I love a mince pie. I get slightly giddy when they start appearing on stalls and in shops, moaning that they shouldn’t be being baked or talked about before December but still eating them with glee anyway.
For me they’re best warm, packed full of as much mincemeat as possible and occasionally slathered in whisky butter. Shortcrust or puff I’m in, gluten free of course, and the mincemeat must be rich, full of flavour and spices that embody the festive season. Mmmm mmm mm. The only trouble is is that that delicious mincemeat is often really high in FODMAPs – which is not always ideal when you’ve got a sensitive gut.
It just so happened I was asked to participate in Bowel & Cancer Research’s campaign #giftsforyourgut this December, headed up by nutritionist Lily Soutter. My task was to share a recipe to help those of us whose guts need a bit of extra love through the holidays and I knew straight away what I wanted to test.
After much glorious testing here is my recipe! These low FODMAP mince pies are made with beautiful bright clementines and toasted pecans, instead of your usual dried fruit. They’re packed full of spices and dotted with stem ginger for a kick too. With the mincemeat surrounded by layers of delicate puff pastry, you won’t think twice about sharing these with family and friends this Christmas.
The recipe looks quite lengthy but don’t fear! You can make the mincemeat ahead of time, so on the day you want to bake, all you need to do is prep your pastry. The recipe will give you more mincemeat than is needed for the pies – but I find it goes very easily. Simply store it in a sterilised jar in the fridge and use in any other recipe that takes your fancy over the festive season.
The #giftsforyourgut campaign is running throughout December. The festive season can be really difficult for people living with a bowel condition but it doesn’t have to be! Keep an eye out for gut tips, more delicious recipes from contributors and you can share your favourite recipes using the hashtag too. Here’s to having a happy gut!
Mincemeat recipe adapted from the brilliant Vicki at Free From Fairy. Dried cranberries are FODMAP friendly in small amounts so don’t eat too many of these babies at one time.
- 300g clementines
- 100g dried cranberries
- 70g pecans
- 30g coconut oil
- 35g stem ginger, finely chopped
- 50g light soft brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 1-2 tablespoons whisky (optional)
- 400g gluten free puff pastry, defrosted (I used Genius ready made but if you wanted to make it yourself Naomi Devlin has a great recipe in her book, River Cottage Gluten Free)
- 1 small egg
- Brown sugar for sprinkling
- To make the mincemeat: Toast the pecans in a medium sized pan over a low heat, until just turning colour (about 7-8 minutes).
- Once golden, allow them to cool and then roughly chop. Set to one side.
- Peel the clementines and roughly chop the flesh.
- Add the flesh to a medium saucepan along with the coconut oil, spices, brown sugar, and finely chopped stem ginger. Stir and simmer over a medium heat with the lid on for 15 minutes.
- Add the cranberries and simmer with the lid on for a further 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir through the almond and vanilla extract, chopped nuts and whisky.
- Allow to cool, then decant into sterilised glass jars and store in the fridge until using.
- To make the mince pies: preheat the oven to 200C/180 fan/gas 6. Lightly grease a 12-hole fairy-cake tin and dust with a little gluten free flour and line a flat baking tray with baking parchment.
- Roll out your pastry on a lightly floured surface until ½ cm thick.
- Cut out 12 circles using a round pastry cutter or a glass that is bigger than the holes in your fairy-cake tin. You want the pastry to come up over the sides of each one just slightly.
- Cut out 12 slightly smaller circles and put to one side.
- Line your fairy-cake tin with the bigger circles of pastry and place a spoonful of mincemeat into each one. Squeeze in as much as you can without the filling bubbling out!
- Brush the edges of the pastry with a little beaten egg and press on the smaller circles of pastry, sealing round the edges.
- Place your lined baking tray over the pies and flip the fairy cake tin upside-down. The pies should slip out of the tin, leaving you with 12 puff pies on a baking tray.
- Press each one around the edges with a fork to make sure they're well sealed and cut a little cross in the centre of each.
- Brush them with more of the beaten egg and sprinkle with brown sugar.
- Bake for 20 mins, or until golden and puffed up.
- Allow to cool a little, then serve warm, dusted with icing sugar, and homemade whisky butter.