FODMAP Friendly Christmas Recipe – Fruit Mince Pies

Fruit Mince Pies for Christmas - Low FODMAP & Gluten Free - by Not From A Packet Mix

I’m so excited to share these pies with all of you, they have been a long time coming.

Mince pies (or mince tarts, whatever name you know then by) are a Christmas staple in many Aussie households – as well as many other places that were colonised by the British, I suppose. Every year, Mum would stock up with Bakers’ Delight mince pies as soon as they were available and we’d freeze a bunch so that we’d have them well past Christmas, we loved them so much. Unfortunately, though, I had to cut them out long ago due to the extreme amounts of dried fruits, and often apple, that were lurking inside their delicious pastry shells.

Well, not any more! These fruit mince pies are low FODMAP (according to Monash University ratings) in servings of two pies – you can read the FODMAP information for each ingredient in the FODMAP Notes section below. They are moist, sweet enough, with buttery pastry and just the right amount of spice to finish off your Christmas meal. Enjoy them with a cup of tea, some freshly made custard or FODMAP friendly vanilla ice cream.

Don’t be scared that there are vegetables in here (yes, I know, choko is actually a fruit); the carrot is a naturally sweet vegetable, especially when small and young and the chokos, while typically used as a vegetable and not very sweet themselves, are the perfect apple substitute in a lot of recipes. Combine them with low FODMAP amounts of nut meals, dried fruit (optional) and traditional spices and we have a Christmas classic made low FODMAP.

Merry Christmas guys! Enjoy your time with family and friends, whatever you celebrate and I’ll see you in the new year for more delicious low FODMAP cooking. Don’t forget to sign up to receive each new post by email.

Natty xoxo

FODMAP Notes

  1. Choko, aka chayote squash, is low FODMAP in 1/2 cup (84 g) serves and a perfect replacement for apples in cooking. When young, they are juicy and crisp. The amount per serving of these mince tarts is well below the top recommended safe serve.
  2. A note about the fruit content: if you look online, many blogs and websites warn you to stay completely away from dried fruits. However, if you check Monash University’s Low FODMAP App, this depends on the fruit. Also, if you find that you cannot have any dried fruit (even low FODMAP serves) in the beginning, you may find that, as you progress and your gut settles, you might be able to introduce them back into your diet in small quantities. The amount of dried fruit in this recipe, spread over many small mince pies, should be well tolerated according to Monash. If you can’t handle dried fruit yet, obviously either substitute in raspberries as instructed, or don’t eat them.
    • Dried cranberries are low FODMAP in 13 g/1 tbsp. serves – much less than this is in each serving of mince pie.
    • Sultanas are listed as containing high levels of excess fructose and fructans in 13 g/1 tbsp. serves. Monash University informed me, however, that 1 tsp. of sultanas should be tolerated by most, which means that the 1.3 g of sultanas in each pie (so 2.6 g/ approx. 1/2 tsp. per two pie serve) should be tolerated as well.
    • Raspberries are low FODMAP in 45 g serves, so will be okay in the amount per serve of pie.
    • Common bananas are still low FODMAP when ripe in servings of 100 g (approx. one medium fruit). Only 50 g is required for the entire recipe, so a serving of these pies will stay well under the maximum low FODMAP serving. Make sure you get the common variety, rather than sugar/lady finger bananas, which become high in excess fructose when ripe.
    • If you are on elimination, please discuss these options with your dietitian, as they might wish you to use the extra low FODMAP method, which is to substitute in raspberries, instead of sultanas. 
    • If you are more sensitive to dried fruit than Monash University recommendations, please substitute in raspberries (fresh or frozen) for the dried cranberries and banana for the sultanas/raisins.
  3. Carrots are low FODMAP in 61 g serves, which is about one medium carrot. Much less than this is in each serving.
  4. Almond meal is low FODMAP in 24 g serves – the 50 g called for in this recipe is divided between 18 serves (36 pies), so is well within safe limits.
  5. Desiccated coconut is low FODMAP in 18 g serves – much less than this is used per pie.
  6. Maple and golden syrup are sucrose based, thus have a fructose ratio of 1.0 and are safe low FODMAP sugars in the amounts called for per serving.
  7. Whisky and vodka are each low FODMAP in 30 ml serves. Traditionally, rum would be used but, as it contains excess fructose, these are both safer options. If you know you can tolerate tiny amounts of rum, feel free to sub it back in. This is not advised while you are on elimination.
  8. Lemon/orange juice and zest are low FODMAP in the amounts consumed per serve.
  9. The spices and vanilla extract included are all low FODMAP in the amount consumed per serve.
  10. Butter is very low in lactose and Monash University has listed the typical serve (19 g/1 tbsp.) to be low FODMAP. If you include both the pastry and filling in each two-pie serve, you will have approx. 1.5 tbsp. of butter. If you are very sensitive to lactose, simply substitute the butter in the pastry and/or filling for your favourite lactose free option, such as refrigerated coconut oil or a dairy free “butter” spread.
  11. Dextrose is a form of glucose and is the most fructose/FODMAP friendly sugar out there, with a fructose ratio of 0.0. By using it in this recipe, it will help to balance out any fructose present in the rest of the pies as well as in whatever meal you ate just beforehand (as long as they go through the stomach and small intestine together).

