Redcurrants are an under-rated berry. Often left on the side of a plate at a Christmas party pudding or turned into a jelly that’s only used infrequently. Personally I find the sharp taste of redcurrants is a brilliant contrast to a sweet pudding or bake and this is a perfect flapjack recipe to make use of wild or homegrown redcurrants.
I’ve foraged these redcurrants locally during a nice walk and intend to make good use of them in this flapjack recipe.
Start by preparing a jam from your redcurrants. Place them into a pan and squish with a potato masher before stirring through sugar. Cook on a high heat and bring to the boil before you switch down to a simmer and cook slowly for 30 minutes or so.
Then move onto the flapjack. I love flapjack as it is a simple bake which is easily veganised or made gluten free!
Melt dairy free butter in a pan and add either golden syrup or vegan honey (made from dandelions this is another lovely foraging recipe). Keep stirring until the butter is melting and warm and then add Demerara sugar.
Add gluten free oats and mix through thoroughly to combine into a thick mixture. Layer a baking dish with greaseproof paper and pack in a firm bottom layer of the flapjack mix.
Allow the bottom layer to set a little before topping withe redcurrant jam and adding another thick layer of flapjack mix.
Sprinkle a small amount of Demerara sugar over the top and bake for approximately 20 minutes. When cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing to create individual servings.
I love this time of year when everything is in bloom. Even better is the fact that I can forage elderflower during a walk and use it in baking and cordials. This year I’ve looked for new ideas online and come across a recipe Elderflower Delight on River Cottage which I’ve altered to make vegan.
Using the recipe I found online o started by adding 700g caster sugar to a very large pan with 300ml of water and plenty of fresh lemon juice. Switch on the heat to a medium point and heat whilst stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.
Mix together 100g corn flour and 100ml of water into a smooth paste and pour into the liquid, stir through then add a tablespoon of pectin. Stir using a whisk and bring the mixture to the boil. When boiling the mixture will start to thicken. Turn the heat down to a simmer.
At this point it’s time to add the elderflower. Remove the flowers from the elderflower sprigs (approx 20 sprigs) and wrap into a tied up muslin bag or cloth. Place it into the mixture so it is underneath and continue to simmer for 20 minutes before removing the elderflower.
Once simmered you should have a very thick and gooey Turkish Y mixture. Whilst you allow it to cool a little bit line a large tray with baking paper and dust with a 50:50 mix of icing sugar and corn flour. Pour the mixture into the dish, cover with paper and leave to set in a cool, dry place. I left mine overnight in the pantry.
Once fully set and fairly rubbery dust with more icing sugar and cornflour mix. Cut into pieces and roll the sides in more sugar (in for a penny in for a pound) and then enjoy as a delicious summer sweet.
This gluten free and vegan sweets are lovely. I hope you enjoy them too.
I love cordial and having recently been getting into foraging I wanted to use some of my finds to make a sharp, sweet cordial I can enjoy as Autumn arrives.
Whilst foraging I came across and elder tree thick with elderberries and picked enough to fill about 2 small mugs. I gave the berries a really wash when home and set about cordial making.
Use a large pan similar to a jam pan and use a potato masher to mash the berries. Add about 500g sugar, 5 chopped and squeezed lemons and a teaspoon of citric acid powder to act as a preservative. Then fill the pan up with water and bring to the boil.
Once boiling the process is similar to making jam as you will need to reduce the heat and simmer slowly. Stir occasionally, keeping an eye out for the cordial starting to become a little syrup-ey.
Once it has a cordial consistency allow the cordial to cool slightly and then strain the mixture through a muslin cloth or bag and then bottle.
I made 4 70cl bottles of cordial and have been enjoying it with water and fizzy water.
Rice pudding is making a big comeback in my life as a naturally gluten free dessert which can be made vegan so easily and with so many options. Today I’ve made rice pudding with Alpro Coconut Milk, pudding rice, carob syrup and dried pineapple and papaya pieces.
