Gluten-Free TCM Inspired Mince Pies

Gluten-free Gou Qi Zi and Longyan Rou Mince Pies

Makes 12 mince pies

As always, we love to inject a little TCM influence into everything that we do and as it’s Christmas, what better way to do that than making festive treats.

This recipe is gluten free and uses far less fat and sugar than ready made mince pies from the supermarket. The sweetness of the Longyan Rou and fresh apples is plentiful and there is no need to add any extra sugar to the mincemeat. We found that the Gou Qi Zi added a delightful texture to the mincemeat and as a bonus, the tartness was well counterbalanced.

If you’ve got a bit of time before Christmas, why not make a batch for the clinic?


Shortcrust pastry:

225g Gluten-free plain flour (we used Dove’s Farm)

112g unsalted butter (soft, at room temperature)

¼ tsp xanthan gum

50g coconut sugar

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons of cold water


2 unpeeled red apples – diced or finely chopped

30g Longyan fruit (Dragon eye fruit)

30g Gou Qi Zi (Goji berries)

30g raisins

30g sultanas

1 lemon (zest and juice)

Juice of 1 orange

½ tsp ground Gui Pi (Cinnamon)

½ tsp grated whole Rou Dou Kou (Nutmeg) or ground nutmeg

½ tsp ground Ding Xiang (Cloves)

½ tsp ground Sha Ren (Cardamom Seed) powder

2-3 tbsp of brandy (optional – depending on how boozy you like them)

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 pinch of sea salt


  1. First make the mincemeat by combining all of the mincemeat ingredients in a large saucepan and cook on a low-medium heat with the lid on. Stir regularly to avoid the mixture from burning, add a little more coconut oil if the mixture dries up. Once the apples are soft, set aside to cool.
  2. Now time to make the shortcrust pastry – sift the flour and xanthan gum into a large bowl.
  3. Then, cut the butter up into cubes and add to the flour mixture. With your hands, combine the butter with the flour to make a crumb like mixture – (like crumble).
  4. Add the egg yolk and sugar to the bowl and mix well. Then add 1 tablespoon of water and knead to form a dough. Add the second tablespoon of water, little by little to avoid the dough becoming too wet. If it does become too wet, simply add a little extra flour. If the dough is too crumbly, the pastry will fall apart once baked so do ensure that at least 1 ½ tablespoons of water is used.
  5. Roll the dough into a ball and wrap in clingfilm. Put into the fridge to chill for 15-30 minutes. Whilst you are waiting, preheat the oven at 340’F/170’C fan or gas mark 3. Then grease a muffin or tart tray with butter or olive oil.
  6. Remove the dough from the fridge and flour your surface. Roll out your dough to 5mm thickness. Using a 3 inch cookie cutter or a pint glass, cut out 12 pastry bases and add to greased tray. Fill each base with a teaspoon of mincemeat. Lastly cut out your mince pie lids from the remaining pastry. We used a 2 inch round cookie cutter and then used the leftover pastry to make leaves using a toothpick – optional. Put the lids on top of each mince pie and then brush the tops with an egg wash (1 egg yolk).
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden.
  8. Remove from the oven and put the tray onto a wire rack to cool. Remove from tray once cool and dust with icing sugar if you’d like. Then, enjoy!

If you make your own, we would love to see! Please tag us in your pictures on Instagram using the hashtag #Phoenix

Haven’t got time to do something for Christmas? Why not just focus on 2019 by planning your clinic marketing activities for the year. It’s always best to be prepared for events, such as Acupuncture Awareness Week or even Wimbledon,  to be in tune with client demand.

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