Fruit Mince Pies

Makes approx. 36 small pies | 18 low FODMAP serves

Pastry

Fruit Mince Filling

  • 160 g choko (approx. 1, aka chayote squash) or zucchini, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and finely grated
  • 50 g (1/3 cup) sultanas or very ripe mashed banana
  • 50 g (1/3 cup) dried cranberries or fresh/frozen raspberries
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) almond meal
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) unsweetened desiccated coconut shreds
  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) pure maple syrup
  • 75 g (1/3 cup) dextrose powder
  • 1 tbsp. whisky or vodka
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon or 1 tsp. dried peel
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange or 1 tsp. dried peel
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 30 g melted unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch salt

To Serve

The day before baking, make the fruit mince filling by mixing all the ingredients together in a container, then put the lid on and store it in the fridge overnight. This allows the dried fruit to soak up the juices from the carrots and choko and lets the flavours meld together. It makes a huge difference in terms of flavour, so don’t skimp.

The pastry can also be made one day ahead, if you wish. If you are using my pie crust pastry, don’t store it in the fridge – instead, keep it wrapped in plastic wrap in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. If you put it in the fridge for more than 30 minutes, it will turn into a solid brick, as most gluten free pastries do, and will need to be re-hydrated once more with a little ice water and your stand mixer.

Pre-heat your oven to 180 C/350 F and grease two small (24 hole) muffin pans.

On a pastry mat or a lightly floured bench, roll out your pastry until it is approx. 2-3 mm thick, then slice it into rectangles measuring 5 x 10 cm. Gently pick up each rectangle and line the muffin holes, trimming off the excess pastry as you go. Once all the muffin holes are lined and the pastry trimmed, re-roll the excess pastry and cut out little stars or leaves to top the pies.

Place the completed muffin trays into the freezer for 10-15 minutes, in the meantime clean your work space and get the fruit mincemeat filling out of the fridge.

Place approx. 1 1/2 tsp. of the fruit mince filling in each pie crust – they should be only slightly heaped, not overly full. Next, place a star or leaves on each pie and brush with your milk of choice.

Bake at 180 C for 15 minutes, until the stars toppers are slightly golden brown. Do not wait for them to turn a true golden brown as this often doesn’t happen with gluten free pastry and you’ll just end up over-cooking your pies.

Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before you remove them from the muffin pans. If you are storing them, place them in an airtight container in the pantry for up to a week but they taste best if eaten in the first couple of days.

Lightly dust the pies with icing sugar or icing dextrose just before you serve them, then enjoy with your favourite vanilla bean custard or ice cream and a cup of tea or coffee.

IMG_9730IMG_9773

Advertisements

FODMAP Friendly Christmas Recipe – Spiced Gingerbread Cake (also Gluten Free & Dairy Free)

Spiced Gingerbread Cake - FODMAP friendly, gluten free and dairy free - Copy (2)

Christmas is fast approaching – the last time I checked, it was the start of November and I was still comfortably in my mid-twenties. I’m now what most people would call “mid to late” twenties and it’s scaring the hell out of me! Where does the time go – and can I rewind it please? While I sit here and panic not-so-silently, I’ll take the opportunity to share a new recipe for a cake that is a combination of my two favourite Christmas desserts: gingerbread and plum pudding. I don’t think you could get a more Christmas appropriate low FODMAP recipe, if you tried.

