FODMAP Friendly Christmas Recipe – Fruit Mince Pies

Fruit Mince Pies for Christmas - Low FODMAP & Gluten Free - by Not From A Packet Mix

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.

Natty xoxo

FODMAP Notes

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Carrots are low FODMAP in 61 g serves, which is about one medium carrot. Much less than this is in each serving.
  4. 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.
  5. Desiccated coconut is low FODMAP in 18 g serves – much less than this is used per pie.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Lemon/orange juice and zest are low FODMAP in the amounts consumed per serve.
  9. The spices and vanilla extract included are all low FODMAP in the amount consumed per serve.
  10. 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.
  11. 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

Pastry

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

To Serve

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.

Lightly dust the pies with icing sugar or icing dextrose just before you serve them, then enjoy with your favourite vanilla bean custard or ice cream and a cup of tea or coffee.

IMG_9730IMG_9773

Advertisements

Chocolate Eclairs – Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Chocolate Eclairs - Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly and Gluten Free

For Christmas 2011 I was so sick I missed Ev’s work Christmas Party. This was tragic, because they throw pretty bloody awesome parties and we had been looking forward to it for a month. Guess who had to wake up that morning minus a voice and plus a raging headache and sore throat? Not. Cool. 

Ev decided that he would try to make me feel better by baking me eclairs… only it turned out that I had to bake them myself. He just produced the recipe; how supportive of him. But he did stand around while I made them… I suppose that counts for something.

I’m not sure where he pulled the recipe from but it turned out to be a bit of a dud – luckily, we’ve improved it since then – both to FODMAPify it and to create a recipe that works equally as well for a good cup for cup gluten free blend, spelt and wheat flours (depending what you choose to use).

The recipe is separated into three parts; pastry, custard and the chocolate icing. To make the pastry with wheat flour, just use normal plain flour and omit the xanthan gum. 

FODMAP Notes:

  1. Butter is considered low in lactose, as it’s mostly fat and lactose, as a carbohydrate, is water soluble.
  2. Eggs contain no FODMAPs but can be an irritant/allergen in their own right. Though, not a FODMAP or gluten issue.
  3. Choose a flour that suits you best. If you’d like to use white spelt flour, omit the xanthan gum.
  4. Spelt flour is lower in FODMAPs than wheat flour and it’s gluten is more readily digestible, however it is not officially low FODMAP according to Monash – only sourdough spelt is. Wheat flour is not low FODMAP, though you could use it if you have no issues with wheat.
  5. Milk and double cream can be found in lactose free varieties if you malabsorb lactose (are lactose intolerant).
  6. Choose a chocolate that you can tolerate for the icing, dark chocolate is low FODMAP in a single serve (about the amount on top of a single eclair) and can be found in dairy free varieties. Please note that white chocolate isn’t low in lactose, as it contains at least 14% milk solids.

Pastry

  • 1 cup water
  • 125g/1 stick butter
  • 4 whole eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup GF plain flour
  • 1/2 tspn. xanthan gum
  • 1/4 tspn. salt

To make the choux pastry (the eclairs), bring the water, butter and salt to the boil. Remove it from the heat and stir in the flour (and xanthan gum if you are using gluten free flour). Beat over a low heat until the mixture leaves the edges of the pan; this won’t take too long. Remove the pot from the heat once more and gradually beat in the eggs until the mixture turns shiny/satiny and breaks into strands – this part will take much longer with gluten free flour than with wheat or spelt flour. But hey, you’ll earn your eclairs… unless you use a stand mixer.

Low FODMAP and Gluten Free Eclairs Instructions

To bake, preheat oven to 400 F and either use a 12 hole muffin pan (my cheat’s method) or put the mixture in a plastic zip lock bag and snip off the corner to pipe out 12 logs (about 4 inches long and 3 inches apart), or circular blobs, on a biscuit pan lined with baking paper. The muffin shapes aren’t as pretty but it’s easier to gauge how much mixture is going into each eclair.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until they are a light golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.

IMG_6337 IMG_6339

Custard

  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup thickened cream/heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 3 tbsp. corn starch
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tspn. vanilla extract (more if you don’t use a vanilla bean)

To make the custard, heat milk slowly in a medium saucepan until it is just bubbling at the edges. In a small bowl, combine sugar and corn starch and mix well. Stir into hot milk all at once. Cook, stirring over a medium heat, until it boils. This takes time, don’t be impatient; and keep stirring or you will get lumpy custard.

Reduce the heat and simmer for one minute. Beat a small amount of the mixture into the egg yolks and then pour the egg yolks back into the saucepan and cook, stirring, over a medium heat until the mixture boils and thickens. Stir vanilla in at the end. Again, don’t rush the process or your custard will be lumpy. Place a sheet of waxed paper over the surface to prevent a skin from forming on the custard, or simply place the lid on the pan. Refrigerate until ready to fill the éclairs. I like to punch a hole in the side of each eclair with a chop stick and then use a piping bag full of the cooled custard to fill each pastry.

IMG_6343

Chocolate Icing

  • 1/2 cup double cream, LF if required
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips/chunks, >70% cocoa
  • 1 tbsp. butter

Get the chocolate chunks ready in an heat proof mixing bowl. Put the butter and cream into a saucepan and bring it to the boil (it should just start to foam at the edges), before pouring it on top of the chocolate chips and mixing vigorously until the cream has melted the chocolate and a smooth ganache has formed. This can be done by hand or in a stand mixer. Keep mixing for a few minutes, to let it cool a little, before icing the eclairs. Dunk the top half in the icing and set them back the right way up to let the chocolate set. If you choose to decorate with sprinkles, the ganache needs to be sticky and warm for them to set. If you’d rather use white chocolate ganache, let the dark chocolate ganache set before piping on the white chocolate, otherwise it will slip off. To create white chocolate ganache, use the same proportions of cream to chocolate above but substitute white for dark. Please note that white chocolate isn’t low in lactose, so avoid if you have lactose malabsorption.

IMG_6345 IMG_6354 IMG_6349

How to spike your eclairs for St Patty’s Day!… or any other occasion.

  • To the custard, add 2-3 tbsp. of Jameson’s Irish Whisky with the vanilla extract at the end. Their website says that it is GF.
  • To the chocolate icing, add 2-3 tbsp. of Irish Cream at the beginning. I am a huge fan of Saint Brendan’s Irish Cream over Bailey’s. It’s cheaper (at least here in the USA) and is actually made with cream. Their website FAQ section says that it is GF.
  • Sprinkle with green crystals or perhaps draw a clover leaf? It’s all up to you!