Its Not Christmas Without Mince Pies !!!

Mince Pies Gluten Free and Vegan

Nothing in Britain speaks more to you of a festive treat as a Mince Pie

For those of you reading and from afar, please don’t walk away this is a sweet mince pie , with not one bit of meat to be seen

Full of dried fruit in cooked in spices and booze, encased in a crumbly shortcrust pastry, they are the most delicious of morsels that hit the spot of festive baking

Of course in the 12th Century they where made meat and resembled nothing like they are now, they where rectangular. That’s until those sweet toothed Victorians got there hands on them and we get what we have today !!!

But we shoot forward to now, we’ve dropped the meat, added the booze but still kept the spices that The Crusaders brought back with the many moons ago .

History lesson over for this week !!!!

Right now to the bake ….. yep its pastry , every Gluten Free bakers nemesis πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Shortcrust Pastry is not pastry what that those over the pond strive for….they strive, nay obsess with flaky pastry ( I see it with my own eyes in my baking group πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚……. sorry ladies and Darryl but well it is one of the most prized possessions )

With shortcrust pastry we are looking for buttery and crumbley………(oh god butter , double whammy coming for me )

So I needed to think what to do to achieve this, ermmmm after many failed bakes of different reasons, and then even more bakes to check this recipe is consistent and fool proof, I eventually came up with a recipe that well just works.

So we’ve xanthan for stretch, block vegan butter ( DO NOT USE SPREAD IT DOESNT WORK ) and as the egg yolk sub , egg yolk is a standard in rich shortcrust I am using apple sauce !!!!

NOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!! I can here you scream WHYYYYYYYYY????????????????? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Because it works!!!! You don’t add to much moisture and end up with tough pasty it sticks everything together and its easy to explain

You can use a jar of ready made apple sauce or make your own using some cooking apples and a little water….. I don’t really care 😜😜😜 obviously I’ve opted for homemade but please make sure if you do make your own that it’s cold !!!! Make it the day before and leave it in the fridge

I have chosen to do this in my stand mixer its made the best and most consistence job, no worrying about to warm hands or cold in my case and I can get the same results no matter on my hand temperature

I’m sure you could do the rubbing in with your hand method but I’ve not tried it but feel free, if it looks the same as my pictures you are doing it right !!!I think

Now this year Im taking it easy on you, you can use a jar of mincemeat, just make sure it fits your dietary requirements

But of course you can make your own, here’s a similar recipe to my own because i cant be bothered this year to show you how !!!! πŸ™ŠThat’s next years post πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Of course you can search a the internet for something similar that takes your fancy !!!

If you are after Gluten Free Vegan Suet I use Suma which is actually vegan too

You will also require a shallow tart / bun tin, not a muffin tin similar to this, and we all know how most bakers love a tin purchase πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ so I’m happy to help your tin growth

I think I’ve covered everything , there are a couple of variations for decoration but to be honest for me this post is not only about the Pie its about the pastry

Lets Bake 😜😜😜😜😜

Its Christmas !!!!!!

Mince Pies GF, DF V

Crumbly Shortcrust Pastry Pies filled with traditional Sweet mincemeat filling

This recipe makes a minimum of 10 Pies can be doubled or halved depending on how many you can eat !!
Suitable for freezing , defrost at room temperature and re heat either in the oven for 5 minutes at or microwave for 10 seconds and enjoy


  • 300 g Gluten Free Plain Flour ( If not using own blend I recommend Dove Farm UK or Pilsbury US
  • 150 g Fridge Cold Vegan Butter Block not Spread ( Stork Block UK or Earth Balance US )
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum ( omit if your blend contains it )
  • 50 g Apple Sauce ( either jarred or homemade )
  • 3/4 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1 jar of Sweet Gluten Free or Vegan Mince Meat
  • 2 tbps of Caster or Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tbsp of Soya Milk


  1. Add Flour , Baking Powder, Xanthan ( if using ) in a bowl with a whisk until Incorporated in Stand Mixer Bowl
  2. Cut Butter into even pieces and toss in flour
  3. Place mix in stand mixer ON LOW setting until it looks like breadcrumbs as shown in the picture . Stir with a spoon or spatula to break any large clumps at the bottom of the bowl
  4. Weight out the apple sauce and add to the breadcrumb mix
  5. Juice the lemon and add to the breadcrumb mix……3/4 tsp
  6. Mix on low until the dough starts to come together and looks like this
  7. Set Oven at 160 C fan / 180 C / 360 F
  8. Turn dough out onto a sheet of clingfilm, big enough to wrap the dough,
  9. Wrap Dough. Push the dough it into a disc and place in fridge for one hour
  10. Take out of fridge unwrap and place onto a lightly floured piece of parchment , cut into 2/3rd , take a piece of cling film and place over the top ready to roll the dough
  11. Roll out using a rolling pin to 3mm thick
  12. Choose appropriate sizes cutters for your pan as seen in the picture one needs to be slightly bigger, YES MY PAN IS OLD AND WELL USED ITS NOT DIRTY !!!!
  13. You need the bigger one even if you are topping with a decorative topping