But first of all, merry Christmas! Or rather the all encompassing term I heard a couple of years ago: Happy Chrismakwanzakah!

Secondly, I am a HUGE fan of fruit cakes and puddings – I absolutely love them. If there were Beliebers for fruit cakes, I’d be right at the front, wearing a t-shirt and screaming my heart out… but, by some cruel twist of fate (damn you, GLUT-5 fructose transporters), if I was to have a slice now, I’d probably have to down a glass of glucose syrup afterwards to ward off any reactions – which is not a healthy thing to do.

As for gingerbread, it’s quite easily made gluten free and low FODMAP, the instructions for which can be found here.

For me, Christmas is all about food and family. It’s just a pity that so many traditional Christmas desserts aren’t easily adaptable to a low FODMAP diet, as they rely so heavily on fruits higher in fermentable carbohydrates. It’s also especially hard being literally half way around the world from the rest of my family at this time of year but it’s alright… I never cook alone. Or eat alone. Or unwrap my presents without an audience, because every dog knows that the rustling of paper and plastic equals treats.

IMG_6764

Obviously, a proper plum pudding/Christmas pudding/cake would not be FODMAP friendly. In fact, I don’t know if even the best chef in the world could turn a recipe that asked for ONE KILOGRAM of dried fruit per cake into a low FODMAP recipe. Seriously – challenge issued to anyone out there. Jamie Oliver? Stephanie Alexander? Helloooooooooo?

I made this spiced gingerbread cake for Christmas 2014 at a friend’s house. After the flop that was the gingerbread house I had made the year earlier (apparently nobody else liked gingerbread), I decided to tone down the ginger and amp up the other spices, to give it a more well-rounded Christmas taste. In all seriousness, I also wanted to challenge myself a little last year, knowing that my Friendsmas hosts were going all out to make the meal Nat-friendly (thanks Kendal and Raymond, much appreciated), so I decided to add in just a little dried fruit to this cake, in the spirit of festiveness and, really, because whiskey and sultanas need no explanation.

FODMAP Notes

  1. Whiskey is low FODMAP in 30 ml servings.
  2. Sultanas (aka raisins for those in the USA) are tricky. Grapes are low FODMAP in quite generous servings but the drying process means that the amount of sugar per volume of the grape (now sultana) increases. Monash University lists sultanas (very similar to raisins) as high FODMAP even in 1 tbsp. serves. The 1/4 cup of sultanas called for in this recipe, when divided by 12 (the number of servings it makes), means you will get 1 tsp. of sultanas per slice. As a safety measure, the added dextrose should help to balance out the concentrated sucrose but you can always leave them out if you are on elimination or know you react/for peace of mind.
  3. Dried cranberries are a low FODMAP alternative to sultanas, they are safe in 1 tbsp. serves and contain moderate amounts of fructans in 2 tbsp. serves.
  4. Coconut oil contains no carbohydrates, so is low FODMAP.
  5. All the sweeteners used are FODMAP friendly, the dextrose should balance out the extra fructose from the brown sugar (minute amounts) and the extra sucrose from the sultanas.
  6. Make sure your vanilla extract contains no high FODMAP additives.
  7. Use your favourite gluten free plain flour blend, or a self raising blend and omit the baking powder. Spelt flour is low FODMAP enough for some fructose malabsorbers but not for all – it is also NOT gluten free, as it is an ancient variety of wheat. Use what you feel comfortable with, as this cake batter performs equally well with either flour.
  8. Chia seeds are low FODMAP but still a great source of fibre and other nutrients. They work well as a xanthan gum replacement, for those sensitive to gums. If you only have xanthan gum, feel free to use that.
  9. The spices are all low FODMAP.
  10. Coconut milk (watered down coconut cream) is low FODMAP in 1/4 cup servings, which would be adhered to unless you ate 1/5 of this cake in a sitting.
  11. If you are still in the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet, don’t include the optional sultanas/raisins or whiskey.

Spiced Gingerbread Cake

Serves 12-14.

Cake

  • 3/4 cup coconut oil, softened
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or rice malt syrup
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar
  • 2 tbsp. dextrose
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 500 g gluten free plain flour or spelt flour (not gluten free, omit chia or xanthan gum)
  • 1 tbsp. chia meal or 3/4 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 3 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • Optional: 1/4 cup sultanas or up to 1/2 cup of dried cranberries soaked in 1/8 cup whiskey for 4 hours

Royal Icing

  • 1 egg white
  • 1-1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Decorations

  • Nonpareils (the edible silver balls)
  • Strawberries or fruit of choice

At least four hours before you plan to make the cake, start soaking the sultanas or dried cranberries in whiskey. This is an optional step, you can omit the sultanas if they trigger your IBS, or swap in the dried cranberries.

