Easy Mincemeat Recipe

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

This Easy Mincemeat Recipe is exactly what you need when you are required to make homemade mince pies pronto. You can use it straightaway. No resting time is needed, it’s a quick assembly job and the result is a supremely spiced and zesty mincemeat plump with fruits, rich with brandy and with a silky luxurious texture.

hands holding bowl of mincemeat next to ingredients for recipe

I simply adore Christmas mincemeat. In my humble opinion it’s the best thing about the season. 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.

What is mincemeat?

Mincemeat is the traditional filling of a christmas mince pie. 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.

Gluten-Free Mince Pies on a tray in front of the fire

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.

Why should you make your own mincemeat?

I made the unfortunate mistake of buying pre-made mincemeat for some recipe testing recently and the difference between homemade and shop bought is extreme. The shop bought stuff is all sugar and no flavour

This Easy Mincemeat tastes of plump juicy fruits and spices and is rich with brandy with a silky luxurious texture.

Plus if you’re making it yourself you can make it exactly to your preference. It’s an extremely versatile recipe which you can switch up for the dried fruit, alcohol and type of sugar you have to hand. It will always be a preferred option to the sickly sweet supermarket version.

Why is this recipe so brilliant?

If  you need to make some Homemade Mince Pies asap then this Easy Mincemeat Recipe is the way to go. 

  • this homemade mincemeat is so simple to make and takes no time at all.
  • It’s a back-to-basics recipe using traditional ingredients.
  • no resting time required.
  • it’s not necessary to cook the mincemeat out before filling your pies.

If you want a more modern mincemeat which is made with fresh cranberries and is nut free and vegan then perhaps try this Cranberry Cointreau Mincemeat.

ingredients for mincemeat

What ingredients are in mincemeat?

  • Bramley apples – A lovely tart fully flavoured apple that breaks down into a gorgeous fluffy texture.
  • Dried fruit – Here we go traditional with raisins, currants and sultanas and mixed peel
  • Beef suet – the fat used to preserve the mincemeat and for texture
  • Dark muscovado sugar – a deep flavoured sugar
  • Lemon and orange zest – for a fresh zing
  • Spices – ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
  • Brandy – traditionally used to help preserve the mincemeat but also gives a luxurious rich flavour.

bowl of fresh beef suet

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.

Is beef suet gluten-free?

Unfortunately the commercial beef suet you can buy in a packet in your local supermarket is not gluten-free. The suet is processed into small pellets which are coated in wheat flour. This allows the suet to be easily stored and weighed and used in baking but it’s not gluten-free.

Can you buy gluten-free suet?

You can buy gluten-free suet in the supermarket but it is also vegetarian suet and it is not a product I like to use. The ingredients list is iffy and doesn’t have the right flavour.

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. You can store the suet in the freezer in ziplock bags and you can use it directly from the freezer.

You can also use this fresh beef suet in your Traditional Christmas Pudding. Or in a Spotted Dick.

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.

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.

ingredients for mincemeat on a wooden board

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.

bowl of brown sugar next to dried fruit

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.

How do you make the homemade mincemeat?

  1. Peel, core and dice the bramley apples.
  2. Then mix with all the other ingredients.
  3. It’s done (I know, pretty easy!!)

Note. This recipe makes about 4 large jars of mincemeat. Enough for 4 batches of mince pies. Presuming you are not making mince pies for a very large crowd you will want to store the mincemeat you are not using straightaway. This will require cooking it out (see below).

Easy Mincemeat Recipe

Can you use the mincemeat straightaway

Yes! Your mince pies will be delicious if you make them with the mincemeat you prepared 5 minutes ago.

However, if you are in the mood for planning ahead then the mincemeat will be even better if you make it a week or two before you want to make your mince pies which will allow the flavours to mature.

How long does mincemeat last?

If you are not using the mincemeat immediately then you need to cook it out before storing. This is to allow the suet and sugar to melt, coat and preserve all the fruit evenly. Plus it also stops the apples from fermenting.

How to cook out the mincemeat for storing

  1. Mix all the ingredients together as above except for the brandy.
  2. Place in a large ovenproof pot with a lid.
  3. Cook for 1 hour in an oven pre-heated to 150°C /130°C fan/gas 2 for 1 hour.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  5. Stir in the brandy then decant into sterilised jars.

The mincemeat will keep for 3 months if stored in a cool and dark place.

  • To sterilise the jars – Place the very clean jars you would like to use in an oven pre-heated to 140°C for 20 minutes. Sterilise the lids by dropping them into a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes. It is best not to sterilise lids in the oven as they can easily ruin.

