This pastry recipe makes quite a crisp biscuity pastry that is really delicious; it is not soft like the ready-made pastry you get with manufactured mince pies. Making pastry is very easy and takes moments. Just remember to keep the ingredients cool for success every time – you can always pop the dairy-free spread in the freezer for a while if it is very soft. We have also used jam as an alternative filling as we know it can be hard to find mincemeat without a ‘may contain traces of nuts’ warning which may not be suitable for some people with severe allergies.
Place the flour and spread in a blender or food processor and pulse quickly until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Tip the mixture into a bowl and stir in the sugar. Add a teaspoon of cold water and being bringing the pastry together with your hands into a ball. You will probably need between 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon of cold water to bring it together well. It should not be sticky. Add as little water as possible to give a short texture.
Roll the pastry out on a flat surface, dusted with gluten-free flour and cut into circles using a fluted 6cm (2½ inch) cutter.
Lift the pastry discs up carefully with a slice and place them into a muffin tray, gently pushing down with your fingers. Pop them in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Then preheat the oven to 220°C/200ºC fan/425°F/gas mark 7
Bake the pastry cases in the oven for about 10 minutes until very lightly golden and sandy in texture.
Spoon a generous teaspoon of mincemeat to fill the pastry case. You can leave them open or at this point pop a pastry lid or star shape on top. Then put back in the oven for a few minutes until the mincemeat starts to gently bubble or the pastry lid is a light golden colour.
Remove the tray from the oven and transfer the mince pies to a wire rack, allowing them to cool fully before serving.