Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins {gluten-free}

These Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins are exactly what you should be treating your family to Christmas morning. They are light, fluffy, moist and full of Christmas spice and cheer.

These gluten-free Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins are exactly what you should be treating your family to Christmas morning. They are light, fluffy, moist and full of Christmas spice and cheer.

I know where I am with a good tradition. Little routines and recipes that let my good conscience know that it’s the festive season. I’ve got my trifle, devils on horseback, stockings at the ready and Christmas Spotify playlist on a constant loop. I am thrown a little cock-a-hoop this year with not spending Christmas at home but with babies surrounding us these days and my sister having moved out of London this year, the family is getting bigger and more spread out so I do understand that I can’t hog Christmas anymore. Even if my inner toddler is throwing a mini tanty.

So that makes it even more important in my mind to solidify our own little family traditions where we can and introduce new ones now we have Cole at the centre of the festivities.

Of the three traditions I am welcoming in this year the first is our family advent calendar. Instead of chocolate hiding behind each window I have little cards with activities or special thoughts that I have carefully written for each day in mind. Cole has had great fun picking out the cards and re-arranging them much to mummy’s constant pleasure. So some days have been a little disappointing with empty air filling the windows and some a little overwhelming with Father Christmas to visit, presents to wrap and mince pies to make. I think I got a bit overambitious though with this tradition and might have hidden the advent calendar after the 10th on the realisation of how much work was involved in actually doing what was written on the cards.

These gluten-free Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins are exactly what you should be treating your family to Christmas morning. They are light, fluffy, moist and full of Christmas spice and cheer.

The second tradition is our new memory box which I read all about on Pinterest. It seems a wonderful idea and I can imagine us all gathered around the Christmas tree, sharing anecdotes and cherished moments of this past year. No matter that I haven’t quite got round to buying the beautiful wooden boxes that are associated with this marvellous tradition. Instead we have a bit of scraggy old tupperware that I’m sure will be just as charming to hold our memories in until next year when I’ll order the wooden box by November at the latest.

The third tradition, which is probably the only one to be actualised, are these Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins. I think the title is pretty clear on when I intend to be making these bad boys. I don’t know why I haven’t made them before though as they are absolutely delicious, a cinch to make, without even requiring a food mixer, and best of all use up all the dregs of mincemeat that I always have hanging around my cupboards.

These gluten-free Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins are exactly what you should be treating your family to Christmas morning. They are light, fluffy, moist and full of Christmas spice and cheer.

They are gluten-free, like all my recipes these days, made with a combination of white rice flour and chestnut flour. These Mince Pie Muffins are light and fluffy, but also deliciously moist thanks to the generous amount of apple puree and mincemeat in the batter. I have tried making them with all kinds of mincemeat, with suet, without suet, with nuts and without and they have all been wonderful. I must confess though, my favourite batch was made with my Cranberry and Cointreau Mincemeat which is so lovely fresh and fruity.

Do whizz up the apple puree the night before if you want to make these on Christmas morning as it saves you a boring job when you’d much rather be opening pressies and quaffing back Bucks Fizz, but apart from that they are very simple and I think an excellent new tradition addition.

These gluten-free Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins are exactly what you should be treating your family to Christmas morning. They are light, fluffy, moist and full of Christmas spice and cheer.

