Cranberry Sorbet


Looking for a lighter Thanksgiving dessert that happens to be gluten and dairy free? Here is a tart and refreshing cranberry sorbet – very easy to make and perfect with a slice of pumpkin cake. It would also make a delightful Christmas dinner palate cleanser.

As well as being delicious and vibrantly colored, cranberries are packed with disease-fighting antioxidants. There’s something to be thankful for!

Cranberry Sorbet

600 g fresh cranberries

200 g caster sugar

pinch of salt

350 ml water

1 vanilla bean

juice of 1 lemon

Serves 8

Place the cranberries, sugar, salt and water in a large pot that can go on the hob. Slice the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds into the mixture, then add the beans as well. Bring to the boil, stirring well to dissolve the sugar, then simmer for about 10 minutes until the cranberries have popped. Cool to room temperature and remove the vanilla beans.

Puree the mixture in a blender or food processor. Add the lemon juice and taste – if it is too tart add a touch more sugar. Place a fine sieve over a bowl and pour the cranberry pulp into the sieve. Strain well, rubbing the pulp through the sieve with a spoon. Discard the remaining pulp. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Switch on your ice cream machine and pour in the fruit mixture. Churn until the sorbet is firm enough to serve, about 25 minutes. Serve immediately or freeze in a plastic container.



Pumpkin Cake


With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I have been busy testing some new dessert ideas. I have not yet managed to produce a gluten and dairy free pie that meets my family’s approval – maybe next year? – but fortunately this Pumpkin Cake was judged a winner and I will be baking it again on Thursday. It is a moist almond-based cake with no gluten or dairy, but plenty of spiced pumpkin flavor. It would pair well with vanilla ice cream (try Booja Booja for a good non-dairy version, or make your own), although I am thinking of making some cranberry sorbet to eat alongside the cake.

I also recommend my Cranberry Amaretti for Thanksgiving or, for a dessert with no refined sugar, my Spiced Pumpkin Mousse Pots. 


Pumpkin Cake

2 medium bananas, peeled – about 150g

175 g pumpkin puree (I used Libby’s)

200g caster sugar

6 large eggs

200g ground almonds

1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground five spice blend

ghee or oil to grease the cake pan

Serves 8-10

Preheat your oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.

On a plate or cutting board, mash up the bananas into chunks using a fork. Scrape into a bowl, add the pumpkin puree and blend in the sugar until smooth (I use my handheld mixer to do this).

In another bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy. Pour into to the banana/pumpkin mixture, and mix well.

Fold the ground almonds, spices and baking powder into the batter, then pour the batter into a 23cm springform cake pan, lined and greased (I used ghee but you could also use a bit of oil).

Bake for one hour. Cool on a rack, then remove from the tin.


Spiced Pumpkin Mousse Pots


Holidays can be such a challenge when catering for special diets, and Thanksgiving is no exception. I started early this year testing some new Thanksgiving dessert ideas and came up with these Spiced Pumpkin Mousse Pots, which were a a big hit with my testers. I thought I would put the recipe up early as these would also make a fantastic addition to a Halloween-themed party.

Pumpkin is the ultimate autumnal food and I love cooking with pumpkin at this time of year. Pumpkin is particularly rich in vitamin A which aids vision, especially in dim light – definitely a good thing as the days get shorter! I used pumpkin puree from the supermarket in my recipe to keep these pumpkin pots quick and easy, but if you fancy a project you can make your own.

My recipe is adapted from Michelle Tam’s Paleo Pumpkin, Coconut & Maple Custard Cups. I love Michelle’s blog Nom Nom Paleo, and she also has a great app and cookbook. Do check it out if you are interested in Paleo cooking, and most of her recipes are also GAPS-friendly.

Spiced Pumpkin Mousse Pots (adapted from Nom Nom Paleo)

300 ml coconut milk

4 eggs

120 ml maple syrup

300 g pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground five spice blend

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

Makes 6-10 pots, depending on the size of your ramekins.

Preheat your oven to 170 C and boil a full kettle of water.

Heat the coconut milk in a pan over low heat on the hob, until warm but not boiling.

Whisk the eggs and maple syrup together in a large bowl. Very gradually add the warm coconut milk while continuing to whisk.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well-blended.

Place your ramekins in a baking dish, and fill the ramekins with batter. Just before placing the baking dish in the oven, pour enough boiling water into the dish to reach about halfway up the ramekins.

Bake for 45 minutes, then cool on a rack for 1 hour. These can be enjoyed at room temperature or chilled, and will keep for up to 3 days on the refrigerator.