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Gluten Free Mince Pies

If all these great UX articles are beginning to give you indigestion (quality articles? Never!) then consider indulging in a different project today—Gluten Free Mince Pies.

This recipe is adapted from Alex Stuart and first appeared in the Cook app.

Serves—14

Time—2hr, 40 min

Ingredients:

Pastry:

  • 1 cup tapioca
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp each of powdered vanilla bean & cinnamon
  • 125g butter (nice & cold, roughly cubed)
  • 2 tbsp really well chilled water
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup or rice malt syrup

Pie filling:

  • 1 cup dried currants
  • 1 cup loosely packed dried dates (fine chopped)
  • 1 1/4 cup finely chopped red apple
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped orange peel
  • 1/2 cup rice malt syrup or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (heaped)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean powder (or 2tsp vanilla bean extract)
  • 30g butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1/3 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp water
  • juice of 1/2 an orange
  • pinch sea salt

Snow

  • desiccated coconut

Method:

  1. Place chopped apple, orange peel, orange juice, water, tablespoon of the butter into a saucepan and simmer on low for 20 minutes to soften the apple and orange with the LID ON. Then lift the lid and simmer a further 5 minutes. If for some reason all liquid has evaporated and ingredients are sticking, don’t panic, just add a tiny splash more water or o/j.
  2. Add all the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10-15 minutes on low until a smooshy gooey texture has been created. Once you’ve achieved that, switch off and spoon into a cool bowl and set aside. If you can leave this over night for the flavours to all get to know each other, then that’s perfect, if not, no stress. They’ll still be delicious!
  3. For the pastry, get all of your flours into your food processor. Blitz them for a few seconds together to aerate.
  4. Add the cold chopped butter and pulse until butter is in tiny pieces through the flours / a bit sandy looking. Usually takes 4-5 pulses.
  5. Add the syrup, your egg and pulse a couple of times.
  6. Add 1 tablespoon of water. Pulse again a couple of times. If pastry hasn’t come together yet, pulse again with another tbsp of chilled water.
  7. Spread a little tapioca flour onto a parchment paper sheet and put your ball of pastry onto it. Sprinkle some on your hands too.
  8. Get your mini baking paper cups ready and then roll your pastry quickly in your hands into a double sized macadamia ball and pop one each into all the mini muffin cups.
  9. Press the centre of the ball with your thumb and then easy the pastry out to the full width of the muffin cups, and your pastry at this point should be about 3mm thick all around. Coax the pastry lined muffin cups into your mini muffin tin, and repeat until you’ve done them all. Don’t make more than 18 if you want star shaped tops, but if you’re just doing little round tops, you can do 20.
  10. Put those pastry lined tins into your fridge for 15 minutes. If you skip this step, you will not have the best pastry result possible. Trust me, it’s worth it for that beautiful crumbly, biscuity vibe.
  11. Preheat the oven to 200 celcius / 400 farenheit, without the fan setting on. The fan will give too much power and brown the edges too much resulting in over cooked + under cooked combo – not good!
  12. While your pastry cups are chilling, make your tops either little circular biscuits or cookie cutter christmas shapes.
  13. Pull out your pastry cups, and swap with the tops now to give them some fridge time before baking.
  14. To bake your cups: Place them in the oven, and at about the 10 minute mark, put your thumb in a tea towel so you don’t burn yourself, and press the pastry out and down at the bottom, so it doesn’t puff up and leaves plenty of room for a good dollop of mince.
  15. You could blind bake with a few beans or pastry weights in another muffin liner inside each cup – I did half and half, but there was no difference other than the base not crisping up as well, so I feel the press half way method was the best result.
  16. Bake a further 10 minutes, so about 20 minutes total, until the edges of the tops are nicely golden. Take out of the tray and cool on a rack. Once cool, take away the muffin tin liners and you’ll have perfect and very solid little pastry cups.
  17. Bake your ‘tops’ – they will take less time around 12 minutes. Once the edges go a little golden, take them out to cool.
  18. When everything is cool, fill the mince into the cups and top with your chosen topper.
  19. To prepare the snow, just blend your desiccated coconut on high for 10 seconds, so that it’s particles become a little finer. Don’t do it for longer though, as you will start to release the oils and then it won’t sift in an airy, light way.
  20. Grab a sifter and sift the coconut onto your mince pies.

Stand back and be proud. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, isn’t it?

Jodie Moule

Jodie Moule

Jodie Moule is co-founder and director of Symplicit, an experience design consultancy based in Australia that focuses on research, strategy, and design services. With a background in psychology, her understanding of human behaviour is central to helping businesses see their brands through the eyes of customers, to influence the way they approach the design of their products, services, systems, and processes. You can follow Jodie on Twitter at @jodiemoule.

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