We asked you what you thought, and lots of people said they didn’t want to be overwhelmed by too many recipes for Christmas Day. So we kept it simple. Our main Christmas Day recipes will keep everyone very happy. And yet...the recipes below have a special place in our hearts. 

Pigs in blankets are a moreish favourite. To serve 8 people, lay out 8 rashers of streaky bacon, place a chipolata at the end of one rasher and roll the bacon around it. Place in a roasting tray and repeat until they're all done. Roast them at 180ºC in 1-2 tbsp of oil for around 30 minutes. When it comes to cranberry sauce, we suggest buying a good quality version in the shops to save time.

Watch out for our Christmas Pudding tutorial on Stir Up Sunday (25th November), which we’ll be adding to our blog.


Bread Sauce

MAKES 300ML

Ingredients

1 large onion

6 cloves

300ml milk

1 bay leaf

10 white peppercorns or a pinch of ground white pepper



Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

60–80g coarse fresh white breadcrumbs,

depending on desired thickness

50g butter

Salt and ground white pepper

Method 

  1. Cut the onion in half, peel it and stud each half with the cloves. Place in a saucepan with the milk, bay leaf, pepper and nutmeg.
  2. Scald the milk by heating it over a medium heat until steaming. Just before it bubbles, remove from the heat and leave to infuse for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Strain the infused milk into a clean saucepan, discarding the aromatics. Reheat over a low to medium heat and add the breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs will absorb the milk, thickening the sauce.
  4. Stir the butter through the sauce to enrich it. If the sauce is too thick, add a little warm milk; it should be spoonable, but not runny. Taste and season generously.

Serve warm.

Note: You can make the sauce in advance, up the point where you have added the breadcrumbs and thickened the sauce. If cooking from frozen, loosen the sauce with a little milk. Cube the butter and dot it over the surface of the sauce, allowing it to melt and create a buttery film over the sauce. This will help to prevent a skin from forming. When ready to serve, reheat the sauce and stir the butter through. Taste and season.


Christmas Pudding

SERVES 8

Ingredients

160g currants 

160g sultanas 

160g roughly chopped prunes 

160g roughly chopped dried figs

240ml Pedro Ximenez sherry 

4 tbsp honey

200g butter

200g soft dark brown sugar 

4 large eggs 

120g plain flour

160g fresh breadcrumbs 

1 tsp ground cinnamon 

1/2 tsp ground cloves 

2 tsp baking powder 

Grated zest of 2 lemons 

2 medium cooking apple, peeled and grated

3-4 tbsp brandy, for flaming

You will need a 4 pint pudding basin which needs to be well greased with butter. You will also need 2 sheets of greaseproof paper and a sheet of tin foil to tie onto the pudding basin before steaming in a large enough pan to fit the trivet and basin and be able to put a lid onto it. The trivet can be an upturned plate, metal steamer or even a piece of card. We find that an egg tray works really well. It is best to have a dry run with all the equipment to ensure it will all fit together. Do allow for the pudding to rise during cooking by leaving 1cm gap at the top before putting the lid on. 

Whilst steamed puddings are simple to make, steaming them can be slightly daunting, take a look at our handy step by step guide on how to prepare your pudding like a pro! 

Method

  1. Soak the dried fruit in the sherry and honey for at least 1 day and up to a week.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together, add the eggs in 3 – 4 additions and then fold in the flour, breadcrumbs and spices. Pour in the dried fruit and juices, lemon zest and grated apple, mix well and transfer into the greased basin. Cover with the greaseproof paper and foil and secure under the rim, leaving a string handle to make it easier to lift the pudding. 
  3. Place the pudding basin on the trivet in the steamer and pour in enough boiling water to come at least halfway up the sides of the basin (not touching the foil). Place the pan over a medium heat and ensure the water is bubbling gently, but still not coming in to contact with the foil. 
  4. Put the lid on the pan and steam the pudding for 5 hours, checking the water level in the pan frequently and topping up with hot water to ensure it doesn't burn. Alternatively you can steam this for 2.5 hours, allow to cool and then keep intact, with the foil still on, for up to 2 months before steaming again for another 2.5 hours on Christmas day. This could also be frozen for up to a year.
  5. Once steamed, lift the pudding carefully out of the steamer and remove the string and greaseproof paper cover. Wearing oven gloves, invert a lipped serving dish over the bowl and turn both over together. Give the pudding basin a sharp shake, which should release the pudding, and carefully remove the basin. 
  6. If you have a gas hob light your pudding by gently heating a ladle of brandy over the flame. Once hot, tip the ladle slightly and the liquid should ignite. Carefully pour the flaming liquid over the pudding, do this away from you for safety. 
  7. Alternatively, pour the brandy into a small saucepan and heat gently, when hot carefully light the brandy with a match. While flaming carefully pour over the pudding and serve immediately. 



Brandy Butter

Ingredients

110g unsalted butter

85 – 110g icing sugar/caster sugar, sifted

Zest of 1/2 orange, optional

2-3 tbsp brandy

Method

  1. Beat the butter until soft.
  2. Gradually add the sugar, beating well between each addition.
  3. Add the orange zest, if using, and then drizzle in the brandy, beating well as you go.

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