Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake is an easy cake to assemble last minute. A lightly spiced almond sponge made incredibly festive by its secret ingredient – mincemeat. Drizzled with a quick tipsy Brandy Cream Icing.

Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

It’s not that I don’t like regular Christmas Cake. I’m happy to eat a boozy fruit cake any time of the year. However, I always feel that on top of the Christmas pudding and all the mince pies, a traditional Christmas cake can sometimes be a bit too much.

Close up of Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake with slice on a plate in front

This Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake is my favourite way to keep a Christmas cake in the mix whilst making it a little more accessible and not just something your great aunt is going to enjoy. Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake still has all the right flavours going on so no one is going to feel hard done by. It’s festive with spices, brandy and plump fruits. But as it is primarily a sponge cake and not a fruit cake it’s so much lighter and a bit more modern.

Close up of Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake

It’s also incredibly quick to assemble as we’re taking a bit of a shortcut to Christmas by using mincemeat. I will always advocate homemade mincemeat in any recipe where it is required as I think the shop bought stuff is pretty terrible. All sugar and no taste. The good news is that homemade mincemeat is really easy, hopefully you have already made yours otherwise this Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake might be a slightly longer process than you initially believed. At a push, of course you can use the shop bought stuff, the cake will still be delicious.

Close up of Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake with slice taken out

To make the cake even easier to bring together I used a gluten-free plain flour blend, Freee by Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain White Flour 1kg (Pack of 5)” to be exact. You can use any blend but ideally without xanthan gum. By adding an equal amount of gluten-free plain flour and ground almonds we’re ensuring the sponge stays beautifully moist with plenty of fluffiness. The ground almonds add a lovely taste and if you grind your own almonds, which I did here, so it’s more like an almond meal, then the cake will have a pleasantly nubby texture that sits really nicely with the mincemeat. My mincemeat had chopped almonds in already so there is lots of nuttiness going on.

Close up of Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake with slice on a plate in front

The Brandy Cream Icing is gorgeously sweet, creamy and subtle with brandy. However, if you would rather make an icing without the booze then just omit the brandy and add in more milk and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Close up of Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake with slice on a plate in front

If you make this Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you make the recipe or use it as a building block for another delicious creation, I’d also love it if you tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Print Recipe
Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake
Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake is an easy cake to assemble last minute. A lightly spiced almond sponge made incredibly festive by its secret ingredient – mincemeat. Drizzled with a quick tipsy Brandy Cream Icing.
Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake, christmas
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
12 people
Ingredients
  • 275 g caster sugar
  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 180 g gluten-free plain flour
  • 180 g ground almonds
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoons mixed spice
  • 280 g mincemeat
Brandy Cream Icing
  • 300 g icing sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons double cream
  • 3-4 tablespoons brandy
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake, christmas
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
12 people
Ingredients
  • 275 g caster sugar
  • 200 g unsalted butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 180 g gluten-free plain flour
  • 180 g ground almonds
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoons mixed spice
  • 280 g mincemeat
Brandy Cream Icing
  • 300 g icing sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons double cream
  • 3-4 tablespoons brandy
Cheat's Gluten-Free Christmas Cake
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.
  2. Line and grease a 9 inch round cake tin.
  3. Cream the sugar with the butter on a slow to medium speed for about 6 minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat the eggs in one at a time, mixing well between additions.
  5. Add the vanilla extract.
  6. Whisk the flour with the almonds, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl then beat into the rest of the ingredients.
  7. Stir in the mincemeat.
  8. Pour the batter into the cake tin, smoothing out the surface then bake for 1 hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Leave for about 5 minutes for the cake to settle then carefully remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack before icing.
Brandy Cream Icing
  1. Stir the icing sugar together with the double cream until smooth.
  2. Stir in the brandy one tablespoon at a time until the icing has reached a thick dropping consistency.
  3. Spoon over the top of the cake nudging it towards the edges so it drips down the sides.
Recipe Notes

*I used a suet based mincemeat so there was a bit more fat in the mix. If you are using a non-suet mincemeat perhaps increase the butter by 20g.

SHOP THE RECIPE

If you’re a gluten-free baker in the UK then you will be very familiar with Freee by Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain White Flour 1kg (Pack of 5) as it’s pretty much the only gluten-free flour that’s easily accessible for the home baker. For this cake it works really well in combination with ground almonds for a lovely moist cake.

I didn’t have a decent 9 inch cake tin for this recipe so I invested in this PME Anodised Aluminium Round Cake Pan 9 x 4-Inch Deep which is from my favourite range of cake tins. They are wonderful as they have completely straight sides so your cakes will be beautifully neat, the anodised aluminium means the heat disperses evenly throughout the cake without cooking the sides too quickly, which some darker cake tins do. The cakes slip out of the tins easily and they come in all the sizes you would need, I think I may almost have the whole set now.

I love these Kitchen Craft Paul Hollywood 2-Tier Stackable Wire Cooling Rack, 40 x 26 x 35 cm (16″ x 10″ x 14″), don’t be put off that they are part of the Paul Hollywood range as they are actually really useful as they are nice and high which allow more air to get to your cakes to cool quickly. Some cooling racks are too close to the kitchen counter which traps in more moisture as the cakes are cooling down which could lead to a wetter sponge. These are great.

