This month, we're shaking it up a little. We're sharing our favourite low-histamine tweaks on seasonal favourites. Make sure to scroll right to the bottom to download the recipe!
Christmas in our household always meant baking. And when I say baking, I mean serious baking. My mom would make 13 varieties of cookies, 2 kinds of fruit bread, 2 kinds of stollen, and the most amazing gingerbread house you can imagine, complete with people, animals, trees, and a wishing well.
Every one of those items also required decorating. That meant decorating over 1000 cookies (my brother counted one year) and covering a gingerbread house in candy.
My mom set the bar pretty darn high. She would stay up late into the night preparing these delicacies that had been part of her family traditions. During the day, the doughs that she had been working on after we went to bed would be rolled out, and my brother and I would help cut out and decorate cookies.
On Christmas day we would finally get to indulge. Even though her pantry would be stacked with cookie tins, we always had to wait until Christmas day. Next to our Christmas stockings there would be a platter of cookies, and breakfast that morning included Stollen. It was a pretty great way to start the day.
Stollen was one of the first of my mom’s recipes I learned to make on my own.
After getting married I wanted to be able to share some of my traditions with my husband’s family, so made Stollen to add to breakfast on Christmas day. I chose to make the Quark Stollen that my mom had always made. I’ve never tried to make a yeast leavened one, simply because I love the Quark one so much. It’s denser and has a deeper flavour profile.
Most of the recipes my mom uses are specific to the region of Germany she is from. She grew up in a small town in the Bavarian Alps called Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It is a place that I hold very dear in my heart, and my husband and I take our kids there every other year. I felt it was important for my kids to have a connection to the place that many of our culinary traditions come from.
Over the years, my Stollen has gone through many variations. First, I created a grain free version using almond flour and date sugar. Then I swapped out the almond flour and date sugar for cassava flour and a monk fruit blend sweetener.
My latest version (download the recipe below) is egg free, low histamine and low mold. I wanted a Stollen that was safe for my mast cells, so that I could indulge on Christmas day without worrying about how I would feel afterwards.
I tried hard to mimic the flavour profile created by the raisins and candied citrus peel from the original recipe, but as I expected it’s something entirely different and unique.
I chose rosemary and cranberries for their citrus and fruity notes, and added some honey to balance out the tartness of the cranberries. Using cassava flour makes this loaf even denser than the original. I’ve tried it with both an egg and an egg replacement. I like it better with the egg, but I was surprised that it held together with a replacement and was happy with the results.
Now I’m starting a new tradition – it carries with it all the connection to my ancestry while also nourishing me and keeping my mast cells happy.