These gluten-free Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins are exactly what you should be treating your family to Christmas morning. They are light, fluffy, moist and full of Christmas spice and cheer.
Print Recipe
Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins (gluten-free)
These Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins are exactly what you should be treating your family to Christmas morning. They are light, fluffy, moist and full of Christmas spice and cheer.
These gluten-free Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins are exactly what you should be treating your family to Christmas morning. They are light, fluffy, moist and full of Christmas spice and cheer.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Servings
12 muffins
Ingredients
For the streusel topping:
  • 35 g white rice flour
  • 30 g chestnut flour
  • 50 g soft light brown sugar
  • 90 g unsalted butter
  • 40 g gluten-free porridge oats
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
For the muffins
  • 200 g mincemeat gluten-free
  • 175 g apple puree about 4-5 apples
  • 120 g soft light brown sugar
  • 80 ml light olive oil not extra virgin
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 g white rice flour
  • 50 g chestnut flour
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Servings
12 muffins
Ingredients
For the streusel topping:
  • 35 g white rice flour
  • 30 g chestnut flour
  • 50 g soft light brown sugar
  • 90 g unsalted butter
  • 40 g gluten-free porridge oats
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
For the muffins
  • 200 g mincemeat gluten-free
  • 175 g apple puree about 4-5 apples
  • 120 g soft light brown sugar
  • 80 ml light olive oil not extra virgin
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 g white rice flour
  • 50 g chestnut flour
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
These gluten-free Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins are exactly what you should be treating your family to Christmas morning. They are light, fluffy, moist and full of Christmas spice and cheer.
Instructions
  1. First line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin cases and pre-heat the oven to 170°C.
  2. Prepare the streusel by placing the flours, sugar, butter, oats and spice in a large mixing bowl and rubbing together between your fingers. The streusel should come together but still be crumbly. Set aside whilst you prepare the muffin batter.
  3. Pour the mincemeat, apple puree, sugar, eggs and olive oil into a large mixing bowl and beat together until combined.
  4. In another mixing bowl sift together the flours, spice, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl, then tip into the liquid batter.
  5. Beat together for a minute or so until everything is well mixed then evenly distribute between the muffin cases.
  6. Crumble the streusel on top of the muffins then bake in the oven for 22-24 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and immediately remove the muffins from the tin and leave on a rack to cool.
Recipe Notes
  • This recipe was very heavily adapted from Alice Medrich’s Banana Muffins in her amazing book ‘Flavor Flours’

Bramley Apple and Mincemeat Pudding

Bramley Apple and Mincemeat Pudding
It’s crazy how much I love mincemeat. In fact it’s just as well that it only comes out once a year as not only do I get to thoroughly enjoy mince pie season but it means I am held back from overindulging all year round. I have made close to 100 jars of mincemeat this year, for selling on my preserves stalls, and it hasn’t diminished my love for the stuff at all. Making the mincemeat is one of my very favourite cooking jobs to do, it fills my kitchen with the heady scent of brandy, plump fruits and warming spices and the resulting mixture is so versatile that it would be a shame if you merely confined it to just a mini pie filling.

I love crumbled mince pies stirred through freshly churned ice cream, I devoured Nigel Slater’s Mincemeat trifle which I made a couple of years ago and I seriously heart mincemeat cheesecake which I am sure is also credited to Nigel Slater but I never wrote down the source of my recipe I have on file. Last year though I made this Bramley Apple and Mincemeat Pudding in a bid to clear out my cupboards of Christmas just before the new year kicked in. I never blogged about it as the recipe needed some tweaking and it didn’t look as pretty as it should, plus if I remember correctly I made it about 9pm and was too tired for a photo session. This year though I stumbled across my notes for it and tore open one of my jars of Victorian Mincemeat (which I was supposed to be selling at the weekend) quicker than you could say ‘leftover bramleys in the fruitbowl.’

Bramley Apple and Mincemeat Pudding

I tweaked some of the sugar in my original recipe and took the mincemeat through the sponge topping instead of allowing it to languish at the bottom with the bramleys and suddenly an instant classic was born.

I like the tartness of the bramleys just as they are but here I gave them a kiss of brown sugar to take the edge off. If you need your apples sweeter than do add more sugar but I think the fruity mincemeat in the sponge contrasts deliciously with the natural apple taste.

Of course there will be disagreements on how this should be served. I drowned mine in lashings of custard. And not just any custard, I couldn’t be bothered to make my own own despite having a plentiful amount of double cream and eggs in the fridge and for the first time in my whole life I whisked up some Bird’s custard powder and it turned out quite delicious. So there, those of you that think I’m a food snob. I can get down and dirty with the rest of you any day of the week.

Bramley Apple and Mincemeat Pudding

Some festive desserts have the propensity to be a bit of a faff but this took moments to mix up and bake, perfect for cold nights in front of the fire. I urge you this year to be adventurous with your mincemeat and it would be lovely to hear some of your favourite mincemeat experiments.

Bramley Apple and Mincemeat Pudding

Bramley Apple & Mincemeat Pudding

2 bramley apples, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons soft light brown sugar
grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
150g butter
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons mincemeat
150g plain flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 teaspoon caster sugar to sprinkle

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C.
  2. In a large bowl mix the bramley apples with the sugar and lemon zest and juice. Pour into a buttered baking dish and set aside
  3. Cream the butter and sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Stir in the vanilla extract and then the mincemeat.
  6. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt then mix into the rest of the ingredients until just combined.
  7. Finally stir in the milk.
  8. Pour the batter on top of the apples then bake in the oven for around 45 minutes until the sponge has browned on top and an inserted toothpicks comes out clean.
  9. Sprinkle over the teaspoon of caster sugar and serve with lashings of custard.

