Tag Archives: delia smith

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:

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!



Chocolate Mousse (Gluten Free)


I know it is a bit early for Chocolate Week but this has to be one of the easiest and most delicious desserts that exists. Everyone has heard of it for starters but this wonderful version came from my great-grandmother. As ever, I always ask my mum what the story behind each family favourite is and this is what she told me…

“My Grandma used to make this for my birthday in the 1950’s when chocolate was scarce. It was a once a year treat. I still make it when friends come for a meal as it is quite simple and can be made well in advance. Delia Smith calls it a recipe of the Sixties but it was being used well before then. It is very rich and needs to be served only in small quantities, either on its own, with raspberries or similar fruit and a small amount of cream.”

7ozs (200g) Dark Chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
4 fluid ozs (120ml) Warm Water
3 Large Eggs, separated
1½ozs (40g) Caster Sugar (I use unrefined)

1 Break the chocolate into pieces into a large heat-proof bowl, add the warm water and set over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water and allow the chocolate to melt slowly.

2 When it is melted remove from the heat and stir until smooth.

3 Let it cool for 3-4 minutes, giving it an occasional stir before adding the egg yolks and then giving it another good stir. Put to one side.

4 In a very clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks then whisk in the sugar a little at a time until the whites are stiff and glossy.

5 Fold a little of the egg white mixture into the chocolate, just to loosen it then carefully cut and fold in the rest of the egg whites. It needs gentle handling otherwise the mousse won’t be light.

6 Divide the mixture into your chosen dishes cover with clingfilm and chill for at least 2-3 hours or even overnight for the next day.

To serve it I use very old custard cups but ramekins, glasses or a large glass dish would be suitable.

NB It uses uncooked egg which may cause a risk to children, pregnant women and the elderly, but no-one in my family has ever suffered any reaction from eating this delicious pud.