For those of you who are not familiar with fruit mince pies, they are part of the Christmas tradition in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. In the spirit of "quick and easy" I have blended together a fruit mixture that is ready in five minutes. I kept the blend very subtle, but feel free to add the spice quantities that tickle your fancy and make your taste buds dance. I also made mini mince pies using shallow half mini-muffin trays. These tiny pies can be devoured in two bites of Heaven. They are not too rich, not too sweet; but juuuuust right. These allergy-friendly (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free) vegan mince pies are quick and easy, and absolutely delicious - just the perfect treat to end 2010 with.
To make the pastry
- 1⁄2 cup white rice flour
- 1⁄4 cup tapioca flour
- 1⁄4 cup garbanzo bean flour
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 pinch of celtic sea salt
- 2 ounces , earth balance vegan buttery sticks spread (or Nuttalex vegan)
- 4 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons cold filtered water
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest
To make the filling
- 1⁄2 cup grated apple (peeled and grated)
- 2 tablespoons orange zest (about 2 medium oranges)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (about 1 small lemon)
- 1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 cup raisins
- 1⁄2 cup dried apricot
- 1⁄2 cup dried cherries
- 1⁄2 cup dried cranberries
- 1⁄2 cup dried blueberries
- 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- To make the pastry:.
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Grease mini half muffin tins and line a small baking tray with parchment paper.
- Sift together flours, xanthan and salt in to a mixing bowl.
- In your food processor cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth and well combined.
- Gradually add in the dry ingredients and lemon zest until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
- Add in a tablespoon of water at a time - just enough to create a soft workable dough.
- Knead this dough with a bit of rice flour until workable.
- Wrap the ball of dough in some plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about half an hour.
- To make the filling:.
- Place all ingredients in the food processor with the chopping blade and puree until smooth.
- Adjust spices and sweetener to taste and then allow to sit.
- Makes 2 cups.
- To assemble:.
- Roll out the dough between two pieces of baking paper.
- Cut bottom cases out with a cookie cutter and place those shells in the mini muffin holes.
- Then cut the top stars with a tiny star cutter and place those on the baking tray.
- Bake the cases in the oven for about 10 minutes or until just browned.
- The stars will only take about 5 minutes.
- Fill each case with filling and then top with a star.
- Bake for another 5 minutes and then allow to cool.
- Serve plain or dust with icing sugar to serve.