Gluten Free Mince Pies
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These delicious gluten free mince pies are made with a super easy dough that gives you melt-in-the-mouth cases, packed with traditional flavour from homemade or store-bought fruit mince. The perfect Christmas treat!
I don’t want to speak for him, but if Santa had to go gluten free, I think he’d be over the moon to find a couple of these gluten free mince pies waiting for him when he
rolled slipped down the chimney on Christmas Eve.
These delightful little morsels have all the flavour of a traditional fruit mince pie, but with an easy-to-make gluten-free dough.
The #1 thing that makes these mince pies so easy is that we’re not using a traditional pastry 😬
One year when I was making Christmas cookies using my gluten free sugar cookie recipe, I ended up using some leftover dough to make fruit mince pies for my Dad, who has Coeliac disease (and is a huge mince pie fan!). We were all SO surprised at just how good they turned out, and now this is all that I make.
I know, traditional mince pie purists might baulk at the idea, but hear me out. This dough gives you a mince pie that is sturdy (no crumbling!), crisp and crunchy and melt-in-your-mouth… everything that a shortcrust pastry will give you, but from a dough that is SO much easier to work with.
So if you’re willing to be traditionally untraditional with me, then why not try making these this festive season?
I have adjusted a couple of things in the recipe from the cookie version, including the amount of sugar in the dough slightly, to give a more traditional level of sweetness. However, if you’re also making gluten free cookies around the same time, you can absolutely just double or triple the cookie dough recipe and use some to make mince pies and some to make cookies.
Of course, if you really want to use pastry, you can use a store bought or homemade gluten-free shortcrust pastry. You can also use premade gluten-free pastry bases. Here in NZ, Lincoln Bakery make some great pre-baked gluten free pastry cases.
Gluten free flour – I use my homemade gluten-free flour blend, which is a combination of tapioca flour, potato starch and brown rice flour, however you can use your own favourite homemade or store bought gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. Please note that as different gluten-free flour blends contain different ingredients, your results may vary from mine if you use a different flour.
Xanthan gum – If you use a gluten free flour blend that contains a gum ingredient (check the ingredients list), then you can omit the xanthan gum from the recipe.
Butter – You can use either salted or unsalted butter in this recipe.
Sugar – I use caster sugar as it makes for a finer-textured dough, but regular granulated sugar will work well too.
Vanilla – I like vanilla in almost everything, but it’s optional in this dough.
Lemon juice – This is the magic ingredient that stops my gluten free cookie dough from spreading, and in this recipe, it helps the dough keep its shape while it bakes.
Egg – Use one large egg for this recipe, and if you want to do an egg wash on the pies for extra shine, then you’ll need one extra egg.
Fruit Mince – See notes below.
Homemade Fruit Mince or Store-Bought?
Fruit mince is a delicious combination of dried fruit, alcohol, citrus and sometimes nuts.
You can use either homemade or ready-made fruit mince to make these gluten free mince pies.
I used my homemade quick fruit mince recipe, which is deliciously thick and sticky, and can be made with your alcohol of choice (brandy, rum, whiskey, etc.) or made alcohol-free.
It can be made the same day as you want to make your pies, it just needs to cool before you use it. Or you can make it in advance and have it ready to go when you’re ready to bake the pies.
Don’t want to make your own fruit mince? No worries – you can buy one from the supermarket. Make sure that the one you buy is gluten free, as some fruit minces have flavourings like barley added, which isn’t gluten free, or they may be thickened with wheat flour.
To make ready-made mincemeat taste a bit more homemade, you can stir in any of the following ingredients:
- Freshly grated orange or lemon zest.
- Extra ground spices (mixed spice, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, cardamom) or some grated nutmeg.
- Add a little bit of brandy or fresh orange juice, if the fruit mince is too dry.
- Add some candied citrus peel (also known as mixed peel) or chopped glacé ginger.
Along with the usual baking paraphernalia (spoons, spatulas a mixing bowl, etc.) you will need a handheld electric mixer (or stand mixer), a 12-hole muffin or tart pan, a set of kitchen scales, a large round cookie cutter and a small star (or any other shape) cookie cutter.
I used a fluted tart pan to make my pies, but a standard-sized muffin pan will also work. You will need a round cookie cutter of the corresponding size that will fit into your pan and up the sides. The cutter I used was 88mm and had a scalloped edge, but a regular round cutter is just fine.
Don’t have a cutter? No worries, you can use a glass or cup instead – cut around it with a knife, and cut out little free-form shapes for the top, or crumble over the extra dough instead.
How to Make Gluten Free Mince Pies
For the full recipe, see the recipe card below, or keep reading for step-by-step pictures and tips.
Start by making the (not) pastry dough. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice with a handheld electric mixer until smooth and creamy. You don’t need to incorporate lots of air into this, you just want it to be creamy. Then beat in the egg.
Sift in the flour and xanthan gum (if using) in two or three additions. I like to stir in the last addition by hand as it can be a bit too stiff for the mixer at this stage.
At this stage, you can roll out the dough straight away, or if it is too soft you can chill it for 5-10 minutes until it firms up. I usually take this time to tidy up the bench.
If you don’t want to make the pies straight away, you can wrap the dough in cling film, pop it into an airtight container or ziplock bag, and store it in the fridge until needed.
Give the dough a brief knead until smooth, then dust a sheet of non-stick baking paper with a little cornstarch or gluten free flour and pat the dough into a disc. Sprinkle with a little more flour if needed, then roll out to around 3-4mm (1/8″). You can dust the rolling pin with a little flour too, if needed.
Slide the sheet of paper and the dough onto a baking tray, and chill until firm.