I love these dinky these reindeer cake toppers-  Anniversary House Reindeer Plastic Cake Toppers. Pack of 6. BX164 – so super cute!

and I bought these trees years ago for some Christmas crafts and found they have been more useful ever since decorating my Christmas cakes – Set of 3 Snowy Bristle Xmas Trees for Christmas Cake Decotation

This post is not sponsored but the images above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce {gluten-free}

This Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce is a delightful alternative take on the Christmas Pudding. Still rich with fruit and spices but imbued with velvety pools of chocolate and the sharp sweetness of clementines.

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

I hate to break it to you but this weekend is the last Sunday before advent. There is no denying it any more, Christmas will soon be upon us and in no time we’ll be scrabbling around on Christmas Eve desperately trying to wrap up all the stocking presents, brine the turkey and wrestle the children into bed.

Amid the present and meal prep chaos there is definitely one job you don’t want to be doing on Christmas Eve and that’s making a Christmas Pudding. Let’s face it if you haven’t made it by then it’s more than likely you’ll be swinging by Tesco before it closes hoping they haven’t sold out of all the gluten-free ones. There’s nothing like a homemade Christmas Pudding though. That’s why it’s best to get ahead and tradition decrees that the fifth sunday before Christmas is the ideal day for such a job. It’s Stir-Up Sunday people!

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

Stir-Up Sunday harkens way back to Victorian times and gets its name from the opening of the book of common prayer which is read on the last Sunday before advent ‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people’ It seems that the Victorians took the bible at its word and it soon became tradition to stir up your Christmas Pudding on that day too. And with good reason, it’s such a good idea to get it out of the way early doors. After its initial steam a Christmas Pudding can sit quite happily for weeks or even months and even tastes better the longer you leave it.

Christmas Pudding evokes such childhood nostalgia for me that a generous portion at Christmas is more than a delicious dessert, it’s like a transportation device to my past. I loved the Christmas Pudding our Auntie Lil always used to make us but I also have a fondness for the one we were served every year at school.

Christmas time at our school was magical. The whole school would sit at tables in the main dining hall, an ancient and creaking cavernous room, all wooden beams and pillars with a balcony high above surrounding the room where the older years would sit. Just after the Christmas Pudding was served the lights would be turned off so we were in pitch darkness. The room would fall silent, all 700 children, and a beautiful choral echo would be heard faintly from outside. As the singing grew stronger, our choral society would hover into the room, shrouded in capes, holding candles and singing haunting Latin carols. The memory of Christmas Pudding drowning in brandy sauce still in our mouths. Perhaps if we were lucky a faint metallic taste might be on our tongues as well which meant that we had been one of the hallowed few to have found a penny wrapped in foil in our serving. To be treasured indeed.

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

My recipe for Traditional Christmas Pudding is usually the one I turn to every year and although I will never tire of it I fancied a change. So this Christmas I will be making this Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce and I could not be more excited to share it with my family, it’s utterly delicious.

What I love about this recipe that even though this pudding is beautifully chocolately it is still most definitely Christmas Pudding and the flavours marry together so well. The teff flour, which is the gluten-free flour I chose for this recipe works so beautifully in support of the chocolate. There is so much texture in this Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding, the molton puddles of chocolate chips give the pudding a softness, the dried fruit give a lovely chew with a final nobbly crunch from the nuts. And despite all the rich flavours going on, this Christmas Pudding is lighter than you think, it’s not stodgy at all. As long as you don’t let it sit after it has finished steaming and serve straightaway.

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

The Cointreau Sauce is a nod to the brandy sauce we were always served at school and actually I think this may be my favourite accompaniment to the pudding. It’s adapted from a Delia Smith recipe for her Brandy Sauce and it is light and simple. The gentle flavour of the Cointreau Sauce lets the pudding speak for itself whilst providing the much needed sauce and a spicy after kick of Cointreau.

Also a little bit of advice on this recipe, I know we’re all about Stir-Up Sunday but since this recipe takes a couple of days to make you will probably want to start prepping on the Saturday. Stir-Up Saturday if you will. This means you can do the final bit of work and the big steam on the Sunday rather than the job bleeding into your working week.

Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce

If you do fancy ringing in the changes with your Christmas pudding this year then I urge you to give this Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce a go, and if you do then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you use this recipe as a jumping off point for your own twist on the Christmas pud then I’d also love it if you’d share your version and tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Print Recipe
Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce {gluten-free}
This Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce is a delightful alternative take on the Christmas Pudding
Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours total
Servings
10 people
Ingredients
Day One
  • 115 g sultanas
  • 115 g currants
  • 100 g dried cranberries
  • 20 g mixed peel
  • 40 g whole almonds chopped up
  • 1 grated bramley apple about 250g
  • juice and zest 2 clementines + 1 extra for decoration
  • 50 ml Cointreau
Day 2
  • 2 eggs
  • 80 g fresh shredded suet*
  • 125 g chocolate chips
  • 115 g light muscovado sugar
  • 80 g gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 80 g teff flour
  • 20 g tapioca flour
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Cointreau Sauce
  • 40 g butter
  • 40 g sweet rice flour
  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 150 ml double cream
  • 2 tablespoons Cointreau
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours total
Servings
10 people
Ingredients
Day One
  • 115 g sultanas
  • 115 g currants
  • 100 g dried cranberries
  • 20 g mixed peel
  • 40 g whole almonds chopped up
  • 1 grated bramley apple about 250g
  • juice and zest 2 clementines + 1 extra for decoration
  • 50 ml Cointreau
Day 2
  • 2 eggs
  • 80 g fresh shredded suet*
  • 125 g chocolate chips
  • 115 g light muscovado sugar
  • 80 g gluten-free breadcrumbs
  • 80 g teff flour
  • 20 g tapioca flour
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Cointreau Sauce
  • 40 g butter
  • 40 g sweet rice flour
  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 150 ml double cream
  • 2 tablespoons Cointreau
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Chip Clementine Christmas Pudding with Cointreau Sauce
Instructions
  1. Mix everything from the Day 1 list of ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate overnight.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients from Day 2 and stir together really well.
  3. Butter a pudding basin, and slice the extra clementine, tucking the slices into the bottom of the basin.
  4. Fill the pudding basin with the pudding mixture then prepare the basin for the steam.
  5. Take a piece of greaseproof paper and lie a piece of foil on top, make a fold in the centre of both pieces which allows for more room for the steam to rise. Place these over the top of the pudding basin, with the foil on top, securing with string around the pudding. Trim off any excess paper and foil, you don't want them to hanging too low as otherwise they will soak up the water during the steam.
  6. Place a wire rack (or a folded up tea towel) into a large lidded pot, deep enough to cover the pudding. Then place the pudding on top of the rack.
  7. Fill the pot up with boiling water until halfway up the pudding. The water should not touch the greaseproof paper or foil otherwise they will soak it up and the pudding will go soggy. Place the lid on the pot and turn the heat on so the water is kept at a simmer.
  8. Steam for four hours, checking the water level occasionally and topping up if necessary.
  9. Remove the pudding from its pot then leave to cool. Once cool re-wrap the pudding in fresh greaseproof paper and foil and store in a cool dark place until Christmas Day.
  10. On Christmas Day the puddings will need a final steam before serving so repeat steps 6 and 7. However your pudding will only need two hours this time.
  11. Turn your pudding out onto a plate and serve with the Cointreau sauce.
Cointreau Sauce
  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan then add the sweet rice flour.
  2. Pour in the milk gradually and bring the sauce up to a gentle boil. Add the sugar and continue cooking for about 10 minutes.
  3. Pour in the cream and bring the sauce to a low simmer.
  4. Finally turn off heat and add the Cointreau. Serve hot with the Christmas pudding.
Recipe Notes

*It’s just not possible to buy gluten-free pre-packaged suet so do speak to your local butcher about obtaining fresh suet. It will come in a solid block which you will need to grate with a bit of gluten-free flour so that it can evenly disperse throughout the mincemeat.

Cointreau Sauce adapted from Delia Smith's Brandy Sauce

SHOP THE RECIPE

I always use Callebaut Chocolate Dark 70.5 Percent Easi-Melt Buttons Callets 2.5 Kg in all my chocolate recipes. It comes in a big old bag but if you bake a lot then these chocolate pellets are simply delicious and so good to bake with.

There are a few brands of lovely teff flour that I like to use but for this Christmas Pudding I used yourhealthstore Premium Gluten Free Brown Teff Flour 1kg. It has a lovely taste and soft texture.

It’s not difficult to get hold of tapioca flour in the UK. You can often find 100g pots of Doves Farm Tapioca Flour in the supermarket but it’s quite costly and doesn’t give you very much. You can find more varied brands in health food shops in bags of about 500g. The cost depends entirely on the brand you purchase. My preferred brand is Bob’s Red Mill GF Tapioca Flour 500 g (Pack of 2) as it’s certifiably gluten-free and I order it through Amazon.

I love my Cornishware Blue and White Stripe Pudding Basin 1.1L 40oz which I use for all my steamed puddings, it’s so beautiful and sturdy and is about to really come into its own as I make my Christmas Pudding in the next couple of weeks.

Bakers twine is super useful in baking and for securing your foil lid to your steamed puddings. I use Tenn Well 200m 3Ply Bakers Twine, Kitchen Cotton Twine Food Safe Cooking String Perfect for Trussing and Tying Poultry Meat Making Sausage DIY Crafts and Decoration (White)

This post is not sponsored but the images above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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Gluten-Free Mince Pies

These simple Gluten-Free Mince Pies are made with the most flavourful sorghum and almond flour pastry and filled with Easy Homemade Mincemeat.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

I waxed lyrical earlier on in the week regarding my love affair with mincemeat and all the different and festive ways you can incorporate this treasure into your baking. However, it may not have gone unnoticed that I haven’t actually posted any actual mince pie recipes on the blog. Like ever. Until now.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

To be honest most of the drama regarding making your own mince pies is around the mincemeat and once you have that under your belt then you just need to encase it in pastry. Yes, there are many routes you can go down with your mince pies, open topped, double-crusted, frangipane, brandy butter topped, orange icing. The list is endless. But there is plenty of time to get into all of that once you have mastered the pastry itself. Since I’m a gluten-free blog then I am all about the gluten-free pastry and I’ve been saving this glorious homemade gluten-free pastry recipe until exactly the right time. In my mind there is no better time than mince pie season (aka Christmas)!

