Friday, 23 December 2016

Mincemeat Frangipane Tart

gluten- and dairy-free

The highlight of this recipe, for me, was making a really good gluten- and dairy-free pastry. I'd read that it wasn't easy, so it felt quite an achievement  to come up with a recipe which worked well first time (and was repeatable - I made this dessert twice!). After looking at many recipes and reading about gluten-free pastry, I based this recipe on my usual wheatflour sweet shortcrust pastry recipe, but added both a little xanthan gum for strength and baking powder for lightness. I'd read that gluten-free pastry needs more liquid than wheatflour pastry, so I made the dough wetter than usual.

There are reservations about this apparent success though - the pastry dough was very sticky and hard to handle, and I'm not sure I would have had as much success in other situations, for instance if the pastry needed baking blind, or if I was trying to make a pastry top crust too. This may have only worked because the filling was put straight onto raw chilled pastry, and the mincemeat and frangipane layers completely filled the pastry case, holding the sides in place until the pastry had set during baking and leaving no chance of any collapse. Obviously I need to try out the pastry in other situations before declaring it a total success.

Sweet shortcrust pastry:
200g Dove's gluten-free plain flour
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
100g hard dairy-free baking fat (eg Stork)
50g icing sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons water

250g mincemeat (check it's gluten- and dairy-free, if this is important)

100g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
100g dairy-free baking spread
1 tablespoon ground rice
2 large eggs
a few drops almond extract
flaked almonds for topping

Sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl and add the xanthan gum and baking powder.
Cut the baking fat into small cubes and add to the bowl. I find that Stork is not as hard as cold butter, so can usually be used straight from the fridge.
Rub or cut the fat into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then mix in the egg and water to make a smooth sticky dough. Only knead enough to incorporate everything into an even dough. Put the ball of dough onto a large piece of clingfilm, wrap loosely and flatten the dough into a 3cm thick disc. Chill for 20 minutes.
Unwrap the dough, but leave it in the centre of the clingfilm, then cover with another large piece of film. Roll out the dough evenly, between the pieces of film, until it is about 30cm (12") in diameter and will fit into a shallow fluted flan tin, about 23cm (9") in diameter.
Remove the top piece of clingfilm carefully - the dough will still be sticky - and invert the circle of dough into the flan tin, so that the bottom piece of film is now on top. While this piece of clingfilm is still in place, ease the dough into place in the corners and flutes of the tin. Chill the pastry case again.
Remove the pastry case from the fridge, gently ease off the clingfilm and trim the dough around the top of the tin to give a neat edge. Any small holes can now be patched with small pieces of the dough trimmings, if necessary - just smooth a small piece into place with your finger.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C, and put a baking tray onto a middle shelf to heat.
Spread the mincemeat into the base of the pastry case.
Put all the ingredients for the frangipane, except the flaked almonds, into a bowl and beat until the mixture is smooth. This is easily done with a spoon, but you can use a hand-held mixer too, if you prefer.
Pour the frangipane over the mincemeat to fill the pastry case, and sprinkle with flaked almonds. Put onto the baking tray and cook for 40-45 minutes until frangipane is firm and golden brown.
Cool in the tin.

I was really pleased with this. I've made frangipane mincemeat tarts before, but never a gluten-and dairy-free version. I doubt anyone would be able to tell the difference as the strong flavours of mincemeat (I used a gluten-free variety with added cranberries) and almonds covers any deficiencies through not using butter in the pastry. The pastry was light and crisp too, and kept well over the three days it took to eat the tart.

I think this will be my last post before Christmas, so I'm fortunate it's a festive one. I'm not planning to cook anything new over the Christmas period, just old favourites. It's also hard to get photographs in the chaos of cooking and the bad light at this time of year, so I'll be back soon with something new.

Season's Greetings to you all!


belleau kitchen said...

I adore the combo of frangipane and mincemeat... divine! Merry Christmas xx

Katie said...

That looks delicious and a great way of using up some mincemeat. Love that you made it gluten free. Your pastry recipe is very similar to the one I use and the clingfilm trick is a must :)
Have a wonderful Christmas and new year