Anyone stirring anything tasty up this Sunday?

The Sunday before advent (actually it was last Sunday but I, er… forgot) is traditionally Stir-up-Sunday, which basically means you should start making your Christmas pudding and feeding that Christmas cake.

I discovered this amazing fact at a recent Stir-up-Sunday bloggers event at Sainsbury’s way back in September I think! Seemed crazy then thinking about Christmas but they had invited chef Dan Lepard along and he cooked up a freefrom Christmas storm.

Read what Michelle Berridale-Johnson from FoodsMatter has to say about Stir up Sunday and also check out her Christmas Pudding recipe which is dairy, lactose, gluten, wheat, soya and can be egg and nut free.

So I’m a week late but on Sunday I plan to cook up a batch of Dan’s gluten, dairy and nut free mince pies.

Mince Pies with Golden Mincemeat

Just look at the shine. The rich, dark fruity colours. Promising spice and sweetness.

Dan Lepard’s mincemeat looks so tasty and it was delicious.

The first mince pie always signals for me the start of festivities. We used to put the tree up quite late and would often have the first mince pie whilst positioning baubles and fairy lights.

Mincemeat - wheat, dairy, nut, soya and egg free
Dietary requirements:







Golden Mincemeat

This recipe is perfect for guests who don’t like dark dried fruit like raisins or currants and makes enough for 2 large (900g) jars.

What you’ll need

  • 500g ‘yellow’ Mixed Dried Fruit, finely diced (this recipe uses 150g soft dried mangoes, 150g dried sour cherries and 200g soft dried apricots; other dried fruits such as peaches are also good if you can find them)
  • 3 dessert apples, peeled, cored and finely diced (about 500g unprepared weight)
  • 150-200g Mixed Peel (the best quality you can find), finely diced
  • 1 tsp each Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Valencian Orange Extract, and Sicilian Lemon Extract
  • ¾ tsp each Ground Cloves, Nutmeg and Cinnamon
  • 150g Light Soft Brown Sugar
  • 125ml Brandy or Rum, plus more to top up

How to make them

1. Mix everything together, spoon into sterilized jars and top with a little more brandy before sealing tightly with screw-on lids before storing.

TIP: You can sterilise jam jars by placing them in the oven at 140°C for 10 minutes. Wash the lids in soapy water, rinse well, and allow to dry before use.

Gluten-free Shortcrust

Physillium husk mixed with water

Physillium husk mixed with water

Psyllium husk powder mixed with a little water makes a gel that acts like gluten, and makes the dough easier to roll.

This recipe makes about 615g of pastry, enough for about 18 shallow mince pies.

What you’ll need

  • 75ml Cold Water
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tbsp Psyllium Husk Powder (2 level 15ml measuring spoons)
  • 300g Doves Farm gluten-free Plain White Flour
  • 75g Icing Sugar
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Gluten-free Baking Powder
  • 200g Sainsbury’s Baking Block, (or Stork)
  • Extra Gluten-free Flour for rolling

How to make them

Dan Lepard's mince pie

Here is one of Dan’s mince pies

  1. Pour the water into a small bowl, add the vanilla extract and sprinkle on the psyllium husk powder. Immediately stir until smooth, then leave undisturbed for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile put the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into a bowl, and rub in the Sainsbury’s baking block/stork.
  3. Add in the psyllium mixture, which should have thickened to a gel, and mix to a smooth dough.
  4. Leave to sit for 10 minutes then roll and bake as required.

TIP: Dust the work surface with gluten-free flour before you roll the pastry out thinly, and if necessary, dust the pastry lightly as you work it. Gluten-free pastry is inclined to be a little crumbly, and to bake to a slightly ‘biscuity’ texture, so shallow mince pies are a safer bet than the deep filled type.

TIP: For mince pies, baking for 20 minutes at 200°C/180°C fan should be long enough; 25 minutes if you want a crispier finish.

TIP: Allow the mince pies to cool slightly in the tins before you move them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

So I’ll have a go at this recipe on Sunday. Mine will undoubtedly look nothing like these. The picture above was of the one I sampled at the Sainsbury’s bloggers Stir up Sunday event. It was so delicious I could hardly believe it was OK for me. But it was! Wish me luck, and if they’re presentable I’ll share a photo. If not, and you never hear about them again, don’t ask!

My gluten, dairy free mince pies

My mince pies, better than the bought ones

I made these again on Christmas Day and they were so good everyone ate them.

The shop bought ones that I bought for the normal people remained uneated which was lovely and made me very proud but I’m not used to sharing my special food and next time I’m not sharing them .

They were soooo good. But I was allowed to have the last one.

Be careful when they come out of the oven, they look so good but trust me, please let them cool down before sampling. I didn’t and burnt my mouth. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Lastly, if you fancy having a go at making these, Dan has kindly made a video explaining exactly how to do it. Watch Dan Lepard making mince pies on YouTube and then get baking!

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She also won the Foods You Can People's choice Best FreeFrom blogger award 2014.

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