This gluten-free pastry is actually just as easy to make as regular wheat pastry. The only difference is that it is slightly more fragile to handle so may need a little more care when rolling out. It also requires a couple of minutes extra to blend together your gluten-free flour mix so you can ensure your pastry has the right bind, flakiness and snap.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

I can’t deny that this gluten-free pastry tastes absolutely incredible. I tested the recipe by making some plain pastry shells and they were so moreish, like tasty little biscuits. As in most of my gluten-free recipes the alternative flours pack in so much flavour. This pastry is more than just a vessel for holding your mincemeat, it has its own character and flavour profile to enhance your mince pies.

The majority flour used in this gluten-free pastry recipe is sweet rice flour which is needed to bind the ingredients together and add elasticity to the mix so that the pastry can be rolled out with ease. It has a near neutral taste so its role is mostly function. The flavour of the pastry can be sourced via the other two flours in the mix, sorghum and almond flour. The sorghum flour is incredibly tasty, think wholewheat flour, earthy and wholesome. The almond flour adds a mild nutty sweetness and both of these are a great match for the rich mincemeat. The fourth ingredient in the flour blend is ground flaxseeds which helps to further bind the pastry and also adds a nice bit of texture.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

Once these four ingredients are whisked together then you can pretty much continue the same way you would as regular pastry. I use the butter cold from the fridge, sliced as thinly as possible then rubbed with the flours to make rough shreds and add flakiness to your dough. Caster sugar is added for sweetness. Then 2 eggs and an extra yolk for richness. Bring your dough quickly together, with maybe a little ice cold milk if more liquid is needed to make the pastry cohesive. Then wrap your ball of pastry in cling film and keep in the fridge until needed. The pastry can keep up to 3 days, just bring it out 30 minutes to 1 hour (depending on how warm your kitchen is) before you would like to roll it out.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

I have several mince pie tins but typically they have all been put into storage along with a bunch of my baking gear whilst we’re umming and ahhing about moving house. I had a mini meltdown when I realised this, which was obviously after I had cut out all my pastry rounds and the oven had been pre-heated and I was basically ready to go. However it turns out that a 12 hole regular muffin tin makes the perfect sized four-bite mince pies just as well. Your pastry rounds will only go halfway up the tin but this works out just fine. So you mustn’t despair if you don’t have a special tin for your gluten-free mince pies.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

I filled my Gluten-Free Mince Pies with the most delicious Easy Mincemeat this time round. If you fancy being a little bit daring with your mince pies then have a look at my Victorian Mincemeat which is inspired by traditional mince pies and uses actual beef mince along with the dried fruit, spices and brandy. That mincemeat is something special. You can’t taste that it is actually meat, it is just ultra flavourful with a wonderfully luxurious texture. If you want to go in the other direction entirely then my nut-free and vegetarian Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat is glorious and is a family favourite. So vibrant, light and still incredibly festive. Your mince pies, your choice.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies

If you need a Gluten-Free Mince Pie recipe then you must give these a go, they are simply wonderful, and if you do then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you use this recipe as a jumping off point for your own mince pies then I’d also love it if you’d share your version and tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Print Recipe
Gluten-Free Mince Pies
These simple Gluten-Free Mince Pies are made with the most flavourful sorghum and almond flour pastry and filled with Easy Homemade Mincemeat.
Gluten-Free Mince Pies
Course christmas
Cuisine British
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
18 double-crusted pies
Ingredients
  • 140 g sweet rice flour plus extra flour for dusting
  • 125 g sorghum flour
  • 75 g almond flour
  • 25 g ground flaxseeds
  • 125 g unsalted butter directly from the fridge
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs + 1 yolk lightly beaten
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk very cold
  • 300 g mincemeat
  • 1 teaspoon egg yolk + 1whole milk whisked together for the wash
Course christmas
Cuisine British
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes
Servings
18 double-crusted pies
Ingredients
  • 140 g sweet rice flour plus extra flour for dusting
  • 125 g sorghum flour
  • 75 g almond flour
  • 25 g ground flaxseeds
  • 125 g unsalted butter directly from the fridge
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs + 1 yolk lightly beaten
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk very cold
  • 300 g mincemeat
  • 1 teaspoon egg yolk + 1whole milk whisked together for the wash
Gluten-Free Mince Pies
Instructions
Making the pastry
  1. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the sweet rice flour, sorghum flour, almond flour and chia seeds.
  2. Slice the butter very thinly and add to the flour. Then rub the mixture between fingertips until roughly shorn and crumbly.
  3. Whisk in the caster sugar and then pour in the eggs.
  4. Bring the dough together using a wooden spoon at first if you like and then your hands. If the dough is still too dry and crumbly then add a little extra whole milk.
  5. Turn the pastry out on to the work surface and knead very briefly into a ball until the dough is cohesive and slightly sticky.
  6. Wrap the pastry dough in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or up to 3 days) until you are ready to make your mince pies.
Making the mince pies
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  2. To make the mince pies, dust your work top and your rolling pin with extra sweet rice flour then roll your pastry out to 3mm thickness. The pastry will be quite fragile. I usually split the dough in half and roll out half at a time to save a lot of re-rolling.
  3. Cut your pastry using an 8cm pastry cutter and place each round carefully in the hole of a 12 hole muffin tin. The pastry will come up about halfway. Fill each mince pie with a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat. If you want double crusted mince pies then cut out further 6cm rounds for the lid and tuck on top so the edges of the pastry all meet.
  4. If you would like to decorate the top of the mince pies then cut out extra Christmassy shapes from the pastry and place on top.
  5. Whisk the extra egg yolk and milk to make a wash then brush over the top of each mince pie. Place in the oven and bake the mince pies for 10 minutes until they are golden. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes to rest then carefully remove each mince pie from the tin with a palette knife and place on a wire rack to cool. Wash and dry the tin then make your next batch.
  6. Store the mince pies in a metal tin. They keep quite well for up to 5 days but they are best on the day they are made.
Recipe Notes