  14. Cut out you desired larger discs, left over scraps can be brought back together and re rolled
  15. Place the discs in the tray and press down gently, if they crack just press the dough back together to smooth the disc back…..dont worry they will be fine you pastry is just a little to cold or too thick
  16. Fill with a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat
  17. Roll out the smaller piece of dough and top the way of your choice
  18. If making full pies dampen the edge with water
  19. Place the lid on the top and press down gently and cut two slits, brush on some soya milk and sprinkle with sugar
  20. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes til golden brown
  21. 20, Enjoy

Now I’m going to say this only once !!!

Once you have made these you will never go back to the commercial that are more than lacking …..well they not in preservatives and chemicals

They can be made in advance, frozen , defrosted and perked up in the oven for 5 minute or a quick zap in the microwave……….delicious warm

I’m so excited about this pastry development I will roll it out in the New Year when I hopefully have some more pictures of general bakes I’ve done with it , for a stand alone post

Of course you can have a cuppa and a Mince pie
Looking all Nigella…… give us a pout 😜😜😜
Sprinkle with Icing sugar and see them sparkle
Shes on that staking again !!! Dam bloggers πŸ™ˆ
If you dont want to make these, you are really missing out on a British Christmas
Excuse fingers !!!! NOT πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ #PastryPorn

Hope you enjoyed the post.

Please feel free to leave me a comment or a like, it helps me alot.

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If you make and of my recipes, let me know how you get on, I would love to hear. Drop me a line @clarescauldron or tag me on Insta or use my hastag #everyoneshouldenjoycake

Feel free to share me about, I’m really easy 😜😜😜 especially to the awkward intolerant ones !!!!

Until Next week


Always Time for Christmas Pudding !!

Traditional Christmas Pudding
Gluten Free and Vegan

Tomorrow marks the First Day of December and now its acceptable to start thinking of Christmas !!!

Last weekend saw the old age British tradtional of ‘Stir up Sunday ‘

The day we traditionally gather family round to stir a pudding and get ready for the start of the Christmas period

Of course this semi happened in The Cauldron but I was actually on my own with the cat and he’s not great with a wooden spoon πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

But never the less the day was marked, but that doesn’t mean you cant make your pudding now or the next week !!

Obviously there’s quite a myriad of historical information out there but here’s a quick synopsis…..just for Molly πŸ™ŠπŸ™Š

The Christmas Pudding was first made out of meat !!!!! Boiled in an animals intestines !!! We’ve moved on from that to a muslin bag and then a pudding basin….thank goodness

Rumour has it Prince Albert aka Queen Victoria’s Husband started the tradition!! Looks like we think hes responsible for all our modern day traditions with trees and such frivolity !!!πŸ˜‚

Stir up Sunday is the last Sunday in the Christian Calendar before the start of Advent

Originally comprising of 13 ingredients, to represent Jesus and the 12 disciples. It’s now grown a little….especially if you are intolerant 😜

Family gather round and stir the pudding from East to West to represent the journey for the 3 wise men !!!

Trinkets such as coins for wealth, rings for marriage , thimble for spinster-hood πŸ™ˆwhere added, but I prefer to for go this as I value a trip not to the dentist !!!!πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

But now lets get back to the bake…… you really need to make this, if you are in the UK the offerings for decent affordable Gluten Free and not necessarily Dairy Free or Vegan Christmas Puddings are limited and they cost a bomb !!

This recipe has been developed over the time so please feel free to replace the GF flour with Wheat Flour and I have given the instructions for eggs if you dont need to replace them too

But I can safely say you don’t need to do a thing with the recipe as I make it… one will know and everyone can sit down together and enjoy this pudding

Yes once again you make this in advance so that it can mature !! the fact its dried fruit and high in sugars mean its well preserved !!! Infact it can last months if well wrapped

I just want to say I’m so pleased with how these pictures have turned out Im actually amazed !!

No way less 12 months ago , when I started the blog would I have thought I could achieved this, self taught and just trying.

I do need to thank The Other Half Steve for his ladling prowess

Okay lets make a Christmas Pudding !!!

You really really want to I know…..

