I’m so excited to share these pies with all of you, they have been a long time coming.
Mince pies (or mince tarts, whatever name you know then by) are a Christmas staple in many Aussie households – as well as many other places that were colonised by the British, I suppose. Every year, Mum would stock up with Bakers’ Delight mince pies as soon as they were available and we’d freeze a bunch so that we’d have them well past Christmas, we loved them so much. Unfortunately, though, I had to cut them out long ago due to the extreme amounts of dried fruits, and often apple, that were lurking inside their delicious pastry shells.
Well, not any more! These fruit mince pies are low FODMAP (according to Monash University ratings) in servings of two pies – you can read the FODMAP information for each ingredient in the FODMAP Notes section below. They are moist, sweet enough, with buttery pastry and just the right amount of spice to finish off your Christmas meal. Enjoy them with a cup of tea, some freshly made custard or FODMAP friendly vanilla ice cream.
Don’t be scared that there are vegetables in here (yes, I know, choko is actually a fruit); the carrot is a naturally sweet vegetable, especially when small and young and the chokos, while typically used as a vegetable and not very sweet themselves, are the perfect apple substitute in a lot of recipes. Combine them with low FODMAP amounts of nut meals, dried fruit (optional) and traditional spices and we have a Christmas classic made low FODMAP.
Merry Christmas guys! Enjoy your time with family and friends, whatever you celebrate and I’ll see you in the new year for more delicious low FODMAP cooking. Don’t forget to sign up to receive each new post by email.
- Choko, aka chayote squash, is low FODMAP in 1/2 cup (84 g) serves and a perfect replacement for apples in cooking. When young, they are juicy and crisp. The amount per serving of these mince tarts is well below the top recommended safe serve.
- A note about the fruit content: if you look online, many blogs and websites warn you to stay completely away from dried fruits. However, if you check Monash University’s Low FODMAP App, this depends on the fruit. Also, if you find that you cannot have any dried fruit (even low FODMAP serves) in the beginning, you may find that, as you progress and your gut settles, you might be able to introduce them back into your diet in small quantities. The amount of dried fruit in this recipe, spread over many small mince pies, should be well tolerated according to Monash. If you can’t handle dried fruit yet, obviously either substitute in raspberries as instructed, or don’t eat them.
- Dried cranberries are low FODMAP in 13 g/1 tbsp. serves – much less than this is in each serving of mince pie.
- Sultanas are listed as containing high levels of excess fructose and fructans in 13 g/1 tbsp. serves. Monash University informed me, however, that 1 tsp. of sultanas should be tolerated by most, which means that the 1.3 g of sultanas in each pie (so 2.6 g/ approx. 1/2 tsp. per two pie serve) should be tolerated as well.
- Raspberries are low FODMAP in 45 g serves, so will be okay in the amount per serve of pie.
- Common bananas are still low FODMAP when ripe in servings of 100 g (approx. one medium fruit). Only 50 g is required for the entire recipe, so a serving of these pies will stay well under the maximum low FODMAP serving. Make sure you get the common variety, rather than sugar/lady finger bananas, which become high in excess fructose when ripe.
- If you are on elimination, please discuss these options with your dietitian, as they might wish you to use the extra low FODMAP method, which is to substitute in raspberries, instead of sultanas.
- If you are more sensitive to dried fruit than Monash University recommendations, please substitute in raspberries (fresh or frozen) for the dried cranberries and banana for the sultanas/raisins.
- Carrots are low FODMAP in 61 g serves, which is about one medium carrot. Much less than this is in each serving.
- Almond meal is low FODMAP in 24 g serves – the 50 g called for in this recipe is divided between 18 serves (36 pies), so is well within safe limits.
- Desiccated coconut is low FODMAP in 18 g serves – much less than this is used per pie.
- Maple and golden syrup are sucrose based, thus have a fructose ratio of 1.0 and are safe low FODMAP sugars in the amounts called for per serving.
- Whisky and vodka are each low FODMAP in 30 ml serves. Traditionally, rum would be used but, as it contains excess fructose, these are both safer options. If you know you can tolerate tiny amounts of rum, feel free to sub it back in. This is not advised while you are on elimination.
- Lemon/orange juice and zest are low FODMAP in the amounts consumed per serve.
- The spices and vanilla extract included are all low FODMAP in the amount consumed per serve.
- Butter is very low in lactose and Monash University has listed the typical serve (19 g/1 tbsp.) to be low FODMAP. If you include both the pastry and filling in each two-pie serve, you will have approx. 1.5 tbsp. of butter. If you are very sensitive to lactose, simply substitute the butter in the pastry and/or filling for your favourite lactose free option, such as refrigerated coconut oil or a dairy free “butter” spread.
- Dextrose is a form of glucose and is the most fructose/FODMAP friendly sugar out there, with a fructose ratio of 0.0. By using it in this recipe, it will help to balance out any fructose present in the rest of the pies as well as in whatever meal you ate just beforehand (as long as they go through the stomach and small intestine together).
Fruit Mince Pies
Makes approx. 36 small pies | 18 low FODMAP serves
Fruit Mince Filling
- 160 g choko (approx. 1, aka chayote squash) or zucchini, peeled and finely grated
- 1 small carrot, peeled and finely grated
- 50 g (1/3 cup) sultanas or very ripe mashed banana
- 50 g (1/3 cup) dried cranberries or fresh/frozen raspberries
- 50 g (1/2 cup) almond meal
- 50 g (1/2 cup) unsweetened desiccated coconut shreds
- 80 ml (1/3 cup) pure maple syrup
- 75 g (1/3 cup) dextrose powder
- 1 tbsp. whisky or vodka
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- Zest of 1/2 a lemon or 1 tsp. dried peel
- Zest of 1/2 an orange or 1 tsp. dried peel
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 30 g melted unsalted butter
- 1 pinch salt
- Dust with icing sugar
- Vanilla bean custard or your favourite FF ice cream
The day before baking, make the fruit mince filling by mixing all the ingredients together in a container, then put the lid on and store it in the fridge overnight. This allows the dried fruit to soak up the juices from the carrots and choko and lets the flavours meld together. It makes a huge difference in terms of flavour, so don’t skimp.
The pastry can also be made one day ahead, if you wish. If you are using my pie crust pastry, don’t store it in the fridge – instead, keep it wrapped in plastic wrap in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. If you put it in the fridge for more than 30 minutes, it will turn into a solid brick, as most gluten free pastries do, and will need to be re-hydrated once more with a little ice water and your stand mixer.
Pre-heat your oven to 180 C/350 F and grease two small (24 hole) muffin pans.
On a pastry mat or a lightly floured bench, roll out your pastry until it is approx. 2-3 mm thick, then slice it into rectangles measuring 5 x 10 cm. Gently pick up each rectangle and line the muffin holes, trimming off the excess pastry as you go. Once all the muffin holes are lined and the pastry trimmed, re-roll the excess pastry and cut out little stars or leaves to top the pies.
Place the completed muffin trays into the freezer for 10-15 minutes, in the meantime clean your work space and get the fruit mincemeat filling out of the fridge.
Place approx. 1 1/2 tsp. of the fruit mince filling in each pie crust – they should be only slightly heaped, not overly full. Next, place a star or leaves on each pie and brush with your milk of choice.
Bake at 180 C for 15 minutes, until the stars toppers are slightly golden brown. Do not wait for them to turn a true golden brown as this often doesn’t happen with gluten free pastry and you’ll just end up over-cooking your pies.
Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before you remove them from the muffin pans. If you are storing them, place them in an airtight container in the pantry for up to a week but they taste best if eaten in the first couple of days.