Category Archives: Make ahead

Christmas Mincemeat – Fruit Mince


Middle son lifted the pan lid once this was made, cooled and the brandy added and assured me it definitely smelt of Christmas, always a good sign!

Traditionally made for filling mince pies, it’s also fantastic in cakes, scrolls and even apple crumble.

I use suet, from the butcher, as the shop bought version has gluten in it, however, for vegetarian options or non Coeliacs this is fine. I also don’t add nuts to my mincemeat, just one less allergy to worry a bought!

Makes 12 jars.


500g suet

300g currants

500g raisins

600g sultanas

200g mixed peel

4 oranges, zest and juice

2 lemons, zest and juice

5 large cooking or dark green apples, cored, chopped into a very fine dice, skin included

20g mixed spice

2 teaspoons cinnamon

a really good grating of nutmeg

600g brown sugar

180mls brandy


In a very large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the brandy. Leave to soak for 12 hours.

Preheat the oven to 120 degrees Centigrade.

Pour the fruit mix into a large oven proof pan and slide into the oven.

Bake for three hours, by which time the suet will have all melted and be coating the fruit.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Once cold, stir through the brandy and spoon into sterilised jars. Seal and label.

The mincemeat will keep for a year.


imageOne of the simplest gluten free treats to make that just about everyone loves.

I like to serve them sandwiched with whipped cream or with strawberries and cream.


4 large egg whites

180g caster sugar


Preheat the oven to 140degrees Centigrade.

Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.

Whisk the egg whites in the bowl until very stiff, you should be able to turn the bowl up and nothing moves!

Start adding the sugar, a dessert spoon at a time, whisking very well in with each addition.

Either spoon the meringue onto the prepared tins or pipe, the meringues above are tiny, around 3cm across.

Pop in the oven and bake for around 45-60mins depending on size, they should lift easily from the paper and sound hollow.

Allow to cool on the baking sheet and then store in an airtight container.

Ham Hock Terrine with Whole Grain Mustard


This is so simple to make but looks very impressive served with salads.

As it sits if the fridge for a day or two it is the perfect make ahead main and any leftovers, sliced thinly make a very luxurious sandwich filling.

Gluten free, dairy free and egg free, this is a great recipe to have on hand if catering for folk with allergies too.

Unfortunately, I didn’t do a terribly neat job of slicing it for the photo but I’m sure you can do better!

Serves 6-8.


2 large ham hocks


4 tablespoons whole grain mustard

2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

ground fresh pepper


Pop the hocks into a large pan or pressure cooker and cover with water, to come at least 3cm over the hocks.

Bring the pressure cooker up to pressure and cook for 1 hour. If using a pan, cover, bring to the boil and simmer for two hours.

Allow to cool in the pan. DO NOT DISCARD THE STOCK!

Once cool enough remove the hocks and strip all of the meat off and set aside in a large bowl.

Pull the meat into small shreds.

Discard the bones.

Bring the stock in the pan back up to the boil and allow to simmer until you only have around 200mls left.

Pour the stock concentrate on to the meat, once cool, add the mustard and parsley and mix well.

Line a 2lb loaf tin with cling film, going lengthwise and width wise to ensure a seal, make sure there’s enough over hang to pull over once the terrine has set.

Pour the meat and stock into the loaf tin and level out.

Place in the fridge, once set pull the cling film over to seal and allow to sit for 24-48 hours.

To serve, remove the cling film and slice.