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Gluten free Mince pies and Ginger Custard

ingredients

makes 48 pies
310 g (11 oz) scant 2 1/4 cups of Gluten free maize flour
310 g (11 oz) scant 2 1/4 cups of rice flour
310 g (11 oz) scant 2 1/4 cups of Gluten free millet flour
480 g (17 oz) 2 1/4 cups of Dairy free margarine
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 large free-range eggs, beaten
Some water to bind the dough

for the finishing

Caster (superfine) sugar and ground cinnamon
for dusting icing (confectioners') sugar

for the mincemeat

1.5 kg (3.3 lb) 4 1/2 cups of commercial vegetarian (GF/DF) mincemeat
or
170 g (6 oz) 1 1/4 cups of currants
170 g (6 oz) 1 1/4 cups of raisins, chopped finely
170 g (6 oz) 1 1/4 cups of sultanas (golden raisins), chopped finely
115 g (4 oz) cup of prunes, chopped finely
170 g (6 oz) 1 cup of dried apples, chopped finely
115 g (4 oz) 2/3 cup of glace cherries, chopped finely
115 g (4 oz) 2/3 cup of candied peel, chopped finely
250 g (8 1/2 oz) 2 cups of Gluten free vegetarian suet
300 g (10 1/2 oz) 1 1/2 cups of light brown muscovado sugar
1 teaspoon of ground cloves
2 teaspoons of Gluten free mixed (pie) spice
Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
240 ml (8 fl oz) 1 cup of Grand Marnier
Grated rind of 1 orange
1 ripe pear; peeled, cored and chopped
115 g (4 oz) 2/3 cup of fresh cranberries, chopped

for the ginger custard

For 6 - 8 people (double the quantities for 12 - 16 people)
6 large free-range egg yolks
100 g (3 1/2 oz) 1/2 cup of caster (superfine) sugar
1 tablespoon of Gluten free cornflour (cornstarch)
3 tablespoons of stem ginger syrup
600 ml (20 fl oz) 2 1/2 cups of unsweetened soya milk
3 tablespoons of Stones'ginger wine, or rum

method

4 x 12 hole patty tins, greased, floured and lined with circles of baking parchment (wax paper)

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) gas 4

2. To make the mincemeat, put all of the dried fruit, cherries and candied peel into a large mixing bowl.

3. Add the suet, sugar, spices, lemon rind and juice, grated orange rind and Grand Marnier.

4. Stir in the mincemeat thoroughly and add more liqueur if not moist.

5. Spoon the mixture into sterilised jars, cover and leave in a cold place for 2 days or use now to make the mince pies by mixing in the chopped pear and chopped cranberries.

6. To make the pastry, mix all of the ingredients, except the water, in the food processor, blending for a few seconds until it starts to gather together to form a dough, and then add enough water to make a malleable dough.

7. Put the mixture onto a floured board and knead lightly into a firm dough. Add a little more water if the mixture is too dry and then wrap it in clingfilm (plastic wrap) and chill for 30 minutes.

8. Roll the dough out on to a floured board, quarter of the dough at a time, and cut with a pastry cutter into 48 x 7cm (2 3/4 inch) circles (for the bases) and 48 x 5 cm (1/2 inch) circles (for the lids).

9. Add little drops of extra water if the dough becomes too dry and crumbly when being rolled out.

10. Grease and flour 48 non-stick patty tins and line with circles of baking parchment (wax paper).

11. Line the prepared tins with the larger pastry circles.

12. Fill the pastry with a large teaspoon of mincemeat and cover with the lids. Sprinkle with caster (superfine) sugar and cinnamon and bake for 25 minutes until golden.

13. Leave the mince pies to cool slightly before easing them out of the tins and onto wire racks.

14. Store in an airtight container until needed.

15. Warm through before serving and dust with sifted icing (confectioners') sugar.

to make the custard

1. Mix the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour (cornstarch) and ginger syrup in a large mixing bowl.

2. Warm the milk in a non-stick saucepan and then gradually stir into the bowl of eggs.

3. Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and cook very gently over a low heat, stirring most of the time, until you have a thick and smooth custard. Add the ginger wine.

4. Remove from the heat just as it reaches boiling point - do not boil.

5. Pour into a clean bowl and stir from time to time, as it cools slightly.

6. Serve in two warm sauceboats with the mince pies or Christmas pudding.

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