For the pastry
180g rice flour
180g polenta fine or yellow corn flour
360g doves farm gluten free flour
pinch of salt
190g dairy-free margarine or vegetable shortening
90g caster sugar
2 large eggs or if egg free then just use a little water to bind
Icing sugar, to dust
For the mince meat
150g dark brown sugar
250ml apple juice
1 orange, zest and juice
6 apples, cored, peeled and diced
Quarter tsp cinnamon
Quarter tsp nutmeg
Quarter tsp ground ginger
50g glace cherries, chopped
50g candied peel (orange is fine)
50g pine nuts
40ml brandy or sherry, optional
40ml coconut oil or corn oil
Preparation of mincemeat
1. In a large saucepan heat sugar, apple juice, orange juice and zest on a low simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
2. Add apples and spices and cook for a further 5 mins until softened.
3. Stir in fruit, peel and nuts and allow to simmer for about 45 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat, stir in the alcohol I using and the oil then allow to cool or put into a sterilised jar for use later.
Should make around 450 – 500g of filling.
Preparation of pastry
1. In a large bowl, rub together the flours and the margarine till the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in eggs with a knife, so the mixture is a little lumpy and then use water to bind to a pastry. Alternatively, leave out eggs and add enough water to make the pastry stick. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 6.
3. Roll out half the pastry (keep the remainder chilled) on a rice-floured surface to about half inch thick. Use a 12-hole cake tin. Cut out circles with a cutter, lager than the holes of the cake tin. Line each hole.
4. Fill each with 1 tablespoon of mincemeat mixture, do not put too much in as they will bubble out and split.
5. Roll out the remaining pastry and any trimmings you may have and using either a star shape or a round cut the lids to fit the pies.
6. Rub a small amount of water around the edge of each pie and then stick the lids down.
7. Brush the tops with a little water and sprinkle over sugar.
8. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and pastry has become crumbly and short.
9. Place on a cooling rack and dust with icing sugar before serving.