Grease your tart pan or muffin tin with some melted butter or a cooking oil spray.
Cut out circles of dough and place into each hole of the pan. The dough may be too firm to press into the holes, if so, just let it rest on the top until it softens slightly, then press it in.
Gently ease the dough down into the holes using the pads of your fingertips. It shouldn’t crack, but if it does, don’t panic, just continue to ease it down, then press the crack back together, or fill it in with a little piece of dough.
Re-roll the dough if necessary until you’ve filled all 12 holes.
Time to fill each pie with fruit mince. I use a large heaped spoonful of mincemeat, which fills the pies almost to the top.
Re-roll the excess dough, then cut out your little shapes for the top and place them on.
Make an egg wash, if you like, by beating an egg and brushing it onto the pies with a pastry brush.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. The exact baking time will depend on how deep your mince pies are. When done, they should be lightly golden brown on top and around the edges.
Mince Pie Tips
- Having the butter at cool room temperature will allow it to combine well with the sugar and other ingredients while keeping the dough firm enough to roll out straight away. But if your butter is softer than that, the dough can be chilled for a few minutes before rolling.
- If your fruit mince is quite wet, it’s a good idea to strain off a little of the liquid, so your mince pies don’t become soggy.
- If you only need a small batch of mince pies, you can use the adjustment button in the recipe card below to choose .5x the recipe, and just make six pies.
- To make fully covered pies, you’ll need to make 1.5x the dough recipe so you have enough. Cut out circles of dough the same size as the top of your pies, using a little water or beaten egg to attach the lids to the pies. Prick a couple of air holes into the lids before baking.
Serving the Mince Pies
These little pies are perfect as is, but look particularly delightful when dusted with icing sugar.
You can serve them warm or cold, and they’re also lovely with a spoonful of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
These gluten free fruit mince pies will keep well in an airtight container in a cool place (cool room temperature) for up to a week.
Mince pies can be frozen baked or unbaked.
To freeze the unbaked pies – Prepare the mince pies as directed but omit the egg wash. Place the muffin tray in the freezer and freeze the pies until solid, then carefully pop them out of the tray and transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag. Freeze until needed (up to 3 months), then thaw at room temperature and bake as usual.
To freeze the baked pies – Bake and cool the pies to room temperature, then place them into an airtight container or freezer bag, separating the layers with baking paper, and freeze for 2-3 months. They can be crisped up in the oven on low heat for 5-10 minutes if needed.
More Gluten Free Christmas Recipes 🎄
You may also like these other recipes for gluten free Christmas treats:
Gluten Free Christmas Cake
Gluten Free Brandy Snaps
Gluten Free Trifle
Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies
Mincemeat filling is traditionally made from fruit, alcohol and spices and is naturally gluten free, however some commercial fruit minces do include gluten-containing ingredients as thickeners or flavourings, so make sure you check the ingredients on the pack to ensure it is gluten free.
Most homemade fruit mince recipes are gluten free, but if someone else has made it then make sure you check with them.
Traditional mince pies are usually made with wheat flour based pastry, so they are not suitable for those on a gluten-free diet. However with this easy recipe, you can make perfect gluten-free mince pies that anyone can enjoy.
If buying commercial fruit mince, make sure that you check the ingredients panel for any thickeners or flavourings containing wheat.
Christmas time can be a hard time for those on a gluten free diet, with so many Christmas treats containing gluten, so let’s make this easy with this gluten free mince pie recipe.
Gluten free Mince Pies
- 325 g gluten free flour
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 125 g butter at cool room temperature
- 125 g caster sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 large egg at cool room temperature
- 500 g homemade fruit mince or store-bought fruit mince
- 1 large egg, extra for an egg wash, optional
- Sift together the gluten free flour and xanthan gum, and whisk to combine well.
- Beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice in a large bowl using a hand-held electric mixer (or use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment) just until combined and creamy. Don't beat for too long, it doesn't need to be fluffy, just well combined.
- Beat in the egg. Don't worry if it starts to curdle.
- Add in the dry ingredients in 2-3 additions, mixing until combined. You may need to mix in the last addition by hand. Tip the dough out onto the bench and give it a quick knead until smooth.At this stage you should be able to roll the dough out straight away, however if it is too soft, pop it into the fridge for 10-15 minutes until it firms up.
- Dust a large sheet of non-stick baking paper with cornflour (cornstarch) or gluten free flour and place the dough on top. Roll out the dough to around 3mm thick, dusting the top with flour only if needed. Slide the paper and dough onto a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm (10-15 minutes).
- Heat oven to 180°C (350°C) and grease a 12-hole muffin tin or tart tin with oil spray or butter.
- Cut out circles of dough using a large round biscuit cutter. Gently place them into the muffin pan. If they're still too cold and firm, let them sit on the top of the pan for a minute to soften first, then gently ease them in using the pads of your fingertips.Re-roll the dough as necessary.
- Fill the pies with fruit mince, almost to the top.
- Cut small shapes from the remaining dough and place on top of the pies.If you don't have small enough cutters, free-hand cut the shapes with a knife, or just crumble some of the extra dough over the tops.
- (Optional) Make an egg wash by beating the extra egg with a fork, then brush onto the tops of the pies using a pastry brush.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. The exact baking time will depend on how deep your mince pies are. When done, they should be lightly golden on top and around the edges.
- Cool the pies in the pan for 5-10 minutes, until firm enough to handle. Carefully remove each pie and place them onto a wire rack to cool, or serve warm.
Nutritional Disclaimer: Any nutritional information provided is a computer generated estimate and is intended as a guide only.