Eccleswell Tart

Eccleswell Tart

This tart came about as a way of marrying my two favourite English tea time treats, Eccles cakes and Bakewell tarts. I don’t always want to choose between them at the bakery and it is not always prudent to have both. This way I can have both but not feel too greedy, the ginormous wedge I serve myself probably nullifies my efforts though.

Eccleswell Tart  |  Stroud Green Larder

I have made this tart several times now over the past year and have been meaning to include it in my blog but it has never quite survived long enough to reach the photography stage.  It is a really lovely tart, a bit more going on than your average Bakewell tart but the frangipane and the juicy fruit marry up beautifully. It is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea.

Eccleswell Tart  |  Stroud Green Larder

I usually make my own ground almonds as I find shop bought just tastes a little bland. Sometimes that is what you are looking for in this ingredient but on this occasion I toasted and ground up my own almonds. I toasted them a little over here but it was a happy accident as it gave this particular tart a lovely biscuit flavour and a gold frangipane colour. If you don’t want to go to the trouble then you can use shop bought ground almonds totally guilt free but the results are slightly different as although the frangipane topping is softer it is not quite as almondy. I suggest using a dash of almond extract along with the vanilla extract if you are going that way.

Eccleswell Tart  |  Stroud Green Larder

My Eccles cake mixture depends totally on what I have in my cupboard. I was lucky enough this weekend to have a grand stock of dried fruit but even so the marriage of currants and sultanas is traditional and in my mind the best. I couldn’t resist adding a little stem ginger though as I think it’s pretty fabulous. The marmalade was included in lieu of mixed peel since a certain somebody in my household refuses point blank to eat mixed peel and this way I can still achieve the citrus note without offending my husband. If you still happen to have mincemeat leftover from Christmas though then by all means use it here to clear out your cupboards. Eccles cakes are just boozeless and suetless mincemeat anyway.

Eccleswell Tart  |  Stroud Green Larder

Eccleswell Tart

For the Pastry
270g plain flour
100g unsalted butter, fridge cold
100g caster sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg + 1 egg yolk

For the Eccles Mixture
20g butter
1½ tbsp breakfast marmalade
100g currants
50g sultanas
60g light brown sugar
pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp mixed spice
1 ball of stem ginger, finely chopped
pinch of salt

For the Frangipane
Adapted from Richard Bertinet’s Almond Cream
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g caster sugar
125g ground almonds
25g plain flour
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
20g flaked almonds to decorate

1 x 18cm round loose-bottomed tart tin

  1. To begin with make your pastry. Take the butter out of the fridge and slice very finely with a sharp knife, then place in a large mixing bowl with the flour.
  2. Tear the butter up and coat thoroughly with the flour, then begin to rub gently between your fingertips until you reach very rough breadcrumbs, don’t take it too fine. It should take less than 5 minutes.
  3. Add the sugar, salt, egg and egg yolk then bring together into a dough. Tip it out onto the work surface and press together to form a ball. Wrap in baking parchment and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile make the eccles mixture. Melt the butter together with the marmalade in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat then add the rest of the ingredients, stir together and set aside to cool.
  5. Then make your frangipane by creaming the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy.
  6. Add the ground almonds and mix together until fully incorporated.
  7. Add the flour and egg and egg yolk and vanilla and carry on mixing until smooth. Place the frangipane in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
  8. Once the frangipane is in the fridge you can roll out your pastry. Roll until it is about 3mm thick and line the pastry into your tart tin. Leave the edges untrimmed then place the pastry tart tin in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  9. Once ready you can assemble your tart. Spread the eccles mixture onto the bottom of the tart in an even layer. Then spoon the frangipane on top to cover completely, smoothing it down on top. Finally scatter the flaked almonds on the top.
  10. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes then cover the tart with foil to stop from browning any further and bake for another 20 minutes. Leave in the tin to cool for about half an hour, then trim the pastry around the edges and remove from the tart tin.
  11. Serve at room temperature at 4pm with a lovely cup of tea.

Eccleswell Tart  |  Stroud Green Larder

Victorian Mincemeat

Victorian Mincemeat

I love a mince pie.  Any which way will do.  I have made and eaten a lot this week all in the name of research (otherwise known as greed). I have made them with a frangipane topping, mini ones, gluten free ones and then with my Cranberry and Cointreau mincemeat which I posted about a few weeks ago.  They were all delicious.