SHOP THE RECIPE

The 12 hole muffin tin I always use and will thoroughly recommend due to its durability and ease of washing is the MasterClass 12-Hole Non-Stick Cupcake Tray / Baking Pan, 35 x 27 cm

I use these KitchenCraft Double-Edged Plastic Biscuit / Pastry Cutters with Storage Box (Set of 7) – White for cutting out my mince pies, scones, biscuits. Anything really. These are basic and great. Plus they can go in the dishwasher.

For brushing the egg wash on the mince pies I recommend using a silicone pastry brush. I use Zeal Silicone Pastry Basting Brush Cream, 20 cm and absolutely love it. It goes in the dishwasher and is so easy to clean plus doesn’t clump together like some bristle pastry brushes do. I also use it for basting my turkey and lots of other christmassy and baking jobs. Infact you might need more than one.

I do insist that you store your mince pies in not just any cake tin but one that is ultra christmassy. I love these Eddingtons Nordic Christmas Cake Tins Set of 3. They may only come out once a year but they make any kitchen super festive.

This post is not sponsored but the images above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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This Easy Mincemeat Recipe is exactly what you need when you are required to make homemade mince pies pronto. No resting time is needed, it’s a quick assembly job and the result is a supremely spiced fruity boozy mincemeat.

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

I simply adore mincemeat. In my humble opinion it’s the best thing about Christmas. Along with The Waitresses’ Christmas Wrapping, Hot Buttered Chocolate Rum and festive jumpers for Billy Buddy. Stir-up Sunday is coming up this weekend which is the traditional day to make your mincemeat (and Christmas pudding) for the season. It’s nice to get this job out of the way in November as it means you can have homemade mince pies at your disposal any time during the holiday period. Although if you are only using your mincemeat for a mince pie filling then you are missing a trick.

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

What is mincemeat?

A few centuries ago mincemeat was a way to preserve meat, usually mutton, without smoking or salting. The meat would be chopped very finely, aka minced, then preserved with spirits and spices and sugar. It’s more usual these days for the minced meat to be replaced with beef suet and dried fruit. Although if you haven’t tried mince pies made in the traditional method using this Victorian Mincemeat recipe then you really need to address your life choices.

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

Why do we eat mincemeat at Christmas?

The reason we eat so many mince pies over the festive season is all to do with the spices. It is thought that cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg were given by the magi to the baby Jesus and so mincemeat, which is abundant in these spices, has always traditionally been associated with Christmas. And I totally take umbrage with the idea that if mince pies were so nice then why do we only eat them at Christmas. Well, that’s why Eccles Cakes were invented. They are basically mince pies that we are allowed to eat all year round.

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

Why do you use beef suet in mincemeat?

Beef suet is the hard fat from around the joints and kidneys of the animal and it is favoured in mincemeat due to its richness of flavour and the silky way it coats the luscious fruit. However, it’s impossible to find gluten-free suet in most supermarkets. If your butcher is able to source fresh beef suet for you then that is the best choice. It will probably be provided in a hard block which you will need to grate with a bit of gluten-free flour to create little fat pellets which helps to evenly disperse the fat. Weigh the pellets out and then add to the mincemeat. The rest can be kept in the freezer or used in your Christmas Pudding. If you are finding it hard to source fresh beef suet or need a veggie or vegan alternative then you can substitute with grated coconut butter.

This Easy Mincemeat is a back to basics recipe. I made the unfortunate mistake of buying pre-made mincemeat for some recipe testing a couple of weeks ago and the difference between homemade and shop bought is extreme. The shop bought stuff is all sugar and no flavour. No wonder mincemeat has got such a bad reputation.

If you are time strapped but need some homemade mince pies asap then this Easy Mincemeat Recipe is the way to go. There’s no resting time required and it’s not necessary to cook the mincemeat out before filling your pies. Although if you are not using the mincemeat immediately then you should cook it out before storing. The suet and sugar will melt and coat and preserve all the fruit evenly and also stops the apples from fermenting.

If you are in the mood for planning ahead this Stir Up Sunday then I would recommend that you make the mincemeat ahead of time which will allow the flavours to mature. However, if it’s a choice between homemade mincemeat made twenty minutes ago or using supermarket mincemeat then homemade wins hands down every time, maturation be damned. Plus if you’re making it yourself you can pimp it exactly to your preference or ingredients you have to hand. Basically what I’m saying is that there’s no excuse to buy it in.

What can I substitute for the brandy?

You can substitute absolutely any alcohol for the brandy. Rum, Pedro Ximénez, Cointreau or even Amaretto are my favourites.

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

What if I don’t like mixed peel?

If you don’t like mixed peel then just leave it out, or substitute for a couple of tablespoons of marmalade. However, have you ever tried making your own? Homemade Mixed Peel has a vastly superior flavour and can be useful for a lot of your Christmas bakes.

Can I substitute in other dried fruit?

