Tag Archives: christmas

Homemade Mincemeat (Gluten Free)

This is a post that I have had on the backburner, since the USB stick with the photos on went walkabout… until now!

Finally updated, I thought it was about time to share it, even if it is several months late, or several months early now. 🙂

My Mum used to buy mincemeat from a supermarket until she couldn’t eat Gluten and my sister oranges. My Great Grandma would have been horrified that my mum did that, as when she was a little girl she used to help her make it. The beginning of October was the best time as the family would use faller apples.

My Mum told me:

It seemed to take ages as the fruit came unwashed and unpicked, in blue paper bags, from the greengrocers just down the road. Everything was weighed as it was needed from Williams and Treadgold (a shop in Bournemouth). With only a radio and chat as company for this job we set to work to make pounds of mincemeat to give out to friends and family and to use ourselves at Christmas.

Then, after looking around for a good and fairly easy recipe, good old Delia came up trumps – so thought we would share it.

Delia’s Homemade Mincemeat:

Ingredients:
Makes 6-8 jars
1 lb (450g) Bramley apples, cored and finely chopped – no need to peel
*8oz (225g) Shredded suet
12 oz (350g) Raisins
8oz (225g) Sultanas
8oz (225g) Currants
8oz (225g) Whole candied peel chopped finely
12oz (350g) Dark soft brown sugar
4oz (100g) glacé cherries chopped – my addition
2oz (50g) whole almonds chopped
Grated zest and juice of two oranges
Grated zest and juice of two lemons
4 teaspoons mixed spice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ nutmeg grated
6 tablespoons brandy

Preheat oven to 120C; 100 Fan; Gas Mark ¼

1. Check the fruit over for stalks and stones.

2. Then combine all the ingredients in a large oven-proof bowl, mixing them thoroughly.

3. Cover with a tea towel and leave overnight.

4. Pre-heat the oven and place the bowl covered with foil in the oven for 3 hours. It will be swimming in fat. Do not worry!

5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, stirring every so often, the fat will coagulate and instead of being in tiny shreds, (like the suet looks) it will coat everything.

6. When it is cold stir in the brandy.

7. Put into sterilised jars and seal.

*NB Using vegetarian, suet drenched in rice flour, means that it is Gluten-free and if using gluten-free pastry, you have a real treat for Christmas – Mince Pies!

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Yule Log (Gluten Free)

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As it is christmas time, I thought that I would re-blog about our Chocolate Roulade recipe that is perfect as a Chocolate Yule Log recipe too.

Dont forget that if you are using the recipe for a Yule Log, either fill with a liqueur or chocolate cream, cover in chocolate ganache, mark with a fork, stick on fake robin, and enjoy!

And it is Gluten Free too.

Mince Pies

This has got to be one of the best Christmas treats ever and I have had them homemade as far back as I can remember! They are one thing I love coming back to the family home for, over the festive period. I have even had my Brother in Canada asking me to get this recipe on my blog.

This is an original family recipe and one that I think is personally better than the rest but then I may be slightly biased! I asked my mum for some background on them and this is what she told me…

This is my recipe for mince pies, everyone has their own I feel, but these freeze well and my family seem to like them. In fact when my eldest son (me) was at primary school he used to take one for break. This led to me making them for his form teacher too!

You do need a light hand for pastry or make it in a mixer but watch it carefully as it should not be over-mixed. I use my homemade mincemeat that I make with the apples from the garden, but if you use shop-bought mincemeat add a little brandy or rum to it as it adds a certain something to the pies.

I make the pastry with what flour I have in the cupboard – plain, self-raising or a mixture of both. The amounts shown below can be doubled in quantity or even halved.

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:
1lb/450g Flour
9ozs/260g Butter (margarine or half white fat half butter can be used)
1 Egg (either the whole egg can be used or just the yolk)
Cold water
Mincemeat

Preheat oven to 200C/400F Gas 6 or 180C Fan Oven.

1 Cut the butter into cubes and rub into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. If using a mixer do not over mix.

2 Add the egg and some water; continue mixing until the mixture comes together. If you only use the egg the pastry will be more difficult to work with but that is ok.

3 Remove from the bowl, wrap in cling-film and refrigerate for ½/1 hour.

4 Place onto a floured board, roll out thinly and cut out rounds to fit your tins.

5 Fill with the mincemeat and dampen the edges of the lids with water and press them lightly on top.

6 Brush with either beaten egg, milk or a mixture of both and cut a slit in the top. This can be with a knife or scissors. I am a bit of a traditionalist and put a cross.

7 Bake in the oven for 20/30 minutes or until golden. Cool on a wire tray.

8 Serve warm sprinkled with icing sugar and cream or brandy butter.

9 If freezing I find it is better to freeze the mince-pies uncooked. Freeze in the tin, and when frozen remove from the tin and put into a freezer bag. To cook, remove from the freezer put back into the tin, allow to defrost, brush with an egg mixture and cook as before.

If allergic to either eggs or milk just leave them out.

