Everyone can enjoy mince pies, even those who are gluten and dairy intolerant! Don’t be put off by the xantham gum – it’s just a type of starch available from health food shops
- 90g (3oz) brown rice flour
- 90g (3oz) potato flour
- 90g (3oz) fine cornmeal (polenta)
- 1 heaped tsp xanthan gum
- 150g (5oz) dairy-free spread, in slivers
- 60g (2oz) caster sugar
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- 410g jar mincemeat (check ingredients for gluten and dairy products)
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- 6.5cm (2½ in) plain round cutter and a small star cutter
- 2 trays of 12 patty tins
Sift the flours, cornmeal and xanthan gum into a mixing bowl and cut the spread in with a knife. Stir in the sugar, then add the egg and stir it in with a knife. Bring the pastry together with your hands – it will be quite soft.
Dust the surface with a little rice flour and knead the dough gently to a flattish round. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes or overnight.
Roll out, with more rice flour on the surface, to about 3mm (? in) thick and cut out rounds and stars. Chill the pastry cases in the tins and the stars (on a plate) while the oven heats up. (Because it is a slightly sticky dough, it is easier to roll out a quarter of it at a time).
Set the oven to fairly hot, 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Put a good tsp of mincemeat in each pastry case and place a star on top. Bake for 15-20 mins until the pastry is golden. Take out of the tins and cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar.
Serve warm or cold. Store in an airtight tin and eat within 2 days.
Xanthan gum is a very useful ingredient for gluten-free baking. You can sometimes find it in the 'free from' aisle of major supermarkets. Otherwise, try a local health food shop.