Gingerbread Ice Cream

Gingerbread Ice Cream is a warmly spiced ice cream, intense with dark sugar and black treacle and thickened with double cream for rich creaminess.

Gingerbread Ice Cream

This Gingerbread Ice Cream has been sorting out all of my Christmassy food needs. Just like my previous pregnancy I have been craving ice cream all the time. When specific food cravings hit I am so happy I live in London where I can access the best ice cream parlours. My favourite is definitely Udderlicious on Upper Street in Islington. They have so many delicious flavours which are impossible to choose from and are open until 11pm so if Luke and I are ever organised enough to book a babysitter and have dinner out then we usually go somewhere in Islington and nip over to Udderlicious for ice cream afterwards.

Gingerbread Ice Cream

I don’t actually have to travel as far as Udderlicious though in most cases as our local ice cream café in Crouch End, Rileys, offers some pretty amazing gelato with different flavours every time we go. Which is a lot. Cole is an ice cream ninja too and I treat us almost every Wednesday afternoon to a trip to Rileys. It’s incredibly cute as he’s convinced the girl who works there is Elsa from Frozen. It’s true that she is very pretty with ice blonde hair which she usually wears in in a plait over her shoulder so he isn’t too far off. When we watch Frozen and I ask Cole where Elsa works he happily replies that she works in the ice cream shop making tea. Sounds about right.

Cole invariably chooses mango sorbet at Rileys or if they don’t have that then chocolate ice cream is a pretty decent second choice. I usually go with my cravings so it could be anything from a fruity sorbet to stracciatella to peanut butter. A couple of weeks ago though they had the most divine ginger and black treacle ice cream which epitomised my most favourite Christmas flavours. Darkly spiced but rich and creamy. So my inspiration here has derived from that amazing ice cream.

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Looking back over the past month or so it becomes apparent that ginger has also become a bit of a thing for me as well. See Lemon Iced Stem Ginger Parkin and Sticky Ginger and Whisky Cake with Lime Drizzle. There is something about the fiery heat of fresh ginger, intensified by the even temper of the ground ginger that means you can happily eat ice cream even on the snowiest and coldest of days. The dark muscovado sugar and black treacle have an almost warming effect despite arriving at your bowl direct from the freezer.

These flavours pair beautifully with this incredibly versatile ice cream base which is made from a custard. Here I infused the custard with ginger and spice, but the whole base is made even richer and creamier by whipping up some double cream to fold in thickly before churning.

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Gingerbread Ice Cream is perfect for offering as a Christmas dessert. I’d even go so far as to say that you’d be very wise to offer it alongside the Christmas Pudding for the ultimate indulgence. I’m not sorry to admit that I heated up one of my mince pies made with Victorian Mincemeat a few nights ago and scooped a load of Gingerbread Ice Cream onto the top. It was simply divine. A real Christmas treat.

Gingerbread Ice Cream is also very forgiving as like most of my favourite ice cream recipes it doesn’t set too firm or have the tendency to turn into ice crystals if you don’t cool it fast enough. Even the laziest ice cream maker (yes, that’s me) can get this perfect first time.

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Print Recipe
Gingerbread Ice Cream
Gingerbread Ice Cream is a warmly spiced ice cream, intense with dark sugar and treacle and thickened with double cream for rich creaminess.
Gingerbread Ice Cream
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
2 pints
Ingredients
  • 300 ml single cream
  • 8 g peeled fresh ginger grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 100 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black treacle
  • 300 g double cream
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
2 pints
Ingredients
  • 300 ml single cream
  • 8 g peeled fresh ginger grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 100 g dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black treacle
  • 300 g double cream
Gingerbread Ice Cream
Instructions
  1. Pour the single cream into a saucepan and whisk in the fresh ginger, ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves.
  2. Turn the heat on and bring to just below a boil.
  3. Turn off the heat and leave for a couple of hours to infuse then sieve the cream.
  4. Next you’ll make a custard by beating the egg yolks, cornflour, sugar and treacle until smooth then heat the single cream again until just under a boil.
  5. Pour the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking continuously until all the cream has been added and the mixture has totally combined.
  6. Pour the custard back into the saucepan and heat gently, whisk until thickened but not so the custard is boiling.
  7. Remove from the heat, pour the custard into a bowl then cover and put in the fridge overnight to completely chill.
  8. The following day whip the double cream until it reaches soft peaks then fold gently into the gingerbread custard until everything has completely combined.
  9. Pour this extra thick custard into an ice cream machine and churn per the machine’s instructions*.
  10. You can eat the ice cream straight away from the ice cream machine but it’s very soft serve or you can pour into a container and place in the freezer until needed where it will solidify to a firmer ice cream texture.
Recipe Notes

*If you are using the Magimix Le Glacier or a machine similar then I have found that churning the mixture for about 20 minutes is plenty.