Of course! Anything goes in mincemeat. Chopped dried figs, prunes, cranberries, sour cherries. You can just swap in the same weight of an alternative dried fruit and away you go.

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

Why dark muscovado sugar?

Dark muscovado sugar is used here for its rich treacly flavour. However, if you want a slightly lighter mincemeat then you can use light muscovado sugar. Or if you only have in soft light brown sugar then use that.

Of course this Easy Mincemeat Recipe is the ideal filling for mince pies but if you need any further inspiration, look no further than the following recipes:

Bramley Apple Mincemeat Pudding

Bramley Apple and Mincemeat Pudding

Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}

Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}

Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins

These gluten-free Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins are exactly what you should be treating your family to Christmas morning. They are light, fluffy, moist and full of Christmas spice and cheer.

If you’ve never made your own then I urge you to give this Easy Mincemeat Recipe a try and if you do then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you use this recipe as a jumping off point then I’d also love it if you’d share your version and tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

Print Recipe
Easy Mincemeat Recipe
This Easy Mincemeat Recipe is a quick homemade supremely spiced fruity boozy mincemeat essential for mince pies.
Easy Mincemeat Recipe
Course christmas
Cuisine British
Keyword christmas, mincemeat
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
4 380g jars
Ingredients
  • 400 g bramley apples about 1-2 apples
  • 225 g seedless raisins
  • 225 g currants
  • 225 g sultanas
  • 240 g fresh beef suet
  • 275 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 50 g mixed peel homemade is preferable
  • zest 1 orange
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 60 ml brandy
Course christmas
Cuisine British
Keyword christmas, mincemeat
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
4 380g jars
Ingredients
  • 400 g bramley apples about 1-2 apples
  • 225 g seedless raisins
  • 225 g currants
  • 225 g sultanas
  • 240 g fresh beef suet
  • 275 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 50 g mixed peel homemade is preferable
  • zest 1 orange
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 60 ml brandy
Easy Mincemeat Recipe
Instructions
  1. Peel, core and dice the bramley apples into small pieces.
  2. Place the apple pieces into a large ovenproof pot with the rest of the ingredients (except for the brandy) and stir together until everything is well combined.
  3. If you want to make mince pies straight away then set aside about 300g and stir in a couple of teaspoons of the brandy. Let the mincemeat rest whilst you prepare the pastry and then you can fill your pies immediately.
  4. To prepare the rest of the mincemeat for storing put a lid on the pot and place in an oven pre-heated to 150°C /130°C fan/gas 2 for 1 hour.
  5. Leave the mincemeat to completely cool before stirring in the brandy.
  6. Decant the mincemeat into sterilised jars and store in a cool dark place for up to a year.
Recipe Notes

*It’s just not possible to buy gluten-free pre-packaged suet so do speak to your local butcher about obtaining fresh suet. It will come in a solid block which you will need to grate with a bit of gluten-free flour so that it can evenly disperse throughout the mincemeat. If you are vegan then I would recommend replacing with grated coconut butter but if you are not then I would urge you not to make the switch.

If you like this recipe then you may like…

Victorian Mincemeat

Victorian Mincemeat - a traditional mincemeat made with real beef for the best mince pies this Christmas

Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat

Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat

Gluten-Free Gravy

This Gluten-Free Gravy is deliciously smooth, rich and full of flavour. Here are all the tips and tricks to get it just right.

Gluten-Free Gravy

My mother and father both made good gravy. It was an absolutely essential recipe in our household growing up because of the importance of our Sunday Lunch. Thick juicy rich brown gravy flavoured with fresh garden herbs would cook for hours on the hob over the course of the day. It was always the last element to be placed steaming hot onto the dinner table. Two magnificent gravy boats stood proudly at either end to be poured liberally over our roast beef and Yorkshire puddings.

Ours was not a household for thin wispy gravy made delicately from drizzled juices. Our gravy was the crowning glory of the meal and did double duty as it provided the ultimate treat when our meat and veggies were done. My father would return to the kitchen to grab a loaf of thick farmhouse bread and cut huge slices for each of us to place on our dinner plates. We would then soak the bread in any leftover gravy, with perhaps an extra slug of mint sauce, wait until the bread was deliciously soppy before devouring greedily. It was a ritual and it didn’t matter how stuffed you were after lunch, the bread and gravy was a must and the bit we most looked forward to and tried to save room for.

The importance of our Sunday lunch has not wavered into my adulthood and since I became gluten-free it has been of utmost importance to me to achieve a triumphant gravy that would pacify the whole family. I don’t do the bread and gravy thing with my family, which is a huge loss really. However, I can’t help but sneak back into the kitchen on the odd occasion, when all the plates have been cleared, and help myself to just one more Yorkshire pudding dragged through the gravy pan for that last little treat when no one else is watching.

Gluten-Free Gravy

How to make gravy with drippings

If you want to make proper actual traditional gravy then your only choice is to use the pan drippings from your roasted meat. There are two ways of doing this. You can either make a quick gravy at the end of your meal whilst your meat is resting or if you don’t want your gravy to be a last minute rush and you want to get really good flavour then you could plan ahead. We make a Sunday Lunch every week and on the odd occasion that I don’t make a traditional gravy I will save my drippings and keep them in little pots in the freezer, alongside my homemade stock. I have a whole compartment dedicated to fat and stock. So when I need to make a gravy I always have drippings to hand, plus it means I can make my gravy ahead. This is especially useful at Christmas as I can make my gravy a couple of days before. Also making gravy ahead of time really allows the flavours to develop and gives a better sauce.