Recommended Equipment

Le Creuset Large Casserole Dish – my favourite preserving pan and it’s big enough to cook a large amount of preserves or mincemeat. It can be used in the hob or in the oven. 

Jam Funnel – Very useful for decanting the mincemeat into jars. If you make a lot of chutneys and jams then this inexpensive jam funnel is an absolute must-buy. Useful for decanting pretty much anything around the kitchen too!

Kilner jars (500g)– these are great for all kinds of preserving. You can re-use the jars again and again (just clean and sterilise them first) and buying new lids is very easy.

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
Christmas Morning Mince Pie Muffins
Mince Pie Cheesecake Oat Bars
Cheat’s Gluten-Free Christmas Cake
Mince Pie Cupcakes with Brandy Buttercream

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

This Easy Mincemeat Recipe is a quick homemade supremely spiced fruity boozy mincemeat essential for mince pies.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 64 servings
Calories: 87kcal

Ingredients

  • 400 g bramley apples about 1-2 apples
  • 225 g seedless raisins
  • 225 g currants
  • 225 g sultanas
  • 240 g beef suet for gluten-free suet see notes
  • 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

Instructions

  • Peel, core and dice the bramley apples into small pieces.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Leave the mincemeat to completely cool before stirring in the brandy.
  • Decant the mincemeat into sterilised jars and store in a cool dark place for up to a year.

Notes

  • If you are gluten-free I recommend you use fresh beef suet. It’s not possible to buy gluten-free pre-packaged beef suet. I don't recommend the vegetarian version which is gluten-free. 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.
  • Yield 4 380g jars
  • You can make your mince pies straightaway using this mincemeat but if you are not then you will need to cook it and store in sterilised jars.
  • To sterilise the jars – Place the very clean jars you would like to use in an oven pre-heated to 140°C for 20 minutes. Sterilise the lids by dropping them into a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes. It is best not to sterilise lids in the oven as they can easily ruin.
  • The mincemeat will keep for 3 months in a cool and dark place.

Nutrition

Calories: 87kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 100mg | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Gluten-Free Gravy

This unbeatable Gluten-Free Gravy is velvety smooth and rich. For the best flavour make it with the drippings from your roasted meat and homemade stock. But if you are caught short you can easily substitute and I offer all the tips and tricks below.

Gluten-Free Gravy being poured out of a gravy boat over a plate of roast chicken and vegetables

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.

The importance of Sunday lunch has not wavered into my adulthood and since I became gluten-free it has been of utmost importance for me to achieve a triumphant gravy that would pacify the whole family. This recipe is definitely the king of gravies.

Gluten-Free Gravy in a gravy boat on a wooden table

Why is this the best Gluten-Free Gravy Recipe?

  • Meat Drippings. Absolutely essential for the richest meatiest flavour.
  • Sweet Rice Flour – this makes for velvety smooth gravy. No graininess or thin wispy gravy here.
  • Homemade Stock – a stock cube and even shop bought stock doesn’t quite cut it here. For proper gravy use homemade stock.

Top Gravy Tip – Plan Ahead!

If you want to make proper traditional gravy then your only choice is to use the pan drippings from your roasted meat coupled with homemade stock.

It is perfectly possible to use the pan drippings of the meat you have just roasted and to make a quick gravy as the joint rests. However, this can be a bit of a slap dash effort when you’re also trying to perfect your roasties, organise the vegetables and rise those Yorkshires. So I have the best tip for you.

Make sure your dripping and stock game is always a week ahead.

The Meat Drippings

Save your meat drippings each week after your Sunday Lunch (beef, chicken, lamb or pork.) and keep them in little pots in the freezer, alongside your homemade stock. (I have a whole compartment dedicated to fat and stock).

This way you will always have drippings to hand and can make your gravy ahead of time.

This is especially useful at Christmas as you can make your gravy a couple of days before. Also making gravy ahead of time really allows the flavours to develop and gives a better sauce.

Homemade Stock

I recommend when your Sunday Lunch is over and done with you save the bones of your bird or joint and make your stock that evening for next week’s lunch. Store your stock in the freezer in the right quantities (for this gravy you need 800ml) so it’s easy to remove and use when you need it.

Top Tips

  • To make sure you achieve a good quantity of drippings (enough to help you out with your Yorkshire puddings and gravy) pour a generous amount of olive oil over your joint or bird before roasting. The more olive oil means the more meat flavoured fat at the end of the roast.
  • Chicken drippings and stock go with any roasted meats really as they are delicate in flavour. But don’t make a lamb or beef gravy if you are serving a different meat as that can be a bit of a flavour clash.