SHOP THE RECIPE

Many years ago Luke tried to persuade me than I didn’t need yet another space hogging kitchen gadget that I didn’t use so I bought my ice cream maker on the sly. I honestly haven’t looked back and I am always thrilled to reach down for it and put it to use. I chose the Magimix Le Glacier 1.1 Ltr Ice Cream Maker (White) on a whim but it’s been absolutely brilliant and was very reasonable so I heartily recommend it.

The links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use either of these links to buy your ice cream maker 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. It’s just a way for me to fund my shopping list for the blog so if you do click through then many thanks!!

Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake {gluten-free}

Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake has two layers of gluten-free moist chocolate orange sponge sandwiched with Cranberry Clementine Sauce and generously frosted with chocolate orange buttercream, sugared cranberries and candied clementine slices.

Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake {gluten-free}

What do you do with leftover cranberry sauce? This cake is not a bad way to start.

We’re a week before Christmas and I’ve now run out of my Cranberry Clementine Sauce which has meant a dash out to secure the few bags of cranberries left on the supermarket shelves (they are not easy to come by in the UK) and make another batch to stash in the cupboard before the real cooking work begins later this week.

Making more jars of cranberry sauce at this late stage means I will more than likely have loads left over, since some of my family aren’t quite as obsessed about cranberry sauce as me. No matter, as there is so much you can do with the leftovers. Including this Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake.

Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake {gluten-free}

Not only does this cake help you offload your cranberry sauce but it also is the ideal cake for those (heathens!) that don’t like traditional Christmas cake. Now, to be fair I am a diehard fan of Christmas cake, even the gluten-free supermarket stuff, it’s one of the few cakes that can pass this supermarket test since there’s often not a lot of flour involved in the recipe. However, despite my love for it, Christmas Cake isn’t always on my baking agenda over the festive season. This is mainly because of its similarity to the Christmas Pudding. Both are dark cakes mostly made up of booze and dried fruits so if you’ve already got one on the go then it’s a little overkill to have both, especially when you’re hosting a small family Christmas like we are. Although traditional Christmas Cakes are so beautiful with their stunning white icing. I’m definitely making one next year, overkill be damned.

Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake {gluten-free}

So there are these people who don’t like Christmas Cake, but you can bet your bottom dollar they are big fans of chocolate cake. If they are not then really you are going to be bashing your head against a brick wall trying to please them. This cake is a perfect compromise for all the cake lovers in your family. The two layers of moist chocolate sponge are laced with clementine zest, then sandwiched together with Cranberry Clementine Sauce which is tangy and sweet.

Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake {gluten-free}

You can make the Cranberry Clementine Sauce specifically for this cake as believe me the sauce does not take long and you’ll be making it anyway to go with your turkey won’t you? Or you could use your own leftover cranberry sauce, homemade or shop bought, warm it up then spike it with clementine (or orange) zest. I suggest warming the cranberry sauce first before you add the zest to let the flavour properly penetrate the sauce. Let cool before you use though.

The whole cake is then generously slathered with the most chocolatey of buttercreams using intense cocoa and melted dark chocolate plus the juice of the two clementines you zested for the sponge. The whole cake has a kind of Terry’s Chocolate Orange vibe going on but a touch more sophisticated.

Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake {gluten-free}

To decorate the cake so it’s worthy of the Christmas table it shall adorn then garnish it with sugared cranberries and candied clementines which are a whole lot easier to make than you think. It’s worth putting a little extra effort in for your Christmas cake so do give them a go.

And there you have it, a stunning Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake to ring in those festivities.

Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake {gluten-free}

Print Recipe
Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake {gluten-free}
A wonderfully chocolatey festive alternative to a traditional Christmas cake
Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake {gluten-free}
Prep Time 90 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
12-14 people
Ingredients
Cranberry Clementine Cake
  • 125 g dark chocolate
  • 150 g white rice flour
  • 60 g oat flour
  • 20 g tapioca flour
  • 90 g cocoa powder
  • teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 400 g buttermilk
  • 160 g caster sugar
  • 160 g soft light brown sugar
  • zest of 2 clementines
  • 170 ml olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract
  • 200 g Cranberry Clementine Sauce*
Chocolate Buttercream
  • 500 g unsalted butter
  • 500 g icing sugar
  • 90 g cocoa powder
  • 150 g chocolate melted
  • juice of 2 clementines
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sugared Cranberries
  • 120 g + 60g caster sugar
  • 120 ml water
  • 125 g fresh cranberries
Candied Clementines
  • 2 clementines
  • 120 g caster sugar
  • 120 ml water
Prep Time 90 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings
12-14 people
Ingredients
Cranberry Clementine Cake
  • 125 g dark chocolate
  • 150 g white rice flour
  • 60 g oat flour
  • 20 g tapioca flour
  • 90 g cocoa powder
  • teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 400 g buttermilk
  • 160 g caster sugar
  • 160 g soft light brown sugar
  • zest of 2 clementines
  • 170 ml olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract
  • 200 g Cranberry Clementine Sauce*
Chocolate Buttercream
  • 500 g unsalted butter
  • 500 g icing sugar
  • 90 g cocoa powder
  • 150 g chocolate melted
  • juice of 2 clementines
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sugared Cranberries
  • 120 g + 60g caster sugar
  • 120 ml water
  • 125 g fresh cranberries
Candied Clementines
  • 2 clementines
  • 120 g caster sugar
  • 120 ml water
Chocolate Cranberry Clementine Cake {gluten-free}
Instructions
Cranberry Clementine Cake
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C and line and grease 2 x 8 inch round cake tins.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a bain marie then set aside.
  3. In a separate large mixing bowl whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, coffee and salt and set aside.
  4. In another bowl (or a stand mixer) beat together the buttermilk, the sugars, olive oil, eggs and vanilla then add the flour mixture and beat until combined.
  5. Pour in the melted chocolate and mix in until fully incorporated.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the two cake tins then place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  7. Turn out the cakes and cool on wire racks before filling and decorating.
Chocolate Buttercream
  1. Beat together the butter and sugar for about 10 minutes in a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Add cocoa, melted chocolate, clementine juice, salt and vanilla extract and beat into the creamed butter and sugar until everything is smooth and evenly combined.
Sugared Cranberries
  1. Pour the 120g of caster sugar into a medium saucepan with the water. Bring to a low boil until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Pour in the cranberries and stir to coat evenly with the sugar syrup.
  4. Place in the fridge overnight.
  5. The next day remove the cranberries from the syrup with a slotted spoon, pat dry with a kitchen towel then spread out evenly onto a plate.
  6. Sprinkle over the remaining 60g of caster sugar and gently roll the cranberries so they are totally coated with sugar.
  7. Leave to dry for at least an hour before using.
Caramelised Clementine Slices
  1. Pour caster sugar into a medium saucepan with the water. Bring to a low boil until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Cut the clementines into thin slices then submerge into the sugar syrup. Bring the syrup back to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off.
  3. Remove the clementine slices from the sugar syrup (reserve the syrup for clementine bellinis on Christmas morning*) with a slotted spoon then place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Bake for 10 minutes at 150°C. Turn the slices over and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool before you use them to decorate.
Assembly
  1. Place one of the sponge layers on a cake board and pipe a circle of buttercream at the very edge of the top of the cake to act like a dam for the cranberry sauce.
  2. Spread the cranberry sauce on top of the sponge, right to the edges of the buttercream dam.
  3. Place the second sponge layer on top and cover the top and the sides of the cake with the buttercream.
  4. Decorate the top of the cake with the sugared cranberries and candied clementines.
Recipe Notes

*If you don’t have any Cranberry Clementine Sauce to hand then improvise using any leftover cranberry sauce, homemade or shop bought, warm up in a small saucepan with the zest of 1 clementine and leave to cool until needed.
*To make Clementine Bellinis all you need is 1 tablespoon of the clementine syrup at the bottom of your champagne glass and top it up with plenty of fizz.

