My First Gluten-Free Thanksgiving (with recipes)

I have to admit I was kind of dreading and excited for this thanksgiving. I love thanksgiving, all the great food that usually triggers memories. I love spending the day with my family, kids running around, drinking wine and eating too much.

Since I have been married we have tried to alternate holidays with both our families, sometimes it works well and sometimes things come up that make it a little harder. There have been a few years where my husband has had to work on thanksgiving and he always has to work the day after so traveling is usually out of the question. This year we did something different and spent the day with our good friends.

Our wonderful hosts!

We didn’t realize where we were going to go until a week before, I knew out of our options what I would be able to eat would be limited and therefore had it in my head what I was going to make no matter where we went. Stuffing and gravy. There ended up being about at least 30 people (including kids) so I made two different stuffing’s  one that was gluten free and the other was not, but both were very similar.  I also can’t do a Thanksgiving without a pie, so I also made a GF Apple Pie. (Recipes below)

GF Apple Pie and GF Pear & Raspberry Cobbler
Buffet Table
The menu included the normal staples for a Thanksgiving meal (or at least what I am used to); there was a 25 lb. turkey, two hams, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, corn casserole, stuffing, a broccoli casserole, mac-n-cheese and of course pies. The only thing that I missed, that I thought I wouldn’t ever miss was cranberry sauce. There was a lot of food, I knew that I couldn’t eat most if any of the casseroles but I did taste the sweet potato.  I also brought along my own gravy, which was not the same as homemade with the drippings. 

GF Stuffing with Sausage

Gluten-Free Stuffing with Sausage

(Both stuffing recipes were adapted from my dads traditional stuffing recipe) 

For the gluten-free stuffing:

1/2 loaf GF bread (I used Rudi’s)
1 box of GF Cornbread prepared (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 pound pork sausage (make sure GF, I bought mine from a butcher)
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh thyme
1 tbsp fresh sage
3-4 cups GF chicken broth
3 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the cornbread, (I only used half, save the other half just to enjoy), cube the breads and place on a cookie sheet, bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes just until dried out, but not brown. Set aside to cool.

Brown the sausage in a large skillet, once it is cooked through carefully remove the sausage to let drain.  Add the celery and onion to the sausage drippings and cook until tender. Add the sausage back to the pan and stir to combine.  Add the thyme and sage.  Add about one cup of the broth and stir picking up any bits that may be left on the pan.  Put sausage mixture aside to cool, just until it can be handled with out burning your fingers.

Once the sausage mixture is cooled, add the eggs and about another cup of the broth, mix well.  I used my hands.  Pour over the bread and toss to combine, depending on how moist you like your stuffing, add a little more broth over the whole dish.  Bake covered at 375 degrees for about 35-40 minutes, uncover and cook for an additional 20-25 minutes.

For the Regular (non-GF) Version; do all of the same except use a whole loaf of old old white bread, or your favorite type of bread, instead of the GF bread.

GF Apple Pie

GF Apple Pie

This is my recipe, it is never the same because I never really measure anything, I will do my best, but the flavors can be adjusted to your liking.

For the GF Crust

2 cups GF All Purposed Four Mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 tsp. Xantham Gum
1/2 tsp. salt
1 and a half sticks of cold butter (3/4 cups), cut into cubes
ice water (about 2-3 tbsp.)

Put the flour, xantham gum and salt in the food processor (feel free to do this by hand but the food processor makes it so easy), add the butter and pulse until the butter in combined. Slow stream in a little of the water, add just about a tsp at a time.  Keep pulsing until dough is formed, remove and separate into two flattened balls, cover in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.  (You can make this a head to save time)

For the Apple Filling

8-10 medium apples, I usually use a mix of different apples, I have even added firm pears, use what you like.
juice of half a lemon
1 cup white sugar
3 tbsp. ground cinnamon, (more or less depending on your taste)
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 cup apple cider or juice (optional)

Peel and thinly slice the apples. Place the apples in a large bowl, squeeze the lemon over the apples (to keep from browning).  Sprinkle the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg over the apples, toss to combine.  If you plan on doing this the day before, add the cider.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  

Prepare the pie, remove the dough from the refrigerator   Roll one dough ball out to about a 1/4 inch thickness, and place on the bottom of the pie pan.  Add the apples, there will be a big mound. Roll out the second dough ball, place on top of the apples and pinch the edged sealing both the top and bottom crust together.  Poke a few hole on top using a fork, you can brush the top of the crust with egg yoke or butter if you would like, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake at 375 degrees, for 60-70 minutes.  Cover loosely with foil, remove the foil for the last 20 minutes just to make sure it browns.  You don’t want to burn the crust!  Note: You may want to line the bottom of the oven with foil, in case of juice drips.

Now for some random pictures…

My wonderful husband after dinner

Me and my son

First round of after dinner wrestling

Round two


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