“I’m not a fan of baking or making desserts, cakes, treats or sweets (even if they have a healthier form of sugar in them) as they are still going to disrupt our blood sugar levels. The abundance of sweet foods on offer over Christmas can so easily dent our willpower and health, but I am not the Christmas Scrooge! I have given in to your requests for festive treats – it’s Christmas after all. If anything was going to tempt me, it would definitely be a mince pie, but because they are made with gluten I always miss out. So here is an easy gluten-free recipe. Remember, these pies are not to be gorged on in the assumption that they are healthy – make them, enjoy one and share the rest with your loved ones.”
For the pastry:
200g gluten-free plain flour (I use Doves Farm), plus extra for dusting
100g coconut butter unflavoured, plus extra for oiling (I use Tiana butter)
75ml cold filtered water
Icing sugar, for dusting
For the filling:
200g dried mixed fruit (I use raisins and currants)
Juice and zest of 1 orange, grated
Juice and zest of 1 lemon, grated
4 tbsp apple purée (I make my own, but you can buy sugar free)
1/2 nutmeg, grated
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp unflavoured coconut butter
You will need a 12-hole metal cupcake/muffin tin and a round cutter (or a glass or jam jar), about 7cm wide.
Using your hands, mix the flour, coconut butter and water together in a large mixing bowl until it all comes together to form a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, put all the ingredients into a blender and roughly chop (I use my hand-held blender as I like to keep some texture). Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and lightly oil 10 holes of the cupcake/muffin tin with coconut oil.
Lightly dust a board with some flour and rollout the dough (in two batches if that’s easier)until it is roughly 5mm thick, then cut into 20 rounds with the cutter.
Arrange half of the pastry rounds into the prepared tin pushing them gently down around the edges. Put 1 teaspoon of filling into the middle of each round, then place a second round on top and press down gently to seal. Using a fork, pierce the top of each pie, then bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Sprinkle with a little icing sugar and enjoy!