TIP: To make sure you achieve a good quantity of drippings (enough to help you out with your Yorkshire puddings and gravy) I pour a generous amount of olive oil over my joint or bird before roasting. The more olive oil means the more meat flavoured fat at the end of the roast.

How do I make gravy without meat drippings?

It’s easy. Maybe your meat didn’t produce very much or maybe you are making a veggie gravy. If you don’t have drippings or not enough then sub in some unsalted butter or ghee instead. For vegans, use vegan butter.

What can I use to thicken gluten-free gravy?

When I first became gluten-free and tried making gravy using a generic gluten-free flour I was disappointed, thinking that I would never again be able to enjoy gravy the same way. This gravy was thin and granular and lacked lustre. After a lot of experimentation I found the best flour to use is sweet rice flour. Sweet rice flour is absolutely essential to make a beautifully smooth velvety gluten-free roux and produce a sauce with a silky mouthfeel. It absorbs moisture very well so doesn’t clump and so is even easier to use than wheat flour. The flavour is pretty neutral with an ever so slightly sweet vibe which lends itself to the gravy perfectly.

Gluten-Free Gravy

How do you make gravy browner and richer?

In order to achieve a lustrous rich dark brown colour to gravy traditionally you would cook your flour and butter low and slow before adding the liquid so that the roux darkens to give flavour and colour to your gravy. However, sweet rice flour needs handling a little differently and I wouldn’t recommend this direction. Instead you can either use coconut aminos to lend its colour to the proceedings which works excellently, but you need a fair bit so you might need to check your seasonings. Or you can use the onion method as below.

Cook the onion in the drippings or butter for about 20 minutes until they are just starting to brown, but not at all burnt. Then when you add your sweet rice flour followed by the stock they take on this rich brown colour from the onions. It also gives your gravy further depth of flavour. You strain off your gravy at the end so you won’t get bits of onion in your gravy.

How do you make gravy without homemade stock?

So there are occasions when you just don’t have homemade chicken or vegetable stock to hand. At this point you have two options, you can either use fresh stock from the butcher or the supermarket but I find these tend to be a little bland or oversalted so go carefully with them. The other direction is to use whole milk. Yes, this does create a completely different beast but one that is worth experimenting with if you are caught out at short notice. This gravy is obviously creamier and richer but absolutely delicious. If I’m going down this latter route then I might also add a few garlic granules to help with the flavour. If you are dairy-free or vegan then you can also substitute with almond milk which I have done on many an occasion and it works just as well.

Gluten-Free Gravy

How do you add flavour to gravy?

If you are using the drippings from the meat and homemade stock then most of your gravy flavour begins right there. However, to help it along, or if you are subbing ingredients, do add a couple of bay leaves, some fresh thyme or even some rosemary to liven up the flavours. The gravy will also need a little sweetness to balance things out. You could use a glug of white wine or masala which makes for a very sophisticated gravy. However I like to use a bit of fruit jelly. Any good jelly works well here. Redcurrant jelly is easy to find at the supermarket and can usually be found with the condiments (not with the jams and preserves) or cranberry jelly which is lovely at Thanksgiving or Christmas.

How do you re-heat gravy?

Gravy thickens the longer it stands so if you are re-heating then it’s best to do on the hob in a saucepan and whisk in a little extra liquid (stock or just water would be fine).

It turns out that making good gluten-free gravy is easy peasy, especially if you have sweet rice flour in your arsenal. Many of the other ingredients can be subbed or played with depending on what you have to hand or the different dietary needs of your guests. The lovely thing about gravy is that it always tastes slightly different every time but always delicious. Go on, sneak back into the kitchen for that extra Yorkshire pud and gravy treat.

Gluten-Free Gravy

Print Recipe
Gluten-Free Gravy
This Gluten-Free Gravy is deliciously smooth, rich and full of flavour. Here are all the tips and tricks to get it just right.
Gluten-Free Gravy
Course sauce
Cuisine British
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
  • 50 g unsalted butter or drippings from roasted meat
  • 1 onion chopped very finely
  • 40 g sweet rice flour
  • 800 ml chicken stock preferably homemade
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon redcurrant jelly* or apple jelly or cranberry jelly
Course sauce
Cuisine British
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
  • 50 g unsalted butter or drippings from roasted meat
  • 1 onion chopped very finely
  • 40 g sweet rice flour
  • 800 ml chicken stock preferably homemade
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon redcurrant jelly* or apple jelly or cranberry jelly
Gluten-Free Gravy
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter or dripping, then add the diced onion and heat on medium for about 20 minutes until they are starting to turn brown (but definitely not burnt).
  2. Add all the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until the fat has absorbed all the flour.
  3. Pour in about a quarter of the stock, then switch to using a whisk, stirring all the time to smooth out the lumps. Once the gravy is beginning to thicken then pour the rest of the stock in slowly, whisking all the while.
  4. Add the bay leaf, thyme and stir in the redcurrant jelly, bringing the gravy up to a gentle boil. If the gravy is too thick for you, add some more stock or just water to get to your desired consistency.
  5. Simmer for 15 minutes then remove from the heat and strain. Keep warm until ready to serve.

