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There is something sacred about the food we enjoy over the festive season; be it the spices, the gathering-and-sharing, or simply the excuse to cast guilt to one side and indulge ourselves. In the spirit of these three ‘things’, we bring you an edited collection of Christmas recipes from the Roost Living blog. We hope you love them all. Have a wonderful, very Merry Christmas – we look forward to bringing you much more culinary inspiration in the New Year.



Candied Peel


Mince Pies


Pedro Ