Photograph: Laura Edwards
For the pastry, sift together the gluten- and wheat-free plain white flour blend, xanthan gum and a good pinch of sea salt into a bowl, and mix. Cut the cold butter into cubes and rub into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture forms crumbs. Add the beaten egg to the bowl and mix in using a table knife. Gradually add 3-4 tablespoons of cold water, mixing after each addition. Keep adding water and mixing until the mixture just comes together to form a dough. Turn on to a floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide into two and wrap in clingfilm. Chill for 30 minutes, or until needed.
Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas 5. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 3-4mm thick. Using a 7.5cm unfluted round cutter, stamp out 24 bases; using a 6cm round cutter, stamp out 12 lids, rerolling as needed. Stamp out 12 pastry stars with a 6cm star cutter.
Line two 12-hole cupcake tins with the pastry bases. Put a spoonful of mincemeat into each and brush the edge of the pastry with a little milk. Top 12 pies with the smaller pastry circles, pressing the edges to seal; top the remainder with stars. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.
Get ahead: these keep well in an airtight tin so it’s worth making plenty, or you can freeze the baked, cooled pies and reheat them from frozen – no need to defrost. Preheat the oven to 190°C, fan 170°C, gas 5, and bake the pies on a baking tray for 8-10 minutes.
Kitchen secret: check that your favourite brand of mincemeat is gluten-free, or make your own. Here's how:
In a food processor, roughly chop 125g mixed dried fruit, 125g dried apricots and 25g blanched almonds. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, peel and grate 1 dessert apple and mix in. In a pan, warm the juice and grated zest of 1 orange, together with 4 tbsp clear honey, 4 tbsp dark rum, 1 tsp mixed spice and 1 tsp ground cinnamon. Pour on to the fruit, mix well and cool, then use immediately.