Gluten-Free Gravy in a gravy boat on a wooden table

What can I use to thicken gluten-free gravy?

The best flour to use for the smoothest gluten-free sauces is sweet rice flour.

Sweet rice flour (often called glutinous 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.

For more information on Sweet Rice Flour, what it is, how to use it and where to buy it then have a look at my Ultimate Guide to Sweet Rice Flour.

If you want to know how to make the most delicious Gluten-Free Cheese Sauce using sweet rice flour then visit my recipe here.

How do you make Gluten-Free Gravy?

  1. Melt butter or dripping, then add diced onion and heat on medium for about 20 minutes until they are starting to turn brown.
  2. Add sweet rice flour and mix with a wooden spoon until the fat has absorbed all the flour.
  3. Whisk in a quarter of the stock, and as it starts to thicken 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.
  5. Simmer for 15 minutes then remove from the heat and strain. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Top Tip

If the gravy is too thick for you, add some more stock or just water to get to your desired consistency.

A plate of roast chicken, vegetables and yorkshire pudding with homemade gluten-free gravy

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 a vegan gravy, use vegan butter or olive oil.

How do you make gluten-free gravy browner and richer?

It’s difficult to gain a lustrous rich dark brown colour for your gravy using sweet rice flour so we need a little bit of help from our fine friend, the onion.

The Onion Method

Cook the onion in the drippings or butter for about 20 minutes until they are caramelised and just starting to brown, but not at all burnt. Then when you add your sweet rice flour followed by the stock the sauce will take on the rich brown colour from the onions.

It also gives your gravy further depth of flavour. I recommend straining off the onions at the end though for a lovely smooth sauce.

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:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Top Tip

If you make your gravy with whole milk then 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.

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, if you are using shop bought stock or it’s lacking in flavour then try these tricks:

  • 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. Use a glug of white wine or masala which to make for a very sophisticated gravy.
  • Whisk in a teaspoon of Dijon mustard which just adds a little bit of depth to your gravy
  • Add a teaspoon 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.
  • Check your seasonings. It’s amazing what a little extra salt and pepper can do to liven up your gravy.

Gluten-Free Gravy in a gravy boat on a wooden table

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 usually tastes slightly different every time but always delicious.

Are you making a Sunday lunch and need more inspiration for some side dishes? Why not try:

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings
Braised Red Cabbage
Carrot and Swede Mash
Cheesy Brussel Sprout and Leek Gratin
Cream Baked Roast Potatoes
Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese

And finally, a very special gravy treat

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.

Try using this delicious Homemade Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread to mop up your gravy juices, or just another Gluten-Free Yorkshire Pudding.

If you make this Gluten-Free Gravy recipe then please leave a comment below and give the recipe a rating which helps others find the recipe on Google. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

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.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: British
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 143kcal

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

Instructions

  • 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).
  • Add all the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until the fat has absorbed all the flour.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes then remove from the heat and strain. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Notes

  • Save your meat drippings each week after your Sunday Lunch (beef, chicken, lamb or pork.) and keep them in little pots in the freezer, alongside your homemade stock. This way you will always have drippings to hand and can make your gravy ahead of time.
  • To make sure you achieve a good quantity of drippings (enough to help you out with your Yorkshire puddings and gravy) pour a generous amount of olive oil over your joint or bird before roasting. The more olive oil means the more meat flavoured fat at the end of the roast.
  • Sweet rice flour is also called glutinous rice flour
  • If the gravy is too thick for you, add some more stock or just water to get to your desired consistency.
  • If you don’t have drippings or not enough then sub in some unsalted butter or ghee instead. For a vegan gravy, use vegan butter or olive oil.
  • If you don't have any homemade stock then you can use shop bought or even whole milk for a much richer and creamier gravy. Try to avoid a stock cube.
  • To add more flavour try adding fresh garden herbs, a glug of wine, dijon mustard or even some more salt and pepper.
  • If re-heating pour into a saucepan and whilst heating whisk in a little extra liquid (stock or just water would be fine).

Nutrition

Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 192mg | Potassium: 166mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Vitamin C: 2.7mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.4mg

This recipe was originally published in November 2018. It was slightly modified to make the recipe easier to read and follow in February 2020.

 

Gluten-Free Chestnut Stuffing

This Gluten-Free Chestnut Stuffing is so flavourful with fresh sage. 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 gluten-free 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 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 nut stuffing is exactly the right accompaniment to the rest of the meal.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

Chestnuts

For this recipe 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

How do you make it?