NB I will post my recipe for homemade mincemeat at a later date.

Enjoy!

“Sloe Sparkles”

A fun Christmas or New Year party drink, for breaking the ice, or serving as a pre-dinner aperitif is this delicious recipe using homemade Sloe Vodka.

Pour a measure of Sloe Vodka into a champagne flute and add a squeeze of lemon. Top up with either champagne, prosecco or any sparkling white wine, chilled.

Enjoy!

Braised Red Cabbage

Red cabbage is a good vegetable to buy this time of year. It can be pickled in vinegar but I think served hot with any meat is my preference. It is also very good with cold meat too.

The recipe I have used, has evolved over the years and I am not sure who gave it to me or where it came from, but I know, that when I was a child, we used to have it on Boxing Day with the cold turkey and ham, after we had been out into the countryside to work up an appetite.

It can be made two days in advance and kept in the fridge – it freezes well too. I try to use all organic ingredients as the red cabbages used to come from my grandparent’s garden which never had chemicals on them!

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:
1 Red Cabbage (approx 2lbs/1kg)
½/1lb (225g/450g) Red Onions, finely chopped
1 large Cooking Apple (approx 1lb/450g) peeled, cored and chopped small
1 Clove Garlic, finely chopped
2/3tblsp Dark Brown Sugar
2/3tblsp Red Wine Vinegar and/or Red Wine
¼ teaspoon each of Ground Cinnamon, Cloves and freshly grated Nutmeg
A little butter
Salt & pepper

1 Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage, cut and shred finely removing the hard stalk.

2 In an oven-proof large pan, melt half the butter and then put a layer of cabbage on top, then add some of the chopped onion, apple and garlic, sprinkling it with some of the sugar and spices.

3 Continue the layering until all the ingredients are in the pan, and then pour over the red wine vinegar and/or red wine. Dot with the rest of the butter and put on a lid.

4 This can either be cooked very slowly on top of the stove or in the oven at 150C/300F Gas Mark 2 or 140C Fan Oven, stirring it occasionally during the cooking time.

Enjoy!

Red Cabbage on Foodista

“Blackberry Bubbles”

“Blackberry Bubbles” is a festive drink for this winter season, that I created using our homemade Blackberry Vodka or Blackberry Brandy.

Pour a measure of either the vodka or brandy into a champagne flute. Top up with either champagne, prosecco or any sparkling white wine, chilled.

Enjoy!

Spiced Beef with Chestnuts and Cranberries

This is a tasty winter warmer that I adapted from a recipe that I was given, when I went on a cookery day out in Somerset. It uses seasonal ingredients such as chestnuts and cranberries, cheaper cuts of beef and would be perfect for a New Year’s party, especially after all the turkey consumed at Christmas!

What is really good about this recipe, is that it can be made upto 4 days in advance, being kept in the fridge and also it freezes well, making this handy for busy people at this time of the year.

It is fairly simple to make but looks very impressive served up.

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:
9ozs/250g Smoked Back Bacon Cubes
3 tbsp Gluten Free Plain Flour - seasoned with salt, pepper and a pinch of paprika (not smoked or hot)
3 ½ lbs/1.6Kg Lean Beef Cubed – skirt or chuck steak
2-3 tbsp Rapeseed Oil
3 Red Onions – peeled and finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves – peeled and finely chopped
9ozs/250g Chestnut Button Mushrooms
½ Bottle Red Wine
6ozs/170g Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
4ozs/113g Fresh Chestnuts - peeled and chopped in half
1-2 tbsp Soft Light Brown Sugar
1 ½ pints/300ml Beef Stock
2 tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
¼-½ tsp Crushed Chillies
3 Bay Leaves
Fresh Parsley, chopped to garnish

Preheat oven to 180C/350F Gas 4 or 170C Fan Oven.

1 In a large flame-proof casserole dish, cook the bacon over a medium heat until crispy and then remove.

2 Tip the flour into a plastic bag, add the meat and shake to coat.

3 Add half the oil to the casserole dish and brown the meat in batches, adding more oil as necessary.

4 Remove the meat and set aside and add the onions and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until they start to brown.

5 Add the garlic and mushrooms to the onions and cook for a further 5 minutes.

6 Return the meat and bacon to the casserole, add the bay leaves, red wine, beef stock, sweet chilli sauce and crushed chillies, bring to the boil and cook in a pre-heated oven for one hour.

7 While the casserole is cooking, prepare the chestnuts by splitting the skin, then putting them in a covered dish and microwave each chestnut for 10 secs on high power. Once heated, peel off the outer skin and cut in half.

8 After cooking for an hour, add the cranberries, chestnuts and sugar, season with a little black pepper, stir well and return to the oven for another 45 minutes to one hour.

9 Check that the meat is tender, the cranberries are cooked and not tart, adding more sugar if necessay.

10 Re-check the seasoning, scatter with chopped parsley and serve.

Serve with green vegetables, roast or jacket potatoes, or if preferred, rice!

Enjoy!

Cranberries on Foodista