Christmas Day? Eaten the Turkey? What's Next?

If it's Christmas Day, you've eaten the turkey, the stuffing (in my case gluten-free stuffing), the chipolatas, the roast potatoes and the Christmas Pudding and Mince Pies are just being served. But sometimes these delicious morsels are just a plate too far.  If you have to follow a gluten-free diet, then most shop-bought pies and puds are a no-no unless you buy specially manufactured gluten-free puds and pies. So, Christmas Day or not, why not try some of these alcoholic alternatives?

What are the Alternatives? 

So, what are the alternatives? My favourite is Rummy Baked Bananas, or the clean, cold, sweet taste of fruit, usually with a dash of alcohol, such as Banana and Watermelon Salad; Cherries with Marsala Wine; Peach and Blackberry Dessert with Brandy or Pears Poached in White Wine.  Fortunately, thanks to the wonders of international trade, most fruits appear on UK supermarket shelves all year round.  

Mixed Fruit
Credit: Frances Spiegel 2013
Seriously Good! Gluten-free Cooking
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Lot's of good variety in this book plus plenty of information about gluten-free foods and cooking.

Rummy Baked Bananas and Home-Made Gluten-free Macaroons

This is a delicious dessert using gluten-free macaroons which I make myself. 

Ingredients for approximately 20 macaroons:

  • 8 oz. (225 gr.) ground almonds

  • 8 oz. (225 gr.) white sugar

  • 3 small egg whites

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • Approximately 20 blanched almonds 

Ingredients for Bananas Baked in Rum: 

  • 6 bananas

  • 1 tablespoon white rum

  • 4 oz (125 gr.) crushed macaroons

  • 4 tablespoons melted butter

  • 10 fl. oz. (1¼ cup) double cream or heavy cream 

Step One: Make the Macaroons 

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC, Gas Mark 6, and grease a baking sheet.

  2. Mix together the ground almonds and sugar in a mixing bowl.

  3. Beat the egg whites and lemon juice until the mixture forms stiff peaks. The lemon juice will stabilize the egg whites and will also help to increase the volume.

  4. Add sufficient egg white mix to the almonds and sugar to form a smooth paste.

  5. With wet hands divide the mixture and roll into small balls about the size of a golf ball. Place half a blanched almond on top of each ball.

  6. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes until page golden brown. Leave to cool. 

Step Two: 

  1. Turn the oven down to 350ºF/180ºC, Gas Mark 4.

  2. Peel the bananas and place in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle over the sugar and rum and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

  3. Now turn the oven down again, this time to 325ºF/170ºC, Gas Mark 3.

  4. Crush 4 oz. (125 gr.) macaroons with melted butter.

  5. Pour the cream over the bananas and sprinkle the crushed macaroons over the cream.

  6. Put the dish back in the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes.

Serve immediately.


Gluten-free Macaroons

Image by Frances Spiegel

Credit: Frances Spiegel 2011

Banana and Watermelon Salad

With its combination of rum, bananas and melon this dessert has a wonderful contrast of flavours and textures. This colourful dish makes a glorious centrepiece. 

Ingredients for Six Portions: 

  • 6 large bananas

  • 1 large watermelon

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • Juice of 2 limes

  • 4 fl.oz. (½ cup) white rum

  • 2 oz. (50 gr.) sugar plus 2 tablespoons sugar, kept to one side


  1. Cut the melon in half lengthways. Slice the bananas.

  2. Carefully scoop out the flesh of the melon with a sharp knife and cut into cubes. Remove as many of the seeds as possible. Do not throw away the melon skins. These will be used as bowls to present the dessert in.

  3. Gently combine the melon and the bananas in a large mixing bowl and put to one side.

  4. In a smaller bowl, combine the lemon and lime juice, rum and the 2 oz. (50 gr.) sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.

  5. Divide the fruit between the two melon halves and pour over the rum mixture. Place the melon halves in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.

  6. When ready to serve place the melon bowls on a serving dish or large tray and sprinkle over the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar.

 Serve immediately.


