Fantastic festive recipes

The festive period should be full of fun and food! Here are some ideas to inspire your thinking about sumptuous starters, marvellous meat, tasty trimmings and delicious desserts.



Smoked salmon, caper and dill pancake rolls


For the pancakes

125g self-raising flour

250ml milk

1 egg

A pinch of salt

Butter or sunflower oil, for frying

For the filling

200g cream cheese

1½ tbsp chopped dill

1 tbsp capers, finely chopped

Grated zest and juice of ½ lemon

150g thinly sliced smoked salmon

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Combine the pancake ingredients and fry until golden on both sides. Set aside to cool.
  2. Mix the cream cheese, dill, capers, lemon zest and juice until creamy, then season lightly.
  3. Spread the mixture over the pancakes and top with smoked salmon. Roll each pancake tightly to form a long roll. Wrap the rolls in cling film and refrigerate until needed.
  4. Trim the ends and cut into neat 2.5cm slices. If any unroll, use cocktail sticks/toothpicks to secure them.

Courtesy of In the Mood for Quick Family Food by Jo Pratt (Nourish Books)



Roast turkey


4kg whole turkey

2 tbsp olive oil

250ml chicken stock

Rosemary sprigs


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Tie the turkey legs with kitchen string and tuck the wings under the bird. Tuck the rosemary sprigs behind the legs.
  • Place on a wire rack in a large roasting tin. Brush with the oil and pour the stock into the tin. Cover with two layers of oiled foil and roast for 2½ hours. Uncover and brush with the pan juices.
  • Roast uncovered for 30 minutes or until browned all over. Remove the turkey from the pan and discard the string.
  • Stand for 20 minutes before carving.

Courtesy of


Baked redcurrant and clove-glazed ham


1.5kg boneless gammon or ham joint (smoked or unsmoked)

15 juniper berries, lightly crushed

2 bay leaves

3 tbsp The Bay Tree redcurrant jelly

1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard

Finely grated zest of 1 orange and juice of ½ orange

10-20 cloves


  1. Put the gammon in a large-lidded pan, cover with cold water and slowly bring to the boil, then drain and discard the water.
  2. Return the gammon to the pan and cover with cold water. Add the juniper berries and bay leaves.
  3. Bring to the boil again, then simmer, part-covered, for 1 hour or until cooked.
  4. Drain the ham and discard the berries.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200oC. Put the redcurrant jelly in a small pan with the mustard zest and orange juice, stir, then simmer over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until reduced and thickened to a syrupy consistency.
  6. Once the ham has cooled slightly, remove and discard the skin, leaving an outer layer of fat. Pat the fat dry with kitchen towel, then use a sharp knife to score the meat diagonally. Change direction and score again to create a diamond pattern. Press the cloves into the fat, ensuring they are evenly spaced, and spoon the redcurrant glaze over the top.
  7. Put the ham into a roasting tin and bake for 25-30 minutes, basting occasionally until the top is golden and caramelised.
  8. Remove from the oven and rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Courtesy of The Bay Tree Home Deli Recipes by Emma Macdonald (Watkins Publishing)



Apricot and chestnut stuffing balls


A little butter, to grease

1 large brown onion, coarsely chopped

225g dried apricots, finely chopped

225g dried white breadcrumbs

75g butter

225g frozen chestnuts, thawed and coarsely chopped

Fresh parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and grease the roasting tray.
  2. Place the onion and apricot in a saucepan, pour in a little hot water and boil for 5 minutes. Drain, tip into a large mixing bowl and stir in the breadcrumbs.
  3. Melt the butter in a frying pan and pour half into the mixing bowl with the breadcrumbs. Add the chestnuts to the frying pan and cook over a high heat for a couple of minutes until lightly browned. Tip the chestnuts into the breadcrumb mixture, add the parsley, season and mix well.
  4. Shape into approximately 18 balls. Place in the roasting dish and bake for 30 minutes, uncovered, until crisp and piping hot.

Courtesy of





Butter, for greasing

140g shelled hazelnuts

125g blanched almonds

70g plain flour, sifted

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 heaped tsp mixed spice

100g dried apricots, chopped

80g dried figs, chopped

125g plain chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids) chopped

125ml clear honey

75g caster sugar

75g soft light brown sugar

Icing sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC. Lightly grease a 22cm cake tin with butter and line the base with baking paper.
  2. Place the hazelnuts and almonds on two baking trays and toast in the oven for about 9 minutes, turning once, until starting to colour. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, then chop the nuts in half.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and mixed spice into a bowl and stir in the dried apricots, figs and toasted nuts.
  4. Put the chocolate, honey and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and set over a low heat, stirring until the chocolate melts. Pour into the flour mixture and mix well to combine. Spoon the mixture into the tin and, working quickly before it sets, spread into an even layer, first with the back of the spoon, then with wet hands.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until just firm, and leave to cool in the tin. Remove from the tin, dust with icing sugar and serve in wedges.

Courtesy of The Bay Tree Home Deli Recipes by Emma Macdonald (Watkins Publishing)

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