This is a delicious, short, sweetish pastry.  I used it to make mince pies this week and they were fantastic.  Your have to be careful though that they don’t burn.  Placing a baking sheet above the pies on the next shelf of the oven (about an inch above the top of the pies) is the best way to prevent burning.  The crust will be quite thick as its tricky to roll out without breaking.  If you have a food processor, use it to make the pastry.  It’s a doddle!

Makes 9 mince pies, with covers

100g finely ground almonds (or raw hazelnuts instead, ground finely in your spice grinder or mini food processor)
65g gluten-free oat flour from health stores (or make your own in a food processor/grinder using GF oatflakes).  If you’re not coeliac or gluten-sensitive, normal oat flour is fine.
A little extra oat flour or brown rice flour for rolling out the pastry
1 level teaspoon xanthan gum
25g virgin coconut oil
1 dsp virgin macadamia oil or light olive oil
1 level dsp honey (use a hot spoon and a knife to measure)
1½ – 2 tbs iced water
Patty tin
A metal baking sheet
Pastry cutters, ideally a 7.5cm circular one and a star shape (or 5.5cm circular one)
A jar of my home-made mincemeat (recipe posted separately)

  1. Combine ground almonds, xanthan gum and oat flour and mix well.  Rub in the coconut oil (you can do this in a food processor if you want) until the mix looks like breadcrumbs.  Add the macadamia/light olive oil, the honey, and the iced water and blend again.
  2. Roll out the pastry on a board floured with rice or GF oat flour.
  3. Grease your patty tins with a little coconut oil.  Cut out pastry circles to fit and line the tins with these.
  4. Add about a heaped tsp mincemeat (or a little more) per pie.  Press together and roll out the pastry remnants.  Cut out smaller circles or star shapes and top the pies with these.  There’s no need to seal the edges, just press the tops down lightly to flatten a little.
  5. Bake at 200C/185C fan with a metal baking sheet placed just above the pies, on the next rack of the oven, for about 15 minutes. The baking sheet above the pies reduces burning.  If they are getting too brown, remove from the oven, otherwise leave in for another 5 minutes.
  6. If you choose to use my crumble topping for mince pies instead of using pastry covers, bake at 180c/165 fan oven so the almond flakes dont burn.

Why this is better for you:
So what’s the difference between oats and gluten-free oats?  Oats are usually contaminated with gluten grains like wheat and barley because they are harvested in the same hoppers and crops may be rotated.  Gluten-free oats are grown and harvested completely seperately from gluten grains.  They are batch tested for purity and that’s why they can be certified gluten-free.

The pastry in these pies uses mostly healthy oils that are good for health and vitality.  Coconut oil in particular, is safe, even when heated to 200C.  That means it won’t contribute to excessive ageing, skin breakouts, or weight gain.  The special fats (medium chain triglycerides) contained in coconut oil are burned directly by your body instead of being stored as fat.  Good news for Christmas waistlines!  Oats are of course a wholegrain and are rich in chromium and fibre.  This, and the protein content of the almonds, helps regulate blood sugar levels, keeping your mood and energy more stable.  Almonds contain magnesium which is important for a happy, stress-free mood.  That said, cooking any nuts or ground nuts damages their healthy oils so this is not an everyday recipe, but a occasional treat recipe.