Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas 2010

I'd like to wish my readers
a delightful festive season.

Thank you for all your comments
and bloggily-support in 2010.

See you all in 2011!

Gluten-free Fruit Mince Pies

Ingredients for gluten-free shortcrust pastry:
  • 300 grams gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 180 grams gluten-free rice flour
  • 100 millilitres castor sugar
  • 400 grams butter
  • 50 - 60 millilitres iced water (not always necessary)
  • 15 - 20 mililitres lemon juice (not always necessary)

Method for pastry:
  1. Sift the flours and castor sugar together into a bowl.
  2. Using your fingertips, rub cut pieces of butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs (this part can be done using a food processor).
  3. Now, depending on the humidity levels; temperature of the ingredients, etc., you may or may not need to use water and lemon juice to bring the dough together. The batch I made did not need either, and it made a fantastic, rollable dough. The usual rule of thumb is: err on the side of caution when adding water, as the less you use, the better.
  4. Cover with cling wrap and chill in the fridge for 45 - 60 minutes.
  5. Roll out pastry (not too thinly) on a well floured (gf) surface (or even better, between two pieces of cling wrap or non-stick baking paper). Alternatively, press the pastry into buttered muffin pans and create shapes for the top of the fruit mince pies using cookie cutters or by pressing the dough into a circle big enough to cover the filling.

Ingredients for fruit mince filling:
  • 200 grams raisins
  • 100 grams dried cherries
  • 100 grams dried peaches
  • 2 apples, diced
  • 60 grams cashew nuts, chopped
  • 15 millilitres mixed spice
  • 5 millilitres cinnamon
  • 200 millilitres orange juice
  • 80 millilitres honey

Method for filling:
  1. Mix the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over low heat until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Putting it all together:
  • Spoon the filling into the prepared pastry cases and then top with a pressed pastry circle, or a Christmas star.

  • Bake in a preheated 175 degree Celsius oven (350 Fahrenheit) for 20 - 25 minutes (or until lightly golden brown).
  • Allow the fruit mince pies to cool completely in the muffin pan, as the gluten-free pastry will go crispier on standing, and then carefully remove.
  • Recipe make 12 fruit mince pies and 1 fruit mince tart, or 24 fruit mince pies.

Christmas Charity 2010:

This year's Christmas donation is going to FoodBank South Africa, an organisation that sources food donations and then stores, sorts and issues food to a network of national non-profit food aid agencies across South Africa.

If you would like to join me in giving to this worthwhile cause to help hungry people in a country which (most days) feels like it's held together on a wing and a prayer, international currency donations are accepted on the donation's page.