A Gift Hamper for the Gluten-Free Foodie in Your Life

This post was done in partnership with Virginia Hayward. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A Gift for the Gluten-Free Foodie in Your Life

Christmas is a bit of a struggle for those of us with gluten intolerances or allergies. Not because it’s difficult to make or find delicious gluten-free food but because suddenly you find yourself in several situations where your food issues just might not be catered for. Not that it isn’t just as bothersome if you are not gluten-free yourself, when you are obliged over the festive period to accommodate for a gluten-free family member or friend. Not everyone has read my post on Sweet Rice Flour to know it’s an excellent substitute for wheat flour in your gravy or has a clue to make any other stuffing for the turkey than Paxo.

A Gift for the Gluten-Free Foodie in Your Life

I have been to a few Christmas parties this year and pastry and wheat flour offerings are manifold. Amongst the mounds of spring rolls, mini quiche, mince pies and sausage rolls you might only be able to scrounge the odd crisp if you’re lucky. Most mass-produced nibbly bits tend to involve some sort of bread or pastry so the gluten-free party-goer often finds it best to eat before the party rather than face the prospect of looking forlornly at the buffet table all night. Who can blame the party-thrower either. It’s not easy to source gluten-free nibbles and you don’t necessarily know if anyone at the party is going to be gluten-free. Plus if you start to worry about the gluten-free guests you just know that you’ll have to sort out the vegans too.

A Gift for the Gluten-Free Foodie in Your Life

Then there’s the receiving of gifts. If you are a little food obsessed then you are also probably poised to receive a lot of food-related presents which to my mind is the best kind of present. However, it’s not always easy for your gift-giver to fully understand the ingredients. That pesky gluten crops up in the most unexpected of places. Take the deliciously expensive banoffee chocolate bar I received last year. Sounds great right? But those little bits of shortbread cookie hidden throughout the bar contained gluten. To an untrained eye the gift was chocolate, it was fancy and looked pretty special, what could go wrong? It was a well-intentioned but misunderstood present, but on the other hand Luke is always more than happy to take these anomalies off my hand so they never go to waste.

With these awkward times in mind Virginia Hayward contacted me to see what I thought of their luxury gluten and wheat free hampers I was intrigued and actually really excited. This would be a gift with no hidden ingredients, where you could literally dive in, food intolerances and all and not have to fake a polite and grateful smile.

A Gift for the Gluten-Free Foodie in Your Life

It took me ages to stand my ground where gluten is concerned. The first wedding invite I responded to marking my ‘special dietary requirements’ made me so self-conscious. I hate being a bother and I don’t like being deemed difficult so I try to play down the fact I am gluten-free and obviously not make a thing of it if someone gets it wrong. Not that you’d guess it from my job as a gluten-free baker and blogger. Yes I sure am trying to hide my intolerance under a bushel.

If I were to receive a food hamper full of treats and yummy gluten-free delicacies then I would be incredibly touched. It’s not always easy for those who don’t suffer to accommodate gluten intolerance but a gift like this suits both the giver and receiver and shows understanding and thoughtfulness. Plus, it’s food and any food I can eat with abandon makes me very happy.

A Gift for the Gluten-Free Foodie in Your Life

All the products in these Virginia Hayward Gluten and Wheat Free Hampers are well sourced and delicious. I should know because for research purposes I opened every packet and sampled each little morsel as I made sure to not leave any stone left unturned in this post. Take it from me the recipient of the hamper will be well catered for, shortbread biscuits, chocolate orange cookies, Yorkshire crisps, crackers, fudge, chocolates and even a bottle of wine mean that all snacking purposes over Christmas are accounted for. Not only that but all these wonderful treats arrive in a beautiful willow basket. With the contents now consumed my basket is waiting patiently in the nursery ready to house the babygrows, blankets, newborn hats and dinky socks which will be coming out of the attic in the new year for our April arrival.

A Gift for the Gluten-Free Foodie in Your Life

It occurred to me as well that if you were to receive this hamper then you are pretty much sorted for the rest of the year’s entertaining so you will really be doing your gluten-free foodie a favour. Nothing could be more easy than to serve up the yummy goodies on a nibbles board for an intimate New Year’s Eve gathering. You pretty much have everything you need from crisps to cookies to olives to wine to chocolate to a bit of cake. And if that intimate New Year’s Eve gathering occurs on December 28th whilst you are watching trashy Christmas movies on the sofa with your husband then no one is judging. And if your husband has snuck off to the pub and you are left babysitting your toddler and unborn child and are also watching trashy Christmas movies then these treats provide great company my fine friend.