If you like this recipe then you may like…

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings

Gluten-Free Sage Chestnut Stuffing

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese

overhead shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish with a spoon on a wooden board with plates

Gluten-Free Gravy

Gluten-Free Sage Chestnut Stuffing

This Gluten-Free Sage Chestnut Stuffing is so flavourful. Crisp on top with a beautifully soft yet robust texture you won’t even notice it is vegetarian, let alone gluten-free.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

This is the stuffing recipe that I bring to our festive table every year. My mother-in-law is vegetarian so when Luke and I first started hosting Christmas at our house I put aside my trusted sausagemeat recipe and set about creating a new family favourite that everyone could enjoy.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

I actually prefer this Gluten-Free Sage Chestnut Stuffing to my sausage version as there is always so much meat on the festive table from the turkey to the ham to the pigs in blankets. The addition of a herby hearty stuffing is exactly the right accompaniment to the rest of the meal.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

I use whole peeled vacuum packed chestnuts to make the stuffing which are so easy to use and are widely available at this time of year. They are also delicious directly from the packet and have a wonderful earthy flavour with a crumbly creamy texture. The chestnuts pair exceedingly well with the rustic notes of the fresh sage and the sweet onions.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

The only bit of faff in this recipe is caramelising the onions at the beginning of the recipe which is necessary to add the soft sweetness to the stuffing. Then all you need to do is mix the onions with the crumbled chestnuts, fresh breadcrumbs and fresh sage. A bit of seasoning, an egg to bind and a splash of double cream for moisture and there you have it. I usually prepare the stuffing a day or two in advance and pack it into an ovenproof dish to keep in the fridge ready for the oven. I don’t cook my stuffing in the bird cavity. Does anyone still do this anymore? But it’s lovely baked in a separate dish to create a crisp topping with the soft stuffing beneath.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

On the big day, after the turkey has been taken out of the oven, the stuffing goes in. It only needs to bake for 20 minutes so doesn’t clog up precious oven space for any length of time. I have also in the past formed stuffing balls with this recipe which also work really well as the surface of the balls get quite crunchy, a perfect contrast to the squishy insides.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

This Gluten-Free Sage Chestnut Stuffing is like a very low key nut roast and it is certainly meaty enough in texture to be a pretty decent offering for your vegetarian guests at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Served alongside some powerhouse vegetable sides like the cauliflower cheese, which I also make every year, you can ensure everyone is going to be pretty well served at your festivities.

I urge you to give this Gluten-Free Sage Chestnut Stuffing a try, it is so easy and delicious. If you do make this Gluten-Free Sage Chestnut Stuffing then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you make the recipe or use it as a building block for another delicious creation, I’d also love it if you tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.

Print Recipe
Gluten-Free Sage Chestnut Stuffing
This Gluten-Free Sage Chestnut Stuffing is so flavourful. Crisp on top with a beautifully soft yet robust texture you won’t even notice it is vegetarian.
Sage Chestnut Stuffing
Course side dish
Cuisine British
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 large onions peeled and diced
  • 30 g unsalted butter + 1 teaspoon
  • 180 g whole peeled vacuum packed chestnuts
  • 15 g fresh sage leaves removed
  • 150 g gluten-free sourdough or the best gluten-free bread you can find
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons double cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Course side dish
Cuisine British
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 large onions peeled and diced
  • 30 g unsalted butter + 1 teaspoon
  • 180 g whole peeled vacuum packed chestnuts
  • 15 g fresh sage leaves removed
  • 150 g gluten-free sourdough or the best gluten-free bread you can find
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons double cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Sage Chestnut Stuffing
Instructions
  1. Place the onions in a saucepan along 30g butter and cook very gently for 30-40 minutes until the onions have caramelized.
  2. Tip the onions in a large mixing bowl then set aside whilst you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Place the saucepan back on the heat and add the extra teaspoon of butter to melt. Drop the fresh sage into the saucepan and fry gently until starting to colour then remove and finely chop. Add to the onions.
  4. Break up the gluten-free sourdough and place in a food processor along with the chestnuts. Pulse briefly until they are roughly chopped. Then tip into the onions along with the beaten egg, double cream and seasoning.
  5. Press the stuffing into an ovenware dish and leave in the fridge overnight to set.
  6. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 180°C/170°C fan/gas mark 4 for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden and crisp.

SHOP THE RECIPE

These Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts 180 g (Pack of 6) are gorgeous chestnuts, so yummy as a snack and so easy to use for this recipe.

I would be nowhere without my Magimix 4200XL Food Processor – Satin which I bought when I was so jealous of everyone making their own houmous and pestos. That was easily over ten years ago and I use it nearly every day for all manner of kitchen jobs like whipping up dips, nut butters and flours and making breadcrumbs like for this recipe. The Magixmix is an impressive piece of kit which even survived being dropped when we moved into our house (although it did have to have the motor replaced but that wasn’t too expensive). I put all the attachments in the dishwasher and they come out brilliantly clean but it also gives just great results. I love my Magimix and along with my Kitchenaid is the piece of equipment I use most often in my kitchen.

The links above are affiliate links so if you decide to buy anything using the links given then I will get a small commission from Amazon at no cost to you. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

If you like this recipe then you may also like…

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese

overhead shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish with a spoon on a wooden board with plates

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings

Cranberry Clementine Sauce

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