Traditional Christmas Pudding GF, DF V

A Traditional Mix of Dried Fruit, Spices and Booze to Bring in Christmas Cheer

This is made in a 1.2 litre / 2 pint Pudding basin or steam proof bowl
or can be made individually in 6 200 ml / 1/4 pt basins

Recipe can be halved to 1 pint bowl steam 1 hour and adjust cooking times as necessary


  • 115 g Raisins
  • 115 g Sultanas
  • 115 g Currants
  • 55 g Mixed Peel or Dried Apricots
  • 115 g Carrots Grated
  • 115 g Cooking Apple Grated ( I used Bramleys )
  • 1 Orange Zested
  • 1 Lemon Zested
  • 100 ml Dry Cider
  • 1 Tbps Black Treacle or Molasses
  • 115 g Dark Brown Soft Sugar
  • 115 g Gluten Free Plain Flour ( if not using your own blend I recommend Dove farm uk , Pilsbury US )
  • 1tsp Xanthan gum ( omit if your flour blend has it in )
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed Spice or Pumpkin Spice
  • 1/2 tsp of fresh grated Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 115 g Ground Almonds
  • 115 g GF Vegan Suet , I use Suma
  • 85 g Dark Chocolate 70% ( check its GF and V please )
  • 2 tbsps Cornflour
  • 4 tsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 Tbps Water
  • Last four ingredients can be replaced with 2 eggs


  1. Weight out the dried in a large bowl and add the cider, leave for 30 minutes
  2. Cut two discs of parchment paper by tracing round the bottom and top of the basin
  3. Grease with oil and place the smaller disc in the bottom of the basin
  4. Grate the apple , carrot , zest the lemon and orange and add to the dried fruit and cider and stir in
  5. In a separate bowl add the Gluten Free flour, Xanthan ( if using ), mixed spice , nutmeg, and cinnamon whisk whisk together with a whisk
  6. Add the ground almonds and dark brown sugar and whisk until well combined
  7. Mix the Cornflour, oil , water and black treacle in a small bowl ( or treacle and egg if using eggs )
  8. Add the suet to the fruit mix and stir together
  9. Chop the chocolate and add to the fruit mix
  10. Mix the baking powder with the treacle mix and add the the fruit and stir in. now you know why its Stir up Sunday πŸ˜‚
  11. Stir in the flour /almond mix

  12. Place into basin or basins to lip and put large circle cut out on the top
  13. Cut a piece or parchment and a piece of foil big enough to well cover your bowl top…read the next few instructions before you cut
  14. Fold a pleat in the centre of the parchment and tin foil as below
  15. Place on top of each other with shiny surface on the foil face down on the work surface
  16. Flip over and place on the top of the basin with parchment underneath
  17. Took down and tie with kitchen twine
  18. Place a small saucer in the electric pressure cooker or one pot and fill with 200ml of water
  19. Place pudding inside and steam for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  20. ( I use a Pro King and that is the meat setting, check manufacturers instructions for steamed pudding settings for your machine )

    If you are using a the hob method make sure your water is half way up the side of the basin and simmer with lid on for 3 hours

    if using a slow cooker cook on high for 8 hours with water to half way up basin

  21. Take out and leave to cool, wrap the whole pudding in basin in one more layer of foil and leave to mature til Christmas
  22. To reheat Electric pressure cook for 30 minutes , boil and simmer for 1 hour or microwave for 8 minutes

If you ever needed an arm workout you have just achieved it !!!!

I’ve given you as many variations for steaming and boiling as I can. Most things are at manufacturers advise but if you get stuck or worried give me a message and we can see if we can work it out together.

I need to thank Anne for her advise on some….so that’s someone else to blame as I always use my Pro King !!!! Thanks Anne πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

You cant really over cook a Christmas Pudding unless you forget about it or don’t have enough water.

Right lets get on with the photos because I cant wait to show you !!! And the best bit we got to eat Christmas Pudding early !!!! I really don’t know why I don’t make it more often ( possibly the calories πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚)

The Tradition of Flaming a Christmas Pudding comes from The representation of ‘The Passions of Christ ‘ his mission as such !!!

Here the instruction guide , I’m not taking responsibility πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ

It really does make a spectacle at the table, Steve heated ours over a candle on the table.

Just Naked πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ
The Fire Starter !!!!! It was getting a little chilly naked
Look at that flame , I really didn’t think I would get it for you all😍😍😍😍
Just the ticket
Now dressed it in dairy free cream
Now you know you want some !!! #puddingporn 😜😜😜
Ultimate #puddingporn 😍😍😍

I do hope you have enjoyed my festive post 😍, and dont forget the Christmas cake if you’ve not already made it !!! You need to crack on

Come back for the next few weeks and I will have you sorted with more Christmas bakes over the next 3 weeks to make your intolerant Christmas a success.

Please feel free to leave me a comment, or a like, it really does spur me on.

Signup for an Email, so you never miss another recipe or some pretty pictures and maybe a little wit and sarcasm😜. Or follow ,me on WordPress or Insta and see what I’m up to on a daily basis.

If you make any of my cakes or use my recipes, let me know how you get on, I love to hear. Drop me a line at @clarescauldron or tag me on Insta or use my #everyoneshouldenjoycake

Feel free to share me to Family, Friends and those awkward ones, I don’t mind, the more the merrier.

Until next week……..Bye for now πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

Christmas Cake is Mandatory !!!!

Traditional Christmas Cake
Gluten Free, Dairy Free , Vegan and Nut Free

Continue reading “Christmas Cake is Mandatory !!!!”