Preheat your oven to 180 C/350 F and grease your bundt pan, grease and line your 20 cm/9 in cake tin, or line your 12-hole muffin tin with patty pans.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, add in the coconut oil, maple syrup, castor sugar, dextrose and brown sugar and beat for 1 minute at a low speed, followed by 2 minutes on high. Stop, add in the eggs and vanilla extract, then continue to mix for another minute at a medium speed. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, sieve the flour of your choice, chia meal (if using gluten free flour), ground spices and salt and roughly mix them together.

Get the coconut milk ready and then alternate adding thirds of the dry mix and the milk and mixing, until everything is used. If you feel the batter is too runny, don’t use all the milk – coconut milks don’t have a uniform consistency, unfortunately, so yours may be different than mine.

Mix the freshly squeezed orange juice, white wine vinegar and baking powder together and quickly pour it into the cake batter, then mix on high for 30 seconds. Next, add in orange zest and the optional sultanas/dried cranberries and whiskey and mix through until combined. Pour the mixture into your prepared cake tin and bake according to the instructions below.

Baking instructions:

  • Bundt pan – bake at 180 C/350 F for 45-50 minutes, or until cake tests clean with a skewer. Remove from the oven and let come to room temperature.
  • Round tin – bake at 180 C/350 F for 50-60 minutes, or until cake tests clean with a skewer. Remove from the oven and let come to room temperature.
  • Muffin tin – makes 12, bake at 180 C/350 F for 15-18 minutes, or until a centre muffin tests clean with a skewer. Remove from the oven and let come to room temperature.

IMG_6720 IMG_6722

Once the cake has cooled, flip it out onto your serving dish of choice and make the royal icing.

Beat the egg white until it forms a soft peak (it will look like sea-foam), then slowly add in the sieved icing sugar, until the batter just begins to form stiff peaks. If you add in too much, the icing will be quite stiff and harder to spread – this quality is great when you want to pipe fine details, like on gingerbread biscuits but not when you want to spread the icing easily over an entire cake.

When your icing is ready, immediately ice your cake and sprinkle with the nonpareils, or decorations of your choice. Royal icing dries very quickly when exposed to air, so it becomes rough, harder to spread and less sticky for your decorations. It will keep well for up to one week in an airtight container in the fridge.

This cake can be made a day or two in advance, just ice it no earlier than the night before you want to serve it. Enjoy this cake with freshly made warm vanilla bean custard, vanilla ice cream, lactose free yoghurt or fresh FODMAP friendly fruit. Merry Christmas!

IMG_6728 IMG_6733 IMG_6735

Maple Lemon Butter – Low FODMAP, Fructose Friendly, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo & Vegetarian

Maple Lemon Butter - low FODMAP, fructose friendly, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, no refined sugar, paleo

A few months ago, I posted my Gran’s lemon butter recipe with a promise to attempt a healthier version soon. Well, better late than never, right?

As much as I love baking, photographing the end results and posting them up here for you, sometimes life gets in the way. Over the last few months my IBS was getting worse, no matter if I took it back to basic FODMAPs or not, after which I discovered that spelt, unfortunately, had begun to make it worse. I then embarked on a gluten challenge for ten weeks, to get retested for coeliac disease and wait for an endoscopy, which also took its toll and left me feeling constantly fatigued and with a shoddy immune system to boot.

Well, on Monday I had the endoscopy and I’m already feeling better now that I’m back to being wheat and spelt (fructan/gluten) free. It sounds like a quick turnaround but, given that I stopped eating on Saturday evening for the Monday afternoon procedure, used a colonoscopy prep (those things clean you out!) and knowing what I do about my reactions normally taking about 2-3 days to clear, I’m not surprised that I’m feeling so much better by Wednesday morning. I’m just glad to be able to get on with everything and not be in a brain fog haze.