  1. First caramelise the onions at the beginning of the recipe – this is necessary to add the soft sweetness to the stuffing.
  2. Then you mix the onions with the crumbled chestnuts, fresh gluten-free breadcrumbs and fresh sage.
  3. Stir in a bit of seasoning, an egg to bind and a splash of double cream for moisture and there you have it.

Can you make it ahead?

You can 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

When should you put the stuffing in the oven?

On the big day, after the turkey has been taken out of the oven, this nut stuffing goes in. It only needs to bake for 20 minutes so doesn’t clog up precious oven space for any length of time.

Stuffing Balls

You could alternatively roll the stuffing into balls and bake on a baking tray lined with baking parchment which also works really well as the surface of the balls get quite crunchy, a perfect contrast to the squishy insides.

Sage Chestnut Stuffing

This Gluten-Free 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.

Shop the Recipe

  • Whole Chestnuts
  • Food Processor
Sage Chestnut Stuffing

Other side dishes you’ll love on your festive table!

I urge you to give this Gluten-Free 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.

Gluten-Free Chestnut Stuffing

This Gluten-Free Chestnut Stuffing is so flavourful with fresh sage. Crisp on top with a beautifully soft yet robust texture you won’t even notice it is vegetarian.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: British
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 127kcal

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

Instructions

  • Place the onions in a saucepan along 30g butter and cook very gently for 30-40 minutes until the onions have caramelized.
  • Tip the onions in a large mixing bowl then set aside whilst you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Press the stuffing into an ovenware dish and leave in the fridge overnight to set.
  • 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.

Notes

  • You can make the stuffing up to 2 days ahead and keep in the fridge until ready to bake.
  • Alternatively you can roll the stuffing into balls and bake on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.

Nutrition

Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 202mg | Potassium: 145mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 143IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 1mg

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings

These are the best Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings. Majestically tall and crisp with a fluffy breaded interior making them absolutely ideal for mopping up the gravy after your Sunday Roast.

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings

Nothing beats a roast dinner. Every Sunday without fail when I was a child my Dad would make us a lavish Sunday Roast. He was a wonderful cook. The table would be properly set, the meat resplendent in the centre as a vast array of beautifully prepared vegetables, crisp and fluffy roast potatoes, onion sauce, gravy and Yorkshire puddings would surround this magnificent offering. These Sunday lunches were incredibly important to us as a family and I remember them vividly.

Perhaps in my early twenties my Sunday Lunches were a bit more sporadic and mostly consumed hungover at our local pub. But as soon as Luke and I moved in together to become our own family unit then without fail every week we made a Sunday lunch together. Now we’re a family of four and our Sunday lunches are as important as ever. Luke works too late to eat with the family during the week so it’s one of the few times we can sit together and all eat the same meal as a family. Even when I’m at the market stall and don’t finish until 3 or 4pm we’ll rush home and bung a joint in the oven so we can scrape together a simplified Roast Dinner before the children’s bedtime.

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings

Of course Yorkshire Puddings are traditionally served with roast beef but you are missing a trick if that is the only time you will eat them. We love our yorkshires and back in the day Dad would happily make them from scratch every week to serve with the beef or chicken or lamb or pork. And I do the same today. Even our festive table would not be complete without Yorkshire Puddings served alongside our turkey.

After I became gluten-free I stopped making Yorkshire Puddings to go with our Sunday lunch, I just didn’t think you could make them the same, in much the same way that I was unconvinced about gluten-free cakes.

Over the years I’ve been experimenting though and the time I was finally able to make a complete gluten-free Sunday Lunch without skimping on any of the trimmings, including gravy, Yorkshires, stuffing and cauliflower cheese without anyone noticing any difference I could rejoice.

Good Yorkshire Puddings should be sky high, crisp on the outside with a beautiful fluffy interior so you can use them to mop up your gravy when the rest of your meal is complete.

It’s taken me a bit longer to perfect my Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings, we were pretty much eating glorified pancakes that stuck resolutely to the baking tin for the best part of the last two years. In the last few weeks though I set myself a challenge to get them perfect. Oh my golly gosh have I succeeded. It is no word of a lie that these Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings are not only the best gluten-free Yorkshire puddings you will ever eat but the best Yorkshires full stop.

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings

Too often you can have regular wheat Yorkshire puddings and the chef will rely too much on the size and height. Guys, it’s not the size that counts yada yada yada. A crisp Yorkshire that is all tall golden shell without the bready interior is a pointless affair. It’s like serving up a pie with no filling. These Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings are beautifully tall without showing off but the perfectly baked chewy fluffy substance of the puddings is their real crowning glory.

