Gluten Free Pumpkin Doughnuts

Those of you who follow me on social media will know pumpkins have slightly taken over my life (and my kitchen) lately.  I do think pumpkins are the most magical vegetables and I enjoy collecting them in all shapes, colours and sizes throughout October.  Come November they need eating though and this year I had quite a collection, thanks to some kind neighbours who gave us a couple of whoppers! I’ve always been fascinated by the American “pumpkin patch” and infamous pumpkin pie, a favourite at Thanksgiving.  I confess that until this year I had never eaten it and hadn’t understood that pumpkin pie was a sweet, not savoury affair. Well now that we are better acquainted pumpkin pie and I are firm friends and I’ve been experimenting with this magical vegetable and pumpkin pie spice A LOT!  So without further ramblings from me I bring you my recipe for pumpkin spiced doughnuts.  Oh, and because I’m gluten intolerant these little nuggets of gorgeousness are gluten free too, yay!

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This recipe uses my own pumpkin spice mix, which I have devised from reading various recipes online and adapted to suit my own tastes. Mix all the spices together and store in a Tupperware or jam jar and add to all your pumpkin recipes. 4tsp ground cinnamon, 2tsp ground ginger, 2tsp ground nutmeg, 1tsp ground all spice, 1/2tsp ground cloves

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For the Pumpkin Doughnuts

  • 100g Doves Farm plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2tsp of pumpkin spice mix (see above)
  • pinch of salt
  • 60g very soft butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 4tbsp sour cream
  • 9 table spoon of pumpkin puree (either make your own or buy it canned)
For the coating
  • 50g sugar
  • 2tsp pumpkin spice mix
Measure all the dry ingredients and place in a large bowl.  Add the butter, eggs, sour cream and pumpkin puree & mix until you have a smooth batter.
Lightly butter your doughnut tin (ah yes should have mentioned this before you’ll need to make a small investment in a doughnut tin to make doughnuts, but trust me worth every penny.  I have this adorable mini doughnut tin  and this recipe makes 3 dozen mini doughnuts). Using a teaspoon place the mixture into the tin, fill about two thirds full. Avoid covering the little divet so you get a nice doughnut shape. Bake at 180’C for 10mins.
Whilst your pumpkin doughnuts are cooking put the sugar and spice mix for the coating onto a plate or shallow oven dish and mix to combine.
As soon as your doughnuts are cooked, remove them from the tin and toss them in the coating.  Serve immediately.
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Elderflower Cordial

I always feel the preserving season is really underway when the elderflower come out & I make Cordial.  I use this same recipe, below, every year.  I am afraid I don’t know it’s original source as it was given to me but it is a good recipe and makes a fragrant and delectable syrup which you dilute to drink or that you can pour over ice cream for a wonderful summer treat.  It keeps for months and months as long as your bottles are well sterilised but can also be frozen.  This recipe makes about 1.5litres.
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You will need…
20 large elderflower heads
1.8kg Granulated sugar
1 Litre of water
75g Citric acid (you will need to buy this from a chemist – tell them you want it for cordial)
2 lemons
Place the elderflowers in a large bowl.  In a pan mix the sugar and water and bring to a gentle boil, stir until all the sugar is dissolved.  Pour this mixture over the elderflower and stir in the citric acid.  Grate in the zest of both lemons and then slice the lemons and add the slices to the bowl.  Cover and leave for 24 hours before straining through a double muslin.  Decant into sterilised bottles and store in a cool dark place.
You can drink this cordial almost instantly once it has been decanted however after a couple of weeks the flavour develops a little more.  I can never resist a little taste when it’s first made – it has a lovely freshness at this stage.
Please be careful Elderflower is a tree or large shrub with sprays of white flowers that later turn to deep purple berries, it has a distinctive smell.  Be certain that what you are picking is Elderflower!  Some people have mistakenly picked cow parsley as the flowers are similar but this grows up from the ground on tall stems.  Cow parsley is poisonous!  However, after a little familiarisation elderflower is very easy to identify so don’t be put off, give it a go!

Nutella ice lollies

My kids are crazy about Nutella they’d eat it for breakfast, lunch and tea if I let them.  I very much doubt they are alone in this.  I saw a recipe for grown up Nutella ice lollies using baileys and I tried making them with just milk instead of baileys but they needed a little punch.  So this is my very own tweaked (child approved) Nutella ice lollies recipe.

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Nutella ice lollies (makes 4)

  • You will need 225ml milk,
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 4 heaped tbsp of Nutella

Put all the ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth, pour into your lolly moulds and freeze for at least 24hours.  When you want to eat your ice lollies dip the moulds in some hot water to release the ice lollies.

Sausage and bean stew

I am afraid I have no sewing posts to share with you because my sewing machine broke and has been sent off for repair. I feel like I’m missing a limb! I am no good at being unoccupied and whilst my machine is in for repair I have taken the opportunity to clean and sort my sewing space (a corner of our living room). I have also spent some time cutting out my next projects so they are all ready to sew together when my sewing machine returns. It can’t come soon enough.

A lot of my time has been occupied with poorly little ones.  It has been one of those winters for us sadly.  This January I have spent a lot of time cooking comforting nourishing food in an attempt to get us all back to full health.  My eldest daughter commented the other day that everything I cook is “goodness”.  It has become a little phrase we use now. “What’s for tea Mummy?” “More goodness I’m afraid”.

Feeding my family good, healthy home cooked meals is something I am really passionate about so I thought I would share a recipe with you all.  This stew is one my Mum used to make when we were children and I now cook for my children, those sorts of recipes are always the best. Most pleasingly of all This sausage and bean stew is inexpensive and easy to make.

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Sausage and bean stew (serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1 onion (fresh, frozen, tinned – however you buy them)
  • Garlic (again fresh 1-2 cloves or if you buy as a paste 1-2 tsp)
  • Tin of chopped tomatoes
  • One Matteson smoked pork sausage sliced (if you can’t find this use Frankfurter sausages)
  • 2 tins of mixed beans, drained

Method

Fry the onion and garlic until soft, add the sausage slices and lightly fry for a minute or two. Add the beans and chopped tomatoes fill the chopped tomatoes tin two-thirds full of water and add that to the pan as well. Bring to the boil and then turn down to simmer for 35-40 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary (beans are thirsty creatures). This can be served immediately or kept in the fridge once cool and then reheated when needed (the longer its left the better the flavor). ladle generously into bowls and enjoy.