So, Tuesday evening I decided to get cracking with this healthier lemon butter. Now, I say healthier, which it is, compared to traditional lemon curd – but it’s still definitely not an health food, so don’t go guzzling it down like water! Maple syrup (used instead of castor sugar) is unrefined and the grade B syrup (not pictured but delicious and flavourful) even contains many nutrients but it is still sugar. Luckily, using stevia allowed me to cut the sugar in half. The reason I did not use a stevia product as the only sweetener is that I find it can get too bitingly sweet and leave a distinctive aftertaste; by combining a natural sugar like maple syrup with the stevia drops, you get the best of both the flavour and low calorie worlds.

The result is a creamy looking curd with a nice balance of maple and lemon, both tart and sweet but not too sweet, with very minimal stevia taste.

FODMAP Notes

  1. Maple syrup is a natural, low FODMAP sweetener. Make sure you’re not buying maple flavoured syrup.
  2. Stevia is FODMAP friendly, however many products that contain stevia also contain other sweeteners that may not be. Read the labels. I use SweetLeaf stevia drops, which contain water, organic stevia leaf extract and natural flavours. Seeing as only 1 tsp. is required to reach the sweetness of 1/2 cup of sugar, the natural flavours are not present in large enough amounts for me to be affected, if any of them are not low FODMAP. Use the sweetener that you are happy with.
  3. Lemon is a low FODMAP fruit.
  4. Eggs do not contain FODMAPs.
  5. Coconut oil is an oil, therefore contains no carbohydrates, so cannot contain FODMAPs. This is the dairy free option.
  6. Butter is lower in lactose than other dairy products due to its very low water content.

Maple Lemon Butter

Makes approx. 1 pint.

Option 1: maple syrup and stevia combination, paleo

  • 25 g virgin coconut oil or 20 g grass fed butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 tsp. SweetLeaf stevia drops (equivalent sweetness of 3/8 cup sugar)
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Juice of 2 large lemons

Option 2: maple syrup and raw turbinado sugar combination

  • 25 g virgin coconut oil or 20 g grass fed butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup raw turbinado sugar
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Juice of 2 large lemons

IMG_6358

Gently beat the coconut oil (or butter), maple syrup and stevia (or turbinado sugar) in an heat proof bowl until well combined, then add in the eggs and continue to whisk until mixed through. Add in the lemon juice (using a sieve to keep out pulp and pips), then place the bowl over a double boiler on a medium heat.

Mix with a whisk until the coconut oil (or butter) has completely melted and the mixture is smooth, then keep stirring and slowly increase the heat until the mixture thickens. This should take 2-3 minutes.

Maple Lemon Butter Double Boiler

Keep stirring for another 2 minutes at that temperature, then divide it between two clean half pint-sized/235 ml jars and let it come to room temperature before refrigerating. It will thicken further as it cools, though is a little runnier than the original recipe. But don’t worry, it won’t run sideways off your toast!

All that’s left to do now is enjoy your treat on some gluten free/FODMAP friendly bread, on a scone as part of afternoon tea or use it to fill up tart shells. Yummo!

IMG_6398 IMG_6411IMG_6379

Spelt Shortbread Pastry – FODMAP & Fructose Friendly

WP_20131231_21_32_22_Pro

After discovering that I could tolerate spelt pasta, I looked into buying the flour to use in recipes in place of gluten free flours, for both price and performance reasons – although I have figured out my own gluten free flour blend, because I don’t want to push myself too much with spelt and rye flour in case I go too far. At approximately $3/lb the white spelt flour (Vita Spelt) from Amazon is much cheaper than pre-made gluten free flours, although the average of the flours that I bought to try out my own gluten free flour blend was about $2.50/lb, much better than King Arthur gluten free flour’s price of $7/lb!

After researching online, it appears that spelt tends to perform the same as wheat in most circumstances (breads might be a little tricky as spelt has different gluten than modern wheat) but a shortbread pastry shouldn’t pose a problem so I fructose friendlied up a shortbread pastry recipe from my Beechworth Bakery cookbook, Secrets of the Beechworth Bakery. My book is about ten years old, so I’m not sure what recipes are in the current edition. But if you can have spelt or are proficient at making normal recipes gluten free, I highly recommend it. If nothing else, it is an enjoyable read as the recipes are mixed up with some humorous stories.

