recipes call for the mince to marinate for a few days. But in the spirit of "quick and easy" I have blended together a fruit mixture that is ready in five minutes. I kept the blend very subtle, but feel free to add the spice quantities that tickle your fancy and make your taste buds dance. I also made mini fruit mince pies using shallow half mini-muffin trays. As we have learnt from Frank - a little goes a long way. Unless you want to be spending your Christmas paying homage to the toilet bowl. These tiny gluten free mince pies can be devoured in two bites of Heaven. They are not too rich, not too sweet; but juuuuust right.
If you are looking for allergy free recipes for Christmas this festive recipe hits the spot. This is also a great food processor recipe. These vegan mince pies are gluten free, dairy free, egg free nut free and sugar free. They are quick and easy, and absolutely delicious - just the perfect treat to end 2010 with.
I wish you and your families a wonderful Christmas filled with love, laughter and fun…and of course, tons of delicious food!
See you for a detox in 2011....and then more treats!
Gluten Free Vegan Fruit Mince Pies
To make the pastry:
- 1/2 cup white rice flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour
- 1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
- 1 tsp xanthan
- pinch of Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt
- 2 oz or 56 gms of Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks or Nuttelex vegan spread
- 4 Tbsp coconut palm sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp cold filtered water
- 1 tsp finely chopped lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 180 C.
- Grease mini half muffin tins and line a small baking tray with parchment paper.
- Sift together flours, xanthan and salt in to a mixing bowl.
- In your food processor cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth and well combined.
- Gradually add in the dry ingredients and lemon zest until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
- Add in a tablespoon of water at a time - just enough to create a soft workable dough.
- Knead this dough with a bit of rice flour until workable.
- Wrap the ball of dough in some plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about half an hour.
To make the filling:
- 1/2 cup grated apple (peeled and grated)
- 2 Tbsp orange zest (about 2 medium oranges)
- 1 tsp lemon zest (about 1 small lemon)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup dried apricots
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- Place all ingredients in the food processor with the chopping blade and puree until smooth.
- Adjust spices and sweetener to taste and then allow to sit.
- Makes 2 cups
- Roll out the dough between two pieces of baking paper.
- Cut bottom cases out with a cookie cutter and place those shells in the mini muffin holes.
- Then cut the top stars with a tiny star cutter and place those on the baking tray.
- Bake the cases in the oven for about 10 minutes or until just browned.
- The stars will only take about 5 minutes.
- Fill each case with filling and then top with a star.
- Bake for another 5 minutes and then allow to cool.
- Serve plain or dust with icing sugar to serve.
Piggy Cooking Tips
Adding flour into the food processor when mixing
I recommend using a food processor to make a lot of my batters. However, adding flours into the mixture can be time consuming and messy if you have to take the lid off every time you want to add something. In addition to this, the opening of the top if often a lot smaller than the width of a standard cup measurer and it is difficult to get the flours in evenly without losing a lot of it and making a mess. A quick trick to make this easer is to create a funnel with some parchment (baking) paper. Place this funnel into the feeding tube and this will allow the flours to slide in slowly and evenly.