How about a return to the traditional Christmas? Over the years I’ve veered off-piste with duck, beef, pork and once, for some mad reason, with Chinese pancakes – but there is nothing like making an entrance with a golden and gleaming roast turkey. Bon appétit!
Remove the turkey from the fridge 30 minutes ahead of preparing. The sausage meat stuffing can be made the night before and kept separate from the turkey. I like to make a double quantity and use half for stuffing balls to bake separately. You can never have too much leftover stuffing.
King Edward potatoes, parboiled, drained, shaken in the pan to roughen the edges, roasted with a handful of breadcrumbs to get a really golden, crumbly crust.
If you made the stuffing the night before, stuff the turkey or ball it and bake them on Christmas morning. The pigs in blankets have apricots in the centre.
Roasted winter vegetables like butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and baby rainbow carrots are roasted with coriander seeds and scattered with pomegranate. Delicious!
I can’t stand jelly in trifle because I hate the feel of the cake spoiling smooth, silky jelly – it’s like crumbs in the bed. The combination of creamy custard, good jam and cake or amaretti is perfection. Go mad with the topping – I use anything and everything I find in my store cupboard.
These easy mince pies use just five ingredients – including shop-bought pastry and mincemeat – to make something really special.
And to feed the crowd…
Prue’s inspired ideas for Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and beyond
The rich casserole pairs perfectly with the crisp, fresh salad.
The whole pie can be assembled the day before your party. Re-glaze with egg prior to baking.
Endive salad with fennel and orange is a fresh winter salad with lots of flavour.
This vanilla and prune ice cream is a seasonal upgrade to your usual scoop. The brandy adds a dash of extra festive fun.
Biscotti are delicious – but not cheap to buy, so try making your own. They keep well in an airtight tin and are delicious with creamy puds in need of contrasting crunch.
Beetroot and pear are the perfect combination in the warm, comforting winter soup recipe. Serve with slices of brioche.
To make easy dippers to serve with this roasted red pepper hummus, tear up some pittas or flatbreads, toss them in oil and paprika and bake in the oven for 15 mins or until golden at 180°C/160Cfan/gas 4.
The cocoa powder tends to become damp if the truffles are left for much longer than a couple of hours. For an alternative finish which will store better, cut up 110g dark chocolate. Place in a bowl over a pan of simmering water to melt. Do not allow the chocolate to get too hot. Remove from the heat. When it is cool but still runny, place the cold truffles into the chocolate, remove with a fork then roll on a plate covered with grated chocolate. Place straight into petit four cases.
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Recipes: Prue Leith. Food styling: Clare Lewis. Styling: Sue Radcliffe