Thursday, 12 November 2015

Welcome and a Gluten Free Christmas

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One of our Christmas visitors is gluten free so I am having a think about how to cook or what to bake for them so they can still take part in the festivities. I know what bread to buy as I don't want to go down the home made route just yet.

They don't eat Christmas cake or Christmas pudding and normally I would do a sponge pudding as a substitute. Luckily, the other week I made a variation of a whole orange cake (with flour) and it was lovely. I used 2 manderins or clementines (can't remember what I bought) in place of the whole orange, halved the sugar and it was lovely:
It did sink a little after coming out of the oven but I think I brought it out too early!

We had previously found, that for us, the pith part of a whole orange is too bitter. The skin of the replacement fruit was far thinner and worked very well. To make it gluten free I can either replace the flour with almonds, cornflour or other substitute so that is what I shall do and yes, I do know you can buy gluten free flour.

Instead of baking it only as a cake, I shall divide it into two. One part will go into a small tin as a cake, the other into my small pudding tins to be steamed as a puddings.

Although there are plenty of gluten free items in the supermarkets nowadays, I am going to play with making some mince pies using gluten free bread as their bases and either bread as a topping or an almond/rice 'bakewell type' topping. Again, I know you can get gluten free pastry which I might also try but want to try this first.

I have checked my stock cubes and they are gluten free. I thicken soups, sauces and gravy with cornflour so that too should be okay. Just breakfast to sort if it needs to be anything other than toast.

As of yet, I haven't decided on our meals in full. I know a couple of them and can easily adjust them where necessary.

You know me, I likes a challenge and am looking forward to this:)

12 comments:

  1. How sensible not to just dash out and buy the gluten free products that are filling the shelves in the supermarkets.

    Most of them are full of so many nasties I'm surprised anyone eats them, when instead like you are doing, a bit of thought and you can adapt most good recipes and you will get a nicer, fresher and much more natural result.

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    1. Well I hope so but who knows. Can but try.

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  2. Good luck with that one. There are some great sites out there for recipes. Making your won will be much appreciated by your GF guest.

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    1. Well, you never know, by experimenting might even find some things we also like.

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  3. I like a bit of experimenting and am playing with gram flour at the moment, half and half with ground almonds it makes a decent shortbread.

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    1. Interesting, got both so might try a small amount.

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  4. My daughter's partner is a coeliac so I cook GF all the time. He stays with us three or four nights a week. Mince pies are straight forward to make if you use GF plain flour and a small amount of xanthan gum. I usually replace 2oz of the flour with ground almonds too. I use Asda GF flour which is a mix of different GF flours and I have always had excellent results with it and usually get asked for extra to take home for his father who is also a Coeliac. It is so much cheaper to make them and no nasty preservatives. I make a big batch and freeze some so that he can take them to work in packed lunches too. With a bit of practice I have found that there is very little that we eat that I cannot replicate using GF substitutes, meaning he doesn't feel 'different' when we are sat down together to eat. Hot water crust pastry works too, but you have to work a little more quickly than when using a wheat based flour. Xanthan gum is my go to ingredient as it acts like a glue and has the same effect as gluten for elasticity....just use it in tiny amounts. We had a big laugh here when said young man was making a cake to take to an event and put far too much xanthan gum in...the mix was so stretchy he could barely get it out of the mixing bowl. The grandchildren were also here and thought he was making some play dough for them. How we laughed. Lesson learned!

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    1. Thank you for that. Regarding the hot water crust, is it just the exchange of flours and the gum, but still same quantities?

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  5. Yes I used the same recipie for hot water crust pastry just substituting GF flour and adding a small amount of xanthan gum. Asda GF flour already contains some xanthan gum (used as a stabiliser but it doesn't say on the packet how much is in the flour mix) but I always add a tiny bit more...say 1/8 teaspoon per 6oz flour. You need to experiment with the xanthan gum but it does make a huge difference when used. Last Christmas I made a hot water crust pork, turkey and cranberry pie in both wheat based and gluten free pastry and there was visually no difference in them, other than size as I scaled back the quantities to make an individual GF version. It got a big thumbs up from daughter's partner who had never been able to have one before, so I was mightily relieved.

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  6. I should have added...go slowly with the liquid additions in any recipie as sometimes you don't need as much, but as an experienced cook I am sure you will be able to 'see' when there is enough added.

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