A Gift for the Gluten-Free Foodie in Your Life

So, you now have the gift for the gluten-free foodie in your life. All that’s left to do is just run rings around them on Christmas Day. Don’t forget to use sweet rice flour in the gravy, find a decent recipe for Yorkshire pudding, pay through the nose for the gluten-free bread to make the bread sauce and order your Christmas pud from that gluten-free baker who has a stall at the local farmer’s market. You can just forget about buying your canapés from M&S and commit to making your own from scratch so you can be sure there’s no gluten involved. Y’know, easy stuff. Just as well my family loves me.

A Gift for the Gluten-Free Foodie in Your Life

Glazed Christmas Ham

A Glazed Christmas Ham makes an impressive centrepiece for your Christmas Eve dinner and is surprisingly easy to make but do set aside some time for it.

Glazed Christmas Ham

You can be sure of one thing at our family Christmas, there will usually be a Glazed Ham and if so there will always be leftover ham in the fridge right up until the New Year. Not only does it make a superb supper, hot out of the oven when the glaze is sweet and warm and the ham falling away from the knife, but it also pays dividends cold from the fridge when you can’t face any more turkey but still fancy a sandwich.

Glazed Christmas Ham

We serve it up every year on Christmas Eve with a Warm Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Salad, a resplendent cheeseboard and copious quantities of mince pies. It sits alongside the Roast Turkey Christmas Lunch the next day as one of the two best meals we have each year. The great thing about it is that it really is a doddle to prepare which is essential when what you’re really doing in the kitchen is peeling potatoes, preparing veg, soaking bread for the bread sauce and brining turkey for the next day. The ham will sit happily in the stockpot with all its accoutrements simmering away for a few hours before you remove it, give it a final flourish of a glaze then stick it in the oven for 20 minutes.

Glazed Christmas Ham

Glazed Christmas Ham

Glazed Christmas Ham

The only slight concern might be if you forget to give your ham an initial boil with just a stockpot full of cold water to wash off all the excess salt. Just drain the water off and rinse the stockpot before you begin the recipe proper. It was a very unfortunate incident a few years ago when the ham was deemed inedible after this initial stage was missed, even though the butcher had told me it didn’t need pre-boiling. Do it anyway, despite butcher instructions. Our traditional Christmas Eve supper preparations would now not be complete without each member of the family individually poking their head into the kitchen to helpfully remind me to boil the ham up first. Even when preparing the ham for this post Luke came into the kitchen declaring ‘You know what you’ve forgotten don’t you.’ When I explained that no I had already done the pre-boil and the ham was now in its second boil with the rest of the ingredients, he harrumphed that I had obviously done it rather quickly. Don’t worry, dear reader, this mistake will never be repeated again, for your sanity don’t let it happen to you.

Glazed Christmas Ham

The family crowd which gathers when we pull the ham out of the oven, cheers and slides over for a cheeky slice before it hits the table. This is when Christmas truly seems to have arrived; sitting down at the dining table, a glass of fizz at our fingertips, the scent of cloves permeating the atmosphere and candlelight illuminating our supper. If we’re lucky we might have remembered to get extra crackers or even party poppers much to the child within’s delight and then it’s time to relax. Let’s hope the presents have all been wrapped and stored under the tree. All the hard work has been done as we wait for Father Christmas to arrive later that night.

Glazed Christmas Ham

Print Recipe
Glazed Christmas Ham
A Glazed Christmas Ham makes an impressive centrepiece for your Christmas Eve dinner.
Glazed Christmas Ham
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings
10-12 people
Ingredients
  • 4 kg unsmoked gammon
  • 400 ml apple juice
  • 500 ml cider
  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks celery roughly chopped
  • 1 head fennel roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic lightly crushed
  • small bunch of parsley stalks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tablepooon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
Glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons cloves
  • 150 g redcurrant jelly*
  • 2 teaspoons English mustard powder
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings
10-12 people
Ingredients
  • 4 kg unsmoked gammon
  • 400 ml apple juice
  • 500 ml cider
  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks celery roughly chopped
  • 1 head fennel roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic lightly crushed
  • small bunch of parsley stalks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tablepooon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
Glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons cloves
  • 150 g redcurrant jelly*
  • 2 teaspoons English mustard powder
Glazed Christmas Ham
Instructions
  1. Place the ham in a large stockpot and cover with water then bring to a rolling boil.
  2. Remove the ham and pour out the water, giving the stockpot a rinse.
  3. Place the ham back into the stockpot and add all the ingredients (except the ones for the glaze) Top up with water if your ham isn’t quite covered.
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for three hours.
  5. Remove the ham, but do not discard the cooking liquid as it makes excellent stock for a later use*.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  7. Remove the string from the ham. Cut away the very outer skin from the ham, leaving the thick layer of fat that lies beneath.
  8. Make a large diamond pattern into the fat with a very sharp knife, being sure not to pierce the meat. Then place a clove into each diamond.
  9. Heat the ingredients for the glaze in a small saucepan until runny then brush half of the glaze all over the ham.
  10. Place in the oven and bake the ham for 10 minutes.
  11. Remove the ham, brush over the rest of the glaze then place back in the oven for a final 10 minutes.
  12. Serve the ham hot or cold, being careful to pick out the cloves before eating.
Recipe Notes

