Feeling festive

It’s practically Christmas, well that’s what the shops are telling me – aisle upon aisle of Christmassy items, yummy treats, Christmas pudding and good old mince pies. There are just too many tempting items but I can’t eat any of them.

I’ve tried gluten free mince pies and Christmas pudding before and while both are pretty yummy but I didn’t feel so great after. This year, it just wasn’t going to work, all that sugar and my pregnancy stomach – I was heading for disaster.

People are always talking about their home made mince pies – it can’t be that difficult can it? The last time I made pastry was at secondary school but I have a rolling pin in my kitchen and a mixing bowl, surely it’s a good start?!

Ok so this was going to involve a bit of trial and error but I was determined to make a mince pie worthy for my stomach!

Number 1 – pastry

Now gluten free flour isn’t an option, I chose spelt and did a quick google search for some sweet spelt pastry recipes and came across this one by Sharpham Park – the drawback, it contains sugar this would need to be substituted for sweetener. So I followed the recipe changed the sugar to 1:8 of sweetener and prayed that it would turn out ok, left it in the fridge while I moved onto the filling.

Number 2 – filling

All I could think about was brandy soaked, sweet mincemeat! Some changes were needed here too so I bought a pack of mixed fruit that included a bit of citrus peel, soaked the fruit in some apple juice and added in 2 – 3 tablespoons of apple puree and some left over almond flakes that I had in the cupboard.

Number 3– uh oh I don’t have a pastry cutter!

So after rolling out my pastry on a floured surface I didn’t have a muffin tray or a pastry cutter but there had to be a way round. Nope the flour jar lid was too big and the jam jar lid too small, in the end I settled for a glass and it worked. I cut out my rounds and ensured that I had a lid for each pie, filled a silicone cup cake cases with a circle of pastry and added in a teaspoon and a half of filling. Popped on the lid and sealed it down with a bit of water.

Number 4 – let’s cook

This was either going to be make or break! I left the pies in the oven at 180 until the tops started to go golden. Left them to cool and voila – a super tasty mince pie that I could finally eat!

Presentation wise they probably needed a bit of a glaze on the top, perhaps some egg before they went into the oven or a sprinkling of sweetener or icing sugar after but they certainly tasted good!

You can find the recipe here