But it’s this mince pie I have been looking forward to the most as it is something I have never tried before.  For some reason we balk when we hear about mince pies with real beef mince but thinking about it I have no idea why.  We eat sweet chutneys with meat all the time.  In the words of Joey, what’s not to like?  Pastry good.  Brandied fruits good.  Beef gooood.  And as it turns out, together, really good.

This mincemeat is so great as it eschews an abundance of sweetness, instead the beef mince adds a wonderful soft texture which is molten in with the rest of the ingredients. So, rather than just thinking, right now I’m eating a bit of beef and it’s not too bad, you wouldn’t even realise there was meat in it unless told.  Which you must do as the veggies get annoyed.

Victorian Mince Pies

There are two very fine ladies I turned to for this recipe, Delia Smith and Mrs Beeton, two Great British institutions.  It wouldn’t be Christmas without either in this house.  I took advice from both of them regarding mincemeat and ran with it, adding a few twists and turns along the way.

Victorian Mincemeat

1 bramley apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 cox apple, peeled, cored and diced
200g beef suet (get your suet from the butcher if you need it gluten-free)
200g raw beef mince
275g raisins
225g currants
100g natural glace cherries, diced
100g pitted prunes, diced
300g dark brown sugar
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
grated zest and juice of ½ red grapefruit
grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
50g whole almonds, slivered
4 tsp mixed ground spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
100ml brandy

Stir everything together and jar. My perfect recipe. You should wait about 2 weeks before using.

I used just a standard sweet pastry recipe to make these pies and they were wonderful.

Cranberry and Cointreau Mincemeat

Cranberry and Cointreau Mincemeat

It all starts here people. I was watching the ad breaks during X Factor on Saturday and they were very clear that we have now been given the all clear on Christmas. Have you seen the John Lewis ad with the hare and the bear? Well I didn’t understand it but it still made me cry. If John Lewis think it’s Christmas then it must be. Finally I will stop being embarrassed that I have been listening to Fairytale in New York since November 1st, I can dust off Delia’s Happy Christmas and henceforth will step into Christmas. Well, Christmas food at least, but that’s all I care about anyway. So if you’re not ready to start thinking sleigh bells and winter wonderlands then I shall simply call you a miserable scrooge and that is all.

bah humbugNo, don’t go, I’m sorry for not understanding that everyone isn’t totally into the carols and commercialism (ahem, family time) as much as me. But in my defence I am making mince pies for our WI Christmas themed meeting on Monday so really I am leaving it quite last minute to whip up the mincemeat.

I am making two different types of mincemeat this year and this is the first one. It’s veggie and nut free and very quick to boot.

I was going to make Dan Lepard’s Dark Rich Mincemeat as I wanted to steer clear of suet for mincemeat number one and his take on it sounded delicious but I couldn’t find any dried sour cherries. Even a trip into town and my trusty pocketrobber Whole Foods had run dry, though I did get to see the Carnaby Christmas lights so the trip wasn’t a complete bust. But still, I needed something sour to counterbalance all the sugary fruit. So I added fresh cranberries which seemed to do the trick, not breaking them up too much in the mix so they burst in your mouth, immediately quelling the layers of fruity sweetness. With dried and fresh cranberries all stirred up I couldn’t help but think of adding some sort of orange note since it’s a natural pairing with cranberries. When it’s Christmas you should always reach for the bottle so I poured in a good glug of Cointreau, my favourite Christmas tipple, which happily is made from oranges. Then it tasted so good, so I added a bit more. Then a bit more. Then I poured myself a small glass and the rest is history.

Cranberry and Cointreau Mincemeat

Adapted from Dan Lepard’s Dark Rich Mincemeat

100g dried cranberries
200g raisins
275g currants
100g soft prunes, stoned and chopped
2 x dessert apples, peeled, cored and diced small
500g fresh cranberries
300g dark brown sugar
250ml stout
1 bramley apple, peeled and grated
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
30ml brandy
100ml Cointreau

  1. In a large mixing bowl add the dried fruits and the dessert apples and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan add the fresh cranberries, sugar, stout, bramley apple, the lemon juice and zest and all the spices. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10-15 mins until some of the cranberries start to break down.
  3. Remove from the heat, add the dried fruits and give a very good mix through.
  4. Leave to cool completely before stirring through the brandy and Cointreau.