*For the glaze usually use of the many pots of jelly that I have made during preserving season in the Autumn. My favourite homemade jelly to use is Rosehip Jelly but I have also had wonderful success with my Mulled Wine Jelly and my Apple Rosemary Jelly. Basically use the best jelly you can get hold of from your local preserver, or failing that every good supermarket stocks good old redcurrant jelly which is sweet and piquant and does the job nicely.

*Luke says that this is the best stock our kitchen produces each year and he’s right about it being the most flavoursome. We use it with the leftover ham to make ham risotto and also ham soup with cheese sandwiches. Since there is so much stock we freeze a lot of it and then reap the benefits mid-March when we suddenly stumble across a forgotten Tupperware of it in the back of our freezer.

*Recipe inspired by Nigella’s Fully Festive Ham from Nigella Christmas

Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}

A thick layer of rich fruity mincemeat cheesecake sandwiched between crumbly oaty shortbread.

Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}

I am finding it hard to fit in all the exciting Christmas inspired bakes and recipes in my usual 1-2 blog postings per week. So from here on until Christmas I’m stepping things up a notch. I do love to over exert myself, especially where food is concerned, so expect a bumper month of posts. I’m hoping to mix in a bit more savoury stuff into this advent period as well so let me know what you think of that. A lot of people have been saying that they missed my savoury recipes this past year where I have been more or less baking focused so in 2018 I’m planning on throwing in a few more gluten-free dinner ideas for good measure.

As usual I have set myself too much to do in the run up to Christmas, especially since Amazon have very destructively added the first series of The Marvellous Mrs Maisel to their streaming service this past week. So now I must endeavour to fit that in as well amongst the Christmas cards, extra cake orders, food prep and shopping for more Thomas the Tank Engine stocking fillers. Still, I can’t help but love December!!

Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}

It may be apparent to the eagle eyed reader that I am an ardent devotee of mincemeat. I try and put mincemeat in most of my bakes around December and a couple of weeks ago I made these Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars for the market stall and have decided that they might be one of my best inventions yet.

Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}

They are a riff on my Blackberry Cheesecake Hazelnut Oat Bars. Two layers of oaty shortbread are sandwiched together with mincemeat cheesecake. If you are buying your mincemeat for the recipe then do make sure it’s suet-free as you don’t really want any extra fat messing up the recipe. I used my Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat which is perfect for any kind of baking. By mixing the mincemeat with the cheesecake mixture you are making the centre of these oat bars extremely creamy. They don’t have the sweet punch of a traditional mince pie and are more of a subtle affair but still packed with that rich fruity spice flavour that is key to any mince pie creation.

Print Recipe
Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}
A thick layer of rich fruity mincemeat cheesecake sandwiched between crumbly oaty shortbread.
Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
12 bars
Ingredients
  • 280 g cream cheese
  • 260 g suet-free mincemeat
  • 2 eggs
  • 240 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 100 g sweet white rice flour
  • 75 g oat flour
  • 40 g tapioca flour
  • 160 g gluten-free oats
  • 185 g soft light brown sugar sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
12 bars
Ingredients
  • 280 g cream cheese
  • 260 g suet-free mincemeat
  • 2 eggs
  • 240 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 100 g sweet white rice flour
  • 75 g oat flour
  • 40 g tapioca flour
  • 160 g gluten-free oats
  • 185 g soft light brown sugar sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars {gluten-free}
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 170°C and line and grease an 8 inch square cake tin.
  2. In a medium sized bowl stir the cream cheese, mincemeat and eggs together until well combined then set aside.
  3. Place the rest of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs.
  4. Tip half the mixture into the cake tin and press in tightly.
  5. Spread the cheesecake over the top of the tin, then tip over the rest of the oat mixture, pressing down lightly.
  6. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then remove from the tin carefully and leave to finish cooling on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat

Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat is fresh, fruity and sozzled with lots of lovely booze. It’s also the best choice for your free-from mince pie as it doesn’t have any pesky suet ruining things for the vegans, it’s nut free for our allergy afflicted friends and if you’re gluten-free you don’t have to worry about where to source your gluten-free suet.

Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat

This Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat is a re-post from a recipe that I published in 2013. I make this recipe every year to sell on my market stall and for personal use in my mincemeat recipes that require no suet such as Bramley Apple and Mincemeat Pudding. I have kept the below text as written four years ago for posterity. I can’t believe the John Lewis ad hee haw is still going as strong as ever.

It all starts here people. I was watching the ad breaks during X Factor on Saturday and they were very clear that we have now been given the all clear on Christmas. Have you seen the John Lewis ad with the hare and the bear? Well I didn’t understand it but it still made me cry. If John Lewis think it’s Christmas then it must be. Finally I will stop being embarrassed that I have been listening to Fairytale in New York since November 1st, I can dust off Delia’s Happy Christmas and henceforth will step into Christmas. Well, Christmas food at least, but that’s all I care about anyway. So if you’re not ready to start thinking sleigh bells and winter wonderlands then I shall simply call you a miserable scrooge and that is all.

No, don’t go, I’m sorry for not understanding that everyone isn’t totally into the carols and commercialism (ahem, family time) as much as me. But in my defence I am making mince pies for our WI Christmas themed meeting on Monday so really I am leaving it quite last minute to whip up the mincemeat.
Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat

I am making two different types of mincemeat this year and this is the first one. It’s veggie and nut free and very quick to boot.

I was going to make Dan Lepard’s Dark Rich Mincemeat as I wanted to steer clear of suet for mincemeat number one and his take on it sounded delicious but I couldn’t find any dried sour cherries. Even a trip into town and my trusty pocketrobber Whole Foods had run dry, though I did get to see the Carnaby Christmas lights so the trip wasn’t a complete bust. But still, I needed something sour to counterbalance all the sugary fruit. So I added fresh cranberries which seemed to do the trick, not breaking them up too much in the mix so they burst in your mouth, immediately quelling the layers of fruity sweetness. With dried and fresh cranberries all stirred up I couldn’t help but think of adding some sort of orange note since it’s a natural pairing with cranberries. When it’s Christmas you should always reach for the bottle so I poured in a good glug of Cointreau, my favourite Christmas tipple, which happily is made from oranges. Then it tasted so good, so I added a bit more. Then a bit more. Then I poured myself a small glass and the rest is history.

Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat

Print Recipe
Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat
Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat is fresh, fruity and sozzled with lots of lovely booze.
Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
4x 380g jars
Ingredients
  • 100 g dried cranberries
  • 200 g raisins
  • 275 g currants
  • 100 g soft prunes stoned and blended to form a paste
  • 2 dessert apples peeled, cored and diced small
  • 500 g fresh cranberries
  • 300 g dark brown sugar
  • 250 ml gluten-free pale ale
  • 1 bramley apple peeled and grated
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 30 ml brandy
  • 100 ml Cointreau
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
4x 380g jars
Ingredients
  • 100 g dried cranberries
  • 200 g raisins
  • 275 g currants
  • 100 g soft prunes stoned and blended to form a paste
  • 2 dessert apples peeled, cored and diced small
  • 500 g fresh cranberries
  • 300 g dark brown sugar
  • 250 ml gluten-free pale ale
  • 1 bramley apple peeled and grated
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 30 ml brandy
  • 100 ml Cointreau
Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat
Instructions
  1. Pour the fresh cranberries, sugar, ale, bramley apple, lemon juice and zest and all the spices into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes until some of the cranberries start to break down.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add the dried fruits and the dessert apples and add to the boiled mixture.
  3. Remove from the heat, add the dried fruits and give a very good mix through, making sure the prune paste is evenly dispersed.
  4. Leave to cool completely before stirring through the brandy and Cointreau.
  5. Decant into sterilised jars and store until ready to use or use straightaway.

Fancy more mincemeat recipes? Then treat yourself to traditional Victorian Mincemeat which uses real beef mince for the richest and most decadent mince pies this Christmas.

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