Many coconut rice puddings will used canned coconut milk which is very dense and high in fat. I’m using the Alpro milk alternative made from coconut as it’s much healthier coming in at only 20 calories and less than 1g fat per 100ml. Start by adding 500ml of coconut milk to a pan and gradually bring to heat.
When the coconut milk starts gently boiling add in carob syrup. I’ve used 3 tablespoons to sweeten the pudding whilst still avoiding refined sugars. Thoroughly stir through the syrup until blended well with the coconut milk
Once the coconut milk and carob base is ready add half a cup of pudding rice and turn the heat down low to simmer for 45 minutes whilst occasionally checking in to stir.
Shortly before serving I’ve mixed through dried pineapple and papaya pieces to complement the coconut flavour.
Rice pudding is a classic which so much reminds me of Sunday dinner in Yorkshire with my gran (and a thick skin on top) but the tropical flavours and the hob cooking give it an adult twist making it fresh and tasty in the here and now.
Spring time is here so I’m starting to think about delicious light spring puddings. This carob syrup crumble with peach is super easy to bake and a very tasty vegan and gluten-free dessert.
Start by layering sliced peaches along the base of a baking dish. I’m using tinned peaches to save time and to make sure I don’t leave my tins too long.
Melt dairy free spread in a pan on a medium heat. I use Pure Soya as it is my favourite vegan alternative. Add a few tablespoons of carob syrup to the melted spread and stir through to mix. Carob syrup is an excellent alternative to honey and will both sweeten desserts and act as a binding agent.
Add gluten free oats to the syrup and melted spread mix and use this to top the peaches. Bake on 200° for approximately 20 minutes before serving warm and enjoying a tasty, peachy pudding.
These are amazing. I’m going to admit straight up here that these are a packet mix and not from scratch. But what a brilliant, tasty and easy packet mix it is and easy to add flavours to.
Made by Sweetpea Bakery this gluten free pancake mix has vegan instructions for cooking. I’ve use Alpro Coconut Milk and added to the mix with egg replacement and dried cherries. This gives the pancakes a fruity, coconutty taste. Whisk all the ingredients together well before adding to a pre heated pan with oil. Cook until bubbles appear on the top and then flip over for an even cook.
I like that even with the coconut and cherries the pancakes are not too sweet.
I’m going to be trying these pancakes again with different flavours and thoroughly recommend you do too!
As the weather gets slightly chillier I turn to comfort food to get me through. Nothing says comfort more than a hot fruity crumble.
A lot of gluten free crumble mixes and alternatives feel really heavy and gloopy so in this recipe I make my own with gluten free oats.
I start by preparing my fruit. I’m using fresh apricots and nectarines so I can enjoy that last taste of summer. I chop 6 fresh apricots, first by chopping in half and removing the stone. Then I chop each half into 5 lengths. Apricots provide a great a vitamin boost which I’m counting on to make me feel tough as we move into flu season. They are high in vitamin C but also vitamin A and high in fibre and potassium. Making them a great healthy fruit.
As with the apricots I chop 3 nectarines by first chopping in half and removing the stone and then slicing lengthways. Nectarines have a lower vitamin content than apricots but complement nicely as they are rich in B complex minerals. They also complement the apricots for taste too.
Then I make the honey oat crumble topping. Start by melting approximately 200g soya butter. I use the Pure soya butter as it is straightforward and doesn’t contain any unexpected ingredients. I melt the soya butter over a medium heat and when melted add 125g of honey.
I’m in love with honey and so in awe of the many antioxidant and antibacterial properties it has. Eating local honey is said to protect against hayfever reactions and can be ussed in all kinds of healing. In this recipe I’m using a local Yorkshire forest honey and would like to say thanks to the Yorkshire forest bees for their hard work.
Once the honey and soya butter are melted slowly add gluten free oats. Neal’s Yard gluten free oats are a staple of my coeliac diet featuring in most of my mornings. I stir through 200g oats and mix thoroughly with the butter and honey. Place the fruit in an oven proof dish and then top with the oat mixture. Bake for 20 minutes in the oven at 200°.
Once cooked dish up and enjoy. I’m tucking into mine with a serving of soya cream. Perfect gluten free, lactose free comfort food.