Thursday, 22 December 2016

Mincemeat Stars (including Gluten Free alternatives)

A delicious alternative to traditional mince pies at Christmas time!

Several years ago, I saw these beautiful little traditional Finnish Christmas tarts called 'joulutorttu', which are traditionally filled with prune jam, that I thought would work wonderfully as a mince pie alternative filled with mincemeat instead.

I played around with them, trying different ways of making sure they didn't burst or come apart during baking, and looked pretty, and this is what I came up with.

You could make your own mincemeat and my easy (gluten free) puff pastry (Thermomix methods for both), or you can simply use a pack of pre-rolled puff pastry and a (411g) jar of mincemeat if you're pushed for time and want the easy alternative. Either way they'll have a lovely home-made look, keep well, and are perfect to offer to unexpected guests that drop by over the festive period, so make a nice little stash as they're very more-ish!

Makes either 20 mini mincemeat stars (my preference), or you could make eight large ones.

  • 1 jar mincemeat (411g) - or my recipe for bejewelled festive fruity mincemeat is here
  • 1 ready-rolled puff pastry sheet (320-375g) or make my easy gluten free puff pastry
  • 1 tub glace cherries (you won't need all of them) 
  • 1 egg, beaten, to glaze the pastry (optional)


1. Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 6 / 180C Fan Oven / 400F. Roll your puff pastry out approximately 3mm thick, trim the edges straight and cut into squares - I like to cut mine roughly 3 inches square for smallish stars, but you can make them larger. Roll it out directly onto some non-stick baking paper (with silicone is good) to save transferring them if you like, as you won't need to space them out once cut and folded.

2. Cut a slit in each corner diagonally about a third of the way in.  You might find it quickest to do all the cuts in one direction first, then turn the whole thing around a quarter turn to do the rest of the cuts.

3. Place a teaspoon of mincemeat in the centre of each square (or more if bigger), and fold in each alternate corner just past the centre (see photo to the right for each stage), using a little water to stick them on top of each other.

4. Place a halved glace cherry in the centre of each star, and push down gently to secure.

5. Brush the pastry with egg wash, and put into the hot oven for approximately 12-15 minutes until puffed up and golden and the pastry is cooked - they may take longer depending on the accuracy of your oven / pastry thickness. Also, I find that if I use ready made gluten free puff pastry it takes a little longer.

6. Cool on a rack, and if desired dust with a little icing sugar to serve - if I am gifting the stars in packs, I don't tend to dust with icing sugar to avoid the inside of the packet looking dusty.

Enjoy with some cheeky brandy cream whipped up on the side - for the grown-ups only! 

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