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Gluten free, FODMAP friendly mince pies

Nut free, dairy free, fructose friendly Makes 12 small-medium mince pies
Servings: 12 mince pies

Ingredients

For the fruit mince:

  • 500 g Kent or Japanese pumpkin chopped into roughly 1/2 centimetre cubes
  • 1 1/3 cups 275g caster sugar
  • 5 tablespoons orange juice
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Campari or liquor or choice
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 20 g cubed ginger optional
  • Sprig of rosemary optional

To finish:

  • 2 teaspoons tapioca flour

For the pastry:

  • 1 cup 130g fine white rice flour
  • 1/4 cup 25g glutinous rice flour (otherwise known as sticky rice flour)
  • 1/4 cup 25g tapioca flour
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • Pinch of fine salt
  • 100 g cold butter cubed
  • 100 g full fat sour cream chilled
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste I use Queen brand – they vary in thickness
  • Chilled vodka as needed (or water)

To finish:

  • 1 beaten egg for eggwash
  • Sugar for sprinkling (optional but delicious)

Instructions

To make the fruit mince:

  • The night before, combine all the ingredients for the fruit mince and allow to sit in a non-reactive bowl overnight. This will begin the process of flavouring and candying the pumpkin.
  • The next day (or at least 3-4 hours later) pour the mixture into a large saucepan or skillet. Place over a low-medium heat, and allow to cook for around 30 minutes, stirring intermittently. The slower you cook the mixture, the softer the pumpkin will be, so if you have the time you can cook it low and low for up to an hour.
  • The mixture should bubble throughout the cooking process. Eventually, a thickened syrup will form while the pumpkin pieces remain intact but soft. Once that syrup is sufficiently thick, remove the mince from the heat and allow to cool completely. If you have used the rosemary sprig, gently remove it and discard.

To make the pastry:

  • Combine the flours, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl, stirring to combine. Rub in the cubes of flour, using your forefinger and thumb to gradually press the butter and flour together. The end result should be the consistency of slightly damp sand, with small but visible pieces of butter throughout the mixture. These will form the flakiness of the pastry, so it’s important they don’t melt.
  • Add the cold sour cream and vanilla bean paste and use a spoon to stir most of the way. Once it has been mostly incorporated, use your hands to bring the dough together. The aim is to create a ball of dough that is smooth and easy to handle – not too craggy and dry, but also not too wet that it sticks to your hands. To that end, add vodka by the teaspoon and only as necessary – even if it’s just a teaspoon to bring it all together.
  • Once the dough is in a ball, wrap it in beeswax wrap or cling film and place in the fridge for around 30 minutes.

To make into mince pies:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 356 degrees Fahrenheit, and grease your cupcake tray liberally with butter.
  • Liberally (tapioca) flour a large piece of baking paper on a dry, clean bench.
  • Place the dough on the sheet and liberally flour the top. Cut off about 1/4 of the pastry to set aside for the tops of the pies.
  • Roll the remaining pastry out into a large rough rectangle, about 1/2 centimetre thick. If the pastry keeps cracking, allow it to warm up a little. If it’s too soft to handle, pop it in the fridge for 5 minutes.
  • Use a circular cutter significantly larger than your cupcake tray holes to cut the bases for the mince pies. Lower each pastry round into a cupcake tray hole, gently pressing it flush against the sides but without stretching the dough. Any tears can easily be patched up with your fingers, and excessive dough around the edges can be neatly trimmed.
  • Continue this process until you have lined 12 cupcake holes.
  • Stir the tapioca flour into the fruit mince until it’s well combined. This will thicken it a little and ensure it doesn’t seep out and create soggy pastry.
  • Fill the pastry with the fruit mince and place in the fridge while you make the lids.
  • Roll the reserved pastry out into a 1/4-1/2 centimetre rectangle, flouring liberally whenever necessary. Use a cutter the same size or a little bigger than the muffin tin holes to cut out circles or stars for pastry lids. Continue until you have 12.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and remove the pie bottoms from the fridge. Use the egg to lightly egg wash the sides of the pies, and then press the lids gently but firmly atop to secure. Paint the tops of the pies with the egg wash, and then sprinkle over the sugar, if you’re using it.
  • Place the minced pies in the oven for 20 minutes, or until they smell fragrant and have coloured lightly. Turn the grill function on and continue to cook the pies for another couple of minutes, watching closely. Remove them when they are golden brown on top.
  • The pies can be served warm or cold, and keep well in an airtight container for up to a week.