Gluten-Free Christmas Cooking

Being gluten-free myself, and not wanting to feel deprived of delicious goodies during the Christmas season, I decided to peruse the Library’s selection of gluten-free cookbooks for Christmas recipes. I was pleased to find a comprehensive selection of recipes, most of them with easy-to-find ingredients, which is always a bonus for the gluten-free shopper.

‘The New Zealand Food Allergy Cookbook’, by Ros Campbell, has a 19-page  section devoted to Christmas recipes, including such classics as Christmas Fruit Cake, and Christmas Pudding.  Other good publications are ‘Gluten-Free, Sugar-free Cooking’ by Susan O’Brien, and ‘Healthy Gluten-free Eating’ by Darina Allen. Both of these books have traditional Christmas recipes, or recipes which are suitable for Christmas, scattered throughout their pages.  ‘Healthy Gluten-free Eating’ has a delicious-looking recipe for ‘Christmas Cake with Toasted Almond Paste’, which it describes as ‘a moist, succulent cake’ – which (if it’s true) is a rare thing for gluten-free cakes, which can often be too dry and/or crumbly.

This is a quick and easy recipe from ‘The New Zealand Food Allergy Cookbook’:

Brandy Custard

3 cups milk (or milk alternative such as soymilk)

1-3 Tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla essence

4 ½ Tbsp cornflour or arrowroot

6 Tbsp brandy

Heat milk gently until very hot. Add honey and essence and stir well. Mix cornflour (or arrowroot) in a little water to make a paste. Add cornflour paste to milk mixture and stir until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and add brandy.

Makes about 3 cups.

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