Seriously Good! Gluten-Free Cooking by Phil Vickery – Review

Seriously Good! Gluten-Free Cooking by Phil Vickery on AmazonSanta was kind enough to bring me Seriously Good! Gluten-Free Cooking this Christmas; and it is seriously good!

Phil Vickery (aka as Mr Fern Britton) is a Michelin starred chef who regularly appears on UK daytime TV and writes a weekly column for a Sunday supplement.

So when it comes to food for the whole family, Phil really knows his stuff.

His latest book has a huge range of recipe ideas. Chapters include Comfort; Outdoors; Snacks & Quick Food; Vegetarian; and Parties and Entertaining. As well as a host of recipes for Cakes, Pastries, Biscuits and Desserts. And this is what I like about this book: there’s a nice balance between every day healthy options and sweet treats. A particular favourite of mine is Millionaire’s Shortbread with Bramley Apple Dip. Delicious.

Other recipes include healthy breakfast drinks such as carrot, ginger, celery, beetroot and apple juice; guaranteed to get you going in the morning and a fave of Fern’s, apparently.

Or how about breakfast fruit seed bars made with sunflower seeds, blueberries and gluten free porridge oats. These are so easy to make and perfect for the lunch box or as an on-the-go snack.

The snacks chapter includes onion bhajis with mango and mint yogurt, and marinated smoked salmon with picked ginger. A really easy supper dish to make is borlotti bean, chilli and pine nut bake made with gluten free pasta. This is a really quick meal to prepare on a cold winter’s night.

Talking of tasty comfort foods, the chestnut and roasted onion bread is another recipe that’s quick and easy to do (and fool-proof!). As is the lemon and leek risotto and curry pilaf with cashews.

Phil’s book also includes a list of foods that are naturally gluten free. As well as a handy guide to ‘foods and drinks that may include gluten without you realising it’. These include flavoured crisps, malted milk drinks, mustard products, Bombay mix, stock cubes and seasoning mixes.

A superbly presented book, Seriously Good! Gluten-Free Cooking has lots of coloured photographs and an introduction to each recipe from Phil. Worth getting. Especially for the shortbread.

Millionaire’s Shortbread with Bramley Apple Dip

This recipe is taken from Seriously Good! Gluten-Free Cooking by Phil Vickery.

What a lovely combination: sweet, creamy, chocolate matched with the tartness of the Bramley apple dip. It’s just superb!

For the base:

  • 150g brown rice flour
  • 55g caster sugar
  • 115g unsalted butter
  • Oil or butter for greasing

For the filling:

  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 150g soft dark brown sugar
  • 397g tin of condensed milk

For the topping:

  • 200g milk chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 55g white chocolate, broken into pieces

For the dip:

  • 4 large Bramley apples, peeled and cored
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.

Grease and line a 20cm square tin with baking parchment. To make the base, mix the flour and sugar together and then rub into the butter until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Press this mixture very lightly and evenly into the tin and bake for about 15 – 20 minutes or until pale golden.

To make the filling, place the butter and sugar in a large non-stick frying pan and stir over a medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. To make a golden caramel, add the condensed milk, stirring continuously, until the first bubble appear on the surface. Remove from the heat as soon as it comes to the boil. Spread the caramel evenly over the shortbread base and the cool and chill for about 30 minutes.

Place the apples, sugar, cinnamon, lemon and orange zest and juice in a medium pan and cook down until the apples are cooked. Place the milk and white chocolate in two separate heatproof bowls. Place the bowls over two pans of barely simmering water to melt the chocolate.

Pour the melted milk chocolate over the cooled caramel, smoothing to the edges. Quickly pour over the white chocolate and gently swirl to create a marbled effect. Allow to set. When the chocolate has set, cut the shortbread into squares and serve with the dip.