Christmas Mincemeat

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Christmas mincemeat can be made well ahead of time and left in the fridge in a sterilised jar for months (the alcohol prevents it going off). It can then be used in classic Christmas recipes like mince pies and filo parcels.

Ingredients:

• One medium-sized apple
• 200g (one cup) sultanas
• 200g (one cup) mixed fruit
• Rind and juice of half a lemon
• Rind of half an orange
• ½ cup brown sugar
• ½ teaspoon mixed spice
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
• ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
• 3 tablespoons brandy, whisky or rum

Method:

• Cut the unpeeled apple into about twelve slices, discarding the core.
• Chop into pieces about the size of currants and sultanas.
• Add to a food processor, along with the sultanas, mixed fruit and the thinly peeled orange and lemon rinds (use a potato peeler for these).
• Process until the fruit is chopped fairly fine (but hasn’t turned to mush).
• Add the lemon juice along with all the remaining ingredients and process briefly until everything is combined.
• Spoon the mixture into sterilised jars. Pour a little extra brandy, whisky or rum over the surface, cover tightly, and store in a cool place.

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Pumpkin Cookies (GF)

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I got the recipe for these incredibly moreish cookies from one of my sister’s friends – thanks Dani!

Ingredients:

• ¼ cup / 60g butter
• ¾ cup brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
• 1 cup pumpkin (mashed)
• 2 cups gluten-free flour
• 4 teaspoons baking powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon nutmeg
• ¼ teaspoon clove
• ¼ teaspoon ginger

Method:

• Cream butter and sugar.
• Beat eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and pumpkin.
• Mix dry ingredients together, then add wet ingredients.
• Drop spoonfuls onto baking paper.
• Bake for 15 minutes at 190°C/375°F.

Potato Gratin

Potato Gratin

From Simon Gault’s Homemade. He calls them Bell House Potatoes, after his first restaurant, but potato gratin is the more generic term for this dish. This recipe feeds about 6-8.

Ingredients:

• 60g butter
• 2.1 kg potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced into rounds
• 2 cups grated cheese
• 2 medium onions, finely sliced
• 1 cup milk
• 1 cup cream
• Pinch of nutmeg
• ¼ teaspoon paprika

Method:

• Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F.
• Grease a deep baking or casserole dish with half the butter.
• Layer the potatoes, cheese and onions like a lasagne in the dish, seasoning each layer and ending with potato (reserve enough cheese to sprinkle over the top).
• Combine the milk, cream and nutmeg in a saucepan and heat to boiling point, then pour onto the potatoes to come about two-thirds of the way up the side of the dish.
• Dot the top with the remaining butter and sprinkle with paprika and the grated cheese.
• Bake on the top shelf of the oven for about an hour or until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden brown.

Fruit Pulp Puffs

Fruit Pulp Puffs

We have a fruit juicer in my house and this cookie recipe is ideal for the leftover fruit pulp (waste not, want not). It’s also insanely easy.

Ingredients:

• 1 egg
• 1 cup fruit pulp
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 cup chopped nuts
• 1 teaspoon soda
• 2 cups flour
• Half a teaspoon each of cloves, of nutmeg, and of cinnamon
• 1 cup raisins or currants

Method:

• Combine all the ingredients together, then use your hands to roll spoonful-sized chunks into balls. Place on a greased oven tray, and flatten with a fork (dipped in flour if needed).
• Bake at 175°C/350°F for 12-15 mins.