I love gluten-free flours and I don’t care who knows. The key to these Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings is in the gluten-free flour mix. I don’t normally pair sweet rice flour with regular white rice flour as I thought they would squabble but now I see that they are perfectly compatible. Sweet rice flour adds the chew, the sticky bind of the pudding. The white rice flour is beautifully neutral with the sweet rice counteracting its more grainy drying qualities. And the potato flour is necessary to draw the moisture out of the sweet rice flour and adding the crisping element which gives our puddings their wonderful initial crunch.

So that the Yorkshires don’t stick to the muffin tin you must grease it really well, both in the holes and on the surface of the tin. I use spray grease, the same kind I use with my baking. Then you must put ½ teaspoon of good fat in the bottom of each hole. Your best choice will be the dripping of whatever meat you are roasting, but if you are making the puddings to serve along something other than a roast dinner or you are a veggie, then use a fat with a high smoking point instead. I use ghee and it works incredibly well.

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings

I don’t bother really resting the batter, I haven’t found it makes enough difference for it to be worthwhile, the Yorkshire Puddings are just as scrummy baked straightaway after making. So as long as you have all the right ingredients then really there is only one final tip you need to adhere to and you will see it in every single Yorkshire recipe around. You must put the greased tin in the oven at a high temperature for at least 10 minutes for the fat to really sizzle. As soon as you pour your batter into the hot fat it needs to start cooking immediately. This will give your puddings their essential rise.

If you are making to serve alongside a roast meat, then I suggest as soon as your meat is ready, turn up the oven to the right temperature and you can cook your Yorkshires in the twenty minute resting period of the meat. It will all work out perfectly.

SHOP THE RECIPE

  • Regular 12-hole muffin tin
  • Cake release spray
  • Ghee
  • Gluten-Free Sweet Rice Flour
  • Gluten-Free Potato Starch

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I urge you to give these Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings a try, they are so easy and delicious. If you do make these Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings then please leave a comment below and give the recipe a rating which helps others find the recipe on Google. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings

Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings

These are the best Gluten-Free Yorkshire Puddings. Majestically tall and crisp with a fluffy breaded interior making them absolutely ideal for mopping up the gravy after your Sunday Roast.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: British
Servings: 12 puddings
Calories: 133kcal

Ingredients

  • 300 ml whole milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 100 g sweet rice flour
  • 100 g white rice flour
  • 50 g potato starch
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or dripping from your roast meat

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 220°C fan assist/200°C/gas mark 7.
  • Completely grease a 12 hole muffin tin with spray oil if you have it. Then drop in either ½ teaspoon ghee into the bottom of each hole or some of the dripping from your roast meat.
  • Place the tin in the oven and heat for 10 minutes.
  • In a jug whisk together the milk and eggs until smooth. Set aside for a moment.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flours and salt then make a little well in the centre of the flours and pour in the milk and eggs whisking all the time until the batter is smooth.
  • Pour the pudding batter into a jug for easy pouring. Then remove the muffin tin from the oven and straightaway pour the batter almost to the top of each hole.
  • Place the tin back into the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  • The Yorkshire puddings should be crisp and have risen gallantly. Serve immediately.

Notes

Adapted from Jane Grigson’s Yorkshire pudding which I made for years before becoming gluten-free. Can’t believe I’m saying this but I actually prefer this GF version (sorry Jane!)

Nutrition

Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 130mg | Potassium: 107mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 0.4mg

 

 

 

Gingerbread Ice Cream

Gingerbread Ice Cream is an incredibly smooth and creamy treat. Warmly spiced with all the flavours of your favourite gingerbread and intense with dark sugar and treacle. 

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.

SHOP THE RECIPE >>> Ice Cream Maker

Gingerbread Ice Cream

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.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 164kcal

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

Instructions

  • Pour the single cream into a saucepan and whisk in the fresh ginger, ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves.
  • Turn the heat on and bring to just below a boil.
  • Turn off the heat and leave for a couple of hours to infuse then sieve the cream.
  • 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.
  • Pour the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking continuously until all the cream has been added and the mixture has totally combined.
  • Pour the custard back into the saucepan and heat gently, whisk until thickened but not so the custard is boiling.
  • Remove from the heat, pour the custard into a bowl then cover and put in the fridge overnight to completely chill.
  • The following day whip the double cream until it reaches soft peaks then fold gently into the gingerbread custard until everything has completely combined.
  • Pour this extra thick custard into an ice cream machine and churn per the machine’s instructions*.
  • 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.

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.
Yield 2 pints

Nutrition

Calories: 164kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 95mg | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 64mg | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 530IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 0.4mg

 

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