Notes:

  1. Spelt is an ancient form of wheat, called Triticum aestivum subsp. spelta. It contains gluten, although the ratio of gliadin:glutenin is higher than that in normal wheat. It behaves in much the same way as modern wheat does in baking.
  2. Spelt contains gluten, so it is not suitable for those with coeliacs disease.
  3. Spelt does contain fructans, although less than modern wheat. It isn’t tolerated by every fructose malabsorber but there are quite a few out there, myself included luckily, who can eat it without issue in varying amounts. Unfortunately it is something you will have to test for yourself.
  4. I increased the ratio of rice flour to spelt in this recipe to lower the fructan content even more.
  5. If you can’t find white spelt flour, just buy whole spelt flour and sift out the whole grain bits.

Shortbread Pastry

Makes 80 mini tart shells that are approx. 4-5 cm in diameter.

  • 1 cup dextrose or 3/4 cup castor sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups/300 g softened unsalted butter/coconut butter
  • 3/4 cup white spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Sieve the sugar, 3/4 cup spelt flour and 1/2 cup rice flour into the bowl of your stand mixer and add in the butter, then beat on a low to medium speed until smooth.

Meanwhile, sieve the second cup each of spelt and rice flour, the xanthan gum, baking powder and salt into a separate bowl.

When the wet mixture is smooth, scrape down the edges and add in the egg. Beat on medium until it is smooth once more, before adding in the rest of the dry ingredients and mixing thoroughly for 5 minutes.

WP_20131230_00_53_58_Pro

Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour before rolling it out for use.

Preheat your oven to 190 C/375 F. Roll out the pastry dough; the thickness that you roll it out to will be determined by the diameter of your pie dish. For these mini tarts I kept it at about 3 mm thick but for a bigger tart I would probably go up to 5 mm thick. Grease your tart dish of choice and then carefully lay the pastry down.

IMG_4234 IMG_4235 IMG_4237

Blind bake the pastry (with baking paper and pie weights/uncooked rice). These small tart shells were perfect after 9 minutes in the oven but a larger tart shell might need a minute or two longer. As this is a biscuit pastry, you don’t want the shells to be completely firm when they come out of the oven or they will be like rocks when they have cooled. If they are slightly soft to the touch then they will cool down to be deliciously crumbly.

IMG_4240

Fill your tart shells with some delicious fillings. The photo below includes my fruit and custard, chocolate hazelnut and passion fruit blueberry fillings. The passion fruit filling is my personal favourite.

WP_20131231_21_32_53_Pro

Vanilla Ice Cream – Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

IMG_4283

As I mentioned in my last post, I received a pretty amazeballs Christmas present this year… an ice cream maker!

Happy dance!

I couldn’t wait to try it but we were so busy between Chrissy and New Years that I didn’t get a chance until a couple of days ago. So on the 2nd of January – after we’d spent New Year’s day recovering – I busted out the egg yolks and quickly realised I didn’t have nearly enough milk or cream, so off to the supermarket I popped. I also came back with a selection of gluten free flours to experiment with making my own flour blend but more on that later!

I am so stoked to be able to make my own ice creams and sorbets; firstly because I love knowing exactly what is in the food I’m eating without spending an eternity reading labels – which I have to do each time because there is no such thing as a FODMAP label in the USA and ingredients change – and secondly because I won’t have to pay for expensive “quality” ice cream.

This ice cream tasted like custard the first day (churning day), although there’s nothing wrong with that and then settled into a nice vanilla flavour by the second night. Ev’s brother approves – he was on his third bowl (at least) by the end of the second night but it was him who bought it for me… now I know why!

Notes:

  1. I used normal milk and cream in this recipe but you can sub in lactose free cow’s milk and cream (milk with lactase added – I don’t know how other milk alternatives would perform, sorry).
  2. You can either use half and half in the first part of this recipe or equal proportions of milk and cream that add up to the same volume of half and half called for.
  3. Apparently 100% vanilla extract works better than vanilla essence or natural vanilla flavourings in ice cream recipes, as it doesn’t affect the freezing process.
  4. It is normal for the mixture to resemble soft serve post churning and an hour or two in the freezer should firm it up to normal ice cream texture.
  5. Ambient room temperature can affect your ice cream – wrapping a foil funnel over the top of the maker (if, like mine, it doesn’t come with a lid) can help to insulate the freeze bowl contents against the warm air.
  6. If you have a freeze bowl like mine, it needs to be frozen solid (this takes 24 hours) between batches.
  7. Apparently – and I haven’t tried this, only read it – a tsp. or two of vodka in the mix will prevent it from becoming too solid in the freezer after it has been churned. I know vodka doesn’t freeze, so this makes sense – but I wouldn’t do it the first time I made something in case it didn’t need it.

Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 300 ml double cream
  • 300 ml milk – or 600 ml half and half to replace milk and cream
  • 8 egg yolks – the fresher the better, old egg taste can come through in custards and ice creams
  • 1 cup dextrose – or castor sugar
  • 600 ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Optional – 1/2 a vanilla bean, split
  • Optional – 3/4 cup finely chopped frozen berries or choc chips.

Combine the 300 ml each of milk and double cream (or 600 ml half and half) in a medium saucepan and heat over a medium flame until it is just about to boil. Don’t actually boil it and remove it from the heat once it is done. For a more intense flavour, add in the split half vanilla bean at this stage.

WP_20140103_16_32_51_Pro

While that is heating, keep an eye on it as you separate 8 egg yolks and whites. Save the eggs whites to make an omelette, fritatta or a Pavlova and place the eggs in the normal mixing bowl of your stand mixer; add in the dextrose and mix on a low speed until the egg yolks and sugar have combined into a smooth, slightly fluffy yellow mixture.

At this point, slowly pour the milk/cream mixture (minus the vanilla bean) into the egg/sugar mixture and continue mixing on a low speed to prevent the hot liquid from cooking a portion of the eggs. Once it is combined, return the mixture and vanilla bean to the medium saucepan and heat it until little bubbles begin to form at the edges – this means that it is just beginning to boil. You don’t want it to fully boil or the egg yolks in the mixture will scramble and you’ll get lumpy ice cream.

Once the bubbles have formed, remove it form the heat and add in the second lot of cream, the vanilla and salt. Mix well to combine. Cover the mixture and refrigerate it over night (or equivalent) so that the mixture is completely chilled before you begin to churn it. Freezing the mixture for an hour before churning is supposed to increase the efficacy of bowl ice cream makers but I haven’t tried it – maybe next time. If you leave the vanilla bean in all this time and remove it before churning, the ice cream should have a really intense vanilla flavour. Of course, you can remove it at any stage prior to churning that you like.

Set up your ice cream maker according to its instruction manual and begin churning on a “stir” speed or equivalent low speed on your model. Pour in the ice cream batter and make the foil funnel (described in the notes section above) if required. Churn the mixture for 20-30 minutes, at which point it should resemble a soft serve consistency; if you want to add in frozen berries or choc chips, pour them in during the last 5 minutes of churning – the colder the better.

WP_20140103_18_39_01_Pro

Now pour the ice cream into a freezer safe container with an air tight lid – I use a large loaf tin with plastic wrap and a rubber band – and freeze for 1-2 hours, until the ice cream has firmed up to a normal consistency.

IMG_4264

I needed to let the ice cream sit at room temperature for 5 minutes on the second night before I scooped it as it was quite firm – this might just be our freezer being overly cold, though. Or maybe the plastic wrap/elastic band combo wasn’t the best method to keep the loaf tin air tight but it was all I had at the time – all of our snap ware was still in the dishwasher from the New Year’s eve left overs.

Serve with toppings of your choice. I couldn’t say no to the last few fresh berries that we had left over from the trio of tartlets that I made on New Year’s Eve.

Enjoy! Next up I’m planning a coconut cream based recipe for those who malabsorb lactose… and myself. Who am I kidding? I love coconut.

IMG_4282

Happy New Year!

Hi everyone!

I hope you all had a fantastic, fun and low FODMAP Christmas/holiday and New Year’s eve with family and friends. It can definitely be tricky sticking to your diet at this time of year, when we are taunted with all sorts of foods that aren’t really suitable for our guts but taste too good for us to care. I’m not the best at staying strong against temptation but by making a lot of the foods I ate from scratch, having a caring host on Christmas eve who cooked delicious foods I was okay with (mixture of French and Indian cuisine this Christmas – yum!) and hosting New Year’s Eve at our place, I managed to emerge unscathed, which is more than I can say of last year!

I was completely spoilt on Christmas day and received an ICE CREAM MAKER! Yes, I think the days of me buying my Mum gifts on the pretext that she wanted them, when really I wanted her to make things for me, has come back to bite me. But I don’t mind, because ICE CREAM MAKER! I’m planning to start off with a simple vanilla ice cream (classic and Ev’s and my favourite) and then trial a coconut cream version to have a dairy free variety on here. I’ll keep you all posted.