Credit: Frances Spiegel 2013
31 Healthiest Frozen Yogurts: The most delicious, fast, easy-to-make, smooth, frozen yogurt desserts with natural whole ingredients such as fruit, nuts ... (World's Healthiest Frozen Desserts Series)
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Another alternative to heavy pies and puddings is frozen yogurt. This book is brilliant with 31 different recipes for delicious frozen yogurt deserts.

Peach and Blackberry Dessert with Brandy

Delicious on its own or serve with whipped cream or fromage frais. 

Ingredients for Four Portions: 

  • 6 oz. (175 gr.) sugar

  • 10 fl. oz. (1¼ cups) water

  • 4 large peaches – blanch, peel, cut in half, and remove stones. Blanch by completely submerging in boiling water for about 40 seconds. If peaches are not quite ripe leave in boiling water for about one minute. The skin will soften and be easily removed once the peaches are cool enough to handle.

  • 8 oz (225 gr.) blackberries

  • 2 tablespoons brandy

  • 12 large blackberries for decoration


  1. Using a medium-sized saucepan and stirring constantly, dissolve the sugar in the water on a low heat.

  2. When the sugar has dissolved increase the heat and boil for 3 minutes. Do not stir at this stage.

  3. Add the peach halves to the pan, placing them cut side down. Poach for about 4 minutes until they are just tender.

  4. Remove pan from heat. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peaches to 4 individual serving dishes, allowing 2 peach halves for each dish. Put to one side to cool.

  5. Pour off all except 2 fl. oz. (¼ cup) of the syrup from the saucepan. Add the blackberries and brandy and heat gently on a low heat, stirring all the time, until the berries begin to pulp.

  6. Remove pan from heat and strain the mixture into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Use the back of a wooden spoon to push the berries through the strainer. Discard the remaining pulp that is too thick to go through the strainer.

  7. Spoon puree over peaches and decorate each dish with 3 whole blackberries.

  8. Allow to cool at room temperature and chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour before serving.


Healthy Fruit Dessert Recipes: 101 Recipes from Cookies and Cake to Muffins and Pie (Healthy & Easy Recipes)
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This book is packed full of healthy fruity dessert recipes ranging from biscuits to muffins and pies.

Cherries with Marsala Wine

Ingredients for Four Portions: 

  • 2 lb. (900 gr.) Canned stoned Morello cherries, drained

  • 5 fl. oz. (5/8 cup) Marsala Wine

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 5 fl. oz. (5/8 cup) double cream (heavy cream) stiffly whipped


  1. Place cherries, Marsala and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil over moderate heat. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

  2. Leaving the liquid in the pan, transfer the cherries to a serving dish.

  3. Return the pan to the heat and boil liquid for 3 minutes, or until it becomes thick and syrupy. Remove pan from heat and pour syrup over the cherries.

  4. Allow to cool at room temperature then chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour.

  5. When ready to serve top with whipped cream.

 Serve immediately.


Pears Poached in White Wine

Ingredients for Six Portions:

  •  6 large firm pears
  • 6 oz. (175 gr.) castor sugar

  • 2-inch piece cinnamon stick

  • Rind of 1 lemon

  • 4 fl. oz. (½ cup) water

  • 4 fl. oz. (½ cup) white wine


  1. Peel the pears and leave whole. Place pears, sugar, water, cinnamon and lemon rind in a large saucepan. Cover and heat gently for about 10 minutes.

  2. Add the wine and continue to cook on a very low heat for a further 20 to 25 minutes. Test with a sharp knife. When the fruit is just tender transfer to a serving dish and put to one side.

  3. Increase heat to high and boil cooking liquid for a further 8 minutes until it starts to thicken. Strain the liquid over the cooked pears. Leave to cool thoroughly at room temperature and then chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.


Poached Pears
Credit: Frances Spiegel 2013

Gluten-free Information and Recipes on Infobarrel

If you're interested in finding out more about living gluten-free Infobarrel has several good articles including the following: 


Fruit & Berry Desserts - 29 Delicious Recipes
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Fruit and berry desserts are always popular with my family. They prefer these to pies and puddings.