There's nothing like a spot of Christmas baking to put a smile on everyone's face. Our carrot and pumpkin seed flapjacks make a lovely, simple treat alongside a cup of tea. Baking our cranberry and orange scones will fill your home with the most heart-warming, festive aromas which make the season so special.

Rudolph’s Carrot and Pumpkin Seed Flapjacks

Ingredients

200g butter

100g golden syrup

50g soft light brown sugar

300g rolled oats

2 grated carrots

zest 1 orange

100g chopped apricot

1 tsp cinnamon

50g pumpkin seeds

Method

1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.

2. Line an 18cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper.

3. Melt butter, golden syrup and sugar in a large pan.

4. Mix in rolled oats, carrots, orange zest, apricots, cinnamon and pumpkin seeds.

5. Stir everything well, then pack into the prepared tin, pushing down firmly.

6. Bake for 40-45 mins, then cool in the tin before slicing into 16 squares.

Cranberry and Orange Scones

Ingredients

225g/8oz self-raising flour

2 teaspoons mixed spice

½ teaspoon salt

55g/2oz butter, cubed

30g/1oz caster sugar

1 tablespoon demerera sugar

55g/2oz dried cranberries

grated zest of 1 large orange

150ml/1/4 pint milk

To Serve

Brandy butter

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Lightly flour a baking sheet, set aside.

2. Sift the flour with the salt and mixed spice into a large bowl.

3. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugars and orange zest.

4. Make a deep well in the flour, pour in 130ml of the milk and mix to a soft, spongy dough with a knife. Use the other 20ml of milk if required (if the dough still looks a little dry and won’t come together easily).

5. On a floured surface, bring the dough together very lightly until it is just smooth. Roll or press out to 2.5cm/1inch thick. Flour your chosen pastry cutter (approx. 5cm), cleanly stamp out the scones as closely together as possible to utilise the dough efficiently (do not twist the cutter or this may seal the sides and prevent an even rise). Any off cuts of dough can be brought back together and used but these will be a little tougher and look a little more rustic than the initial stamped out scones.

6. Place the scones on the prepared baking sheet.

7. Bake the scones at the top of the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until well risen, lightly golden, feel light and show no obvious grey dough in their center. Serve hot from the oven with brandy butter.

Light Christmas Pudding

Makes 2 Puddings

Ingredients

110g dried apple, chopped

110g dried apricot, chopped

110g dried figs, chopped

110g dried pitted prunes, chopped

225g raisins

225g sultanas

110g currants

55g candied orange peel

290ml cold tea

4tbsp brandy or rum

4tbsp medium sherry

1 large banana, mashed

225g carrots, grated

30g hazelnuts, chopped

30g ground almonds

3 eggs

1tbsp clear honey

1tsp ground cinnamon

1tsp ground mixed spice

1tsp ground ginger

A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

85g plain flour

170g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs

This pudding is made with no added fat or sugar and therefore is less rich and more moist and tangy than the traditional Christmas pudding. The fruit should be soaked for 1-7 days in advance.

Method

1. Put all the dried fruit and candied peel into a bowl, and pour in the tea, brandy and sherry. Mix well and leave to soak in a cool place for at least 1 day or up to 7 days.

2. When the fruit has soaked, add the banana, carrot, hazelnuts and ground almonds to the mixture.3.

3. Beat the eggs with the honey and stir into the fruit mixture.

4. Sift the spices with the flour and add with the breadcrumbs to the pudding mixture. Stir well.

5. Place in 2x1.1litre/2pint greased pudding basins and cover with two layers of greaseproof paper and one piece of foil. Tie with string and steam for 6 hours in the usual way.

NOTE: Christmas puddings can be kept for up to 1 year - after this period they begin to dry out. They can be frozen very successfully. To store a pudding re-cover it and keep in a cool dark place. To reheat steam for about 2 hours.


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