Here’s a few snaps of of our Christmas and New Year 2013/14. After an enjoyable break, I’ve started to type up a new pastry recipe already – I’ll be back to the “recipe each Monday” schedule next week.

Cheers and here’s to continued good gut health,

Nataliya.

This year's tree has been my favourite so far.

This year’s tree has been my favourite so far.

Jenni & Kate sent me the cutest little baubles.

Jenni & Kate sent me the cutest little baubles.

Nellie & Bailey enjoying their treats.

Nellie & Bailey enjoying their treats.

ICE CREAM MAKER!

ICE CREAM MAKER!

Tiring the dogs out on Christmas eve

Tiring the dogs out on Christmas eve

Smoked salmon & cream cheese bagels - my gluten free bagel is on the top left corner.

Smoked salmon & cream cheese bagels – my gluten free bagel is conspicuously on the top left corner. Funny story: my friend’s 6 yo daughter decided to guard it for me because I’m “allergic.” She even told her dad off!

Hoisin pork with coriander & carrot in corn tortilla wraps

Tender hoisin pork with coriander & carrot in corn tortilla wraps – will try this again with rice paper, which would be much easier to roll, and neater, too. The dipping sauce isn’t low FODMAP but was half Sriracha & half sweet chili sauce.

Bacon wrapped dates - I can handle a couple of dates

Bacon wrapped dates – I can handle a couple of dates

Trio of tarts for dessert.

Trio of tarts for dessert. The recipes are all on this blog already – fruit tarts, chocolate hazelnut tarts and passion fruit blueberry tarts.

Wouldn't be complete without greedy dogs.

Wouldn’t be complete without greedy dogs hanging around.

Baked Peach in Puff Pastry – Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Baked Peach in Puff Pastry

While looking through the masses of photos I have taken of meals that we’ve cooked, doing a bit of a sort out to see if I’d missed posting anything – I had, quite a few things actually – I came across this peach dessert. While I love autumn/winter weather, I do miss the cheap and plentiful fruit that is available over spring and summer and looking at this just made me sigh. During the winter I have to survive on bananas and oranges, which get very boring after a while. Seeing all of those beautiful, shiny apples just rubs it in even more!

Towards the end of summer, I had a couple of peaches that needed to go. I was about to slice them into wedges and whip some cream when I remembered that I had some puff pastry left over in the fridge, which reminded me of this post on ‘The Orgasmic Chef’ that I had seen a few weeks earlier. After quickly informing Ev that dessert would be in about 30 minutes, rather than straight away, I whipped out the pastry and began rolling.

Notes:

  1. The pastry contains butter, thus a little bit of lactose.
  2. Peaches contain polyols, so if you malabsorb those then this won’t be suitable. If you are like me and only have to worry about fructose/fructans then go right ahead.

Baked Peach in Puff Pastry

  • About a 1/3 cup sized lump of gluten free puff pastry – sorry for the dodgy measurement!
  • 2 whole, fresh peaches – I prefer yellow
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. dextrose/castor sugar
  • 1 tsp. groung nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 190 C/375 F.

Roll the pastry out until it’s about 5 mm thick and slice it into four quarters. Slice the peaches in half and remove the stone; if you would like to, you can peel the peach but I was in a hurry to eat dessert!

Place each peach half flat side down on a chopping board and cover it with the puff pastry. Smoosh the joins together so that the peach’s curved part is completely enveloped and trim the excess from the edges. Repeat for all for peach halves.

WP_20131010_011 WP_20131010_012

Sprinkle the spice/sugar mix on a plate and gently pick up the covered peach half and place it on the plate to coat the bottom in the spices before carefully placing it on a lined baking tray. Do this for all four peach halves before sprinkling the left over spice mix on top of the pastry.

WP_20131010_014 WP_20131010_015

Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the pastry is completely cooked and a light golden brown. Let the peaches cool for about 10 minutes before moving them to the serving dishes with a spatula – to prevent them from slipping out of the pastry shells. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or vanilla bean custard… and enjoy! I think the simplicity of this dessert adds to its deliciousness and value. They also taste just as good reheated the next day.

WP_20131010_021 WP_20131010_025