Saturday 21 December 2013

Starry Mince Pies with Zesty Orange Pastry (& Choc Shot Giveaway Winner)

I can’t believe Christmas is mere days away; it’s probably close enough to start counting down in hours! I have been so busy recently that I am quite behind on my festive baking. Last weekend I realised with shock that I hadn’t yet eaten a mince pie this Christmas! Being coeliac means it’s not so easy to come across gluten free mince pies at social gatherings or in bakers shops and I hadn’t got round to baking my own. I decided this would definitely not do and set about rectifying this immediately.

To give my mince pies a bit of an extra festive touch I flavoured the gluten free pastry with some orange zest. This gave the pastry a nice golden hue and a little extra zesty freshness. I liked how I could see the orange strands speckled throughout the pastry too. I love the combination of fresh orange with the heady spices used in the sweet boozy mincemeat.

I also topped the pies with pastry stars rather than round lids, as I like to see the mincemeat poking out between the stars points. Once baked they were given a light dusting of icing sugar and they were good to enjoy – or should that be scoffed considering I ate three in one afternoon? Oh well, they say pastry is best eaten on the day of baking, and I needed to make up for lost time.

I used the leftover scraps of pastry to make some festive pastry shapes, which I baked and devoured while still warm straight out the oven. This is a little treat that my mum always used to allow us to do whenever she made anything with pastry. It always makes me feel nostalgic and there’s no point letting it go to waste.

How many mince pies have you eaten this year? Do you even like mince pies? If not, what’s your festive go to treat?
In case I don’t blog again before Christmas I hope you all have a wonderful fun, friend, family and food filled festive day!

Starry Mince Pies with Zesty Orange Pastry
200g gluten free plain flour blend
90g butter
1 egg
40g icing sugar
Zest of 1 orange
½ tsp xanthan gum
1-2 tbsp water
½ jar gluten free mincemeat (most is GF but always best to check)
2 tsp milk for brushing
2 tbsp extra icing sugar for decoration

Preheat your oven to 180C and have a 12 holed muffin tin to hand.
Mix the flour, 40g icing sugar, orange zest and xanthan gum together in a bowl.
Cut the butter into cubes, add to the flour and rub together using the tips fo your fingers, lifting the flour and butter up above the bowl and letting it fall back in as you squish the two together. Continue until the butter is broken down and coated in flour, it should look like chunky breadcrumbs.
Beat the egg, add to the bowl along with 1 tbsp water. Mix in using the tip of a round bladed butter knife. Once mostly incorporated using your hands to bring the mixture together to form a dough. Add a tiny bit more water if it seems too dry, but you don’t want a wet dough.
Knead the dough gently for 1 minute to ensure everything is well combined.
Roll out the pastry between two large sheets of clingfilm until 3-4mm thick.
Use a fluted cutter to cut out rounds to fit the wells of your muffin or tart tin. Gather up the off-cuts and re-roll them before cutting out 12 stars to act as pasty lids.
Fill the pastry shells with 1 heaped teaspoon of mincemeat and top each with a pastry star. Brush the tops with a little milk.
Bake in the oven for 18-22 minutes until lightly golden and firm to the touch.
Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before lifting out and transferring to a wire rack to cool.
Dust with icing sugar and enjoy while still warm.
Makes 12 mince pies
Note: Re-roll any leftover pastry scraps and cut out some festive shapes. Place on a baking tray and bake for 12-18 minutes (depending on size). Once baked, dust with icing sugar and enjoy while still hot.

Choc Shot Giveaway Winner
I’m also delighted to announce that the winner of the Choc Shot giveaway is… comment Number 5 – The Caked Crusader!
Her comment was picked by a random number generator. Congratulations Caked Crusader. I’ll be contacting you shortly for your address.


Johanna GGG said...

they look beautiful - I've not had many mince pies this year - still not sure if I should bake more or not - I love how you use up the scraps - I still have scraps of pastry from my mince tarts in the fridge and wondering if it will be more mince tarts or jam tarts

Gluten Free Alchemist said...

Your pastry looks delightful Katie! Gluten free pastry can be quite tricky, but this looks like a fab mix... I love the way you've used the orange zest in the pastry too....Nice touch! Have a great Christmas x

Elle said...

Love the star as the top crust...really pretty and festive. I'm not a big fan of mince but I do love nut tarts and cookies at Christmas. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas! When we were allowed to use up the pastry scraps like you did when I was growing up, we sprinkled the pastry with cinnamon sugar before baking. Brings back good memories.

The Caked Crusader said...

Thanks for the prize - I rarely win anything!

I always go for the star topped mince pie too now - people seem to prefer less pastry

Happy Christmas

Unknown said...

Love the star topping... Have always wanted to try making a mince pie but never have done it! Belated Merry Christmas, and Happy 2014 :)

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

These are so perfect looking! I don't actually like the taste of mince pies but love how cute yours look with the star on top and the zesty orange pastry sounds delish...I'm also loving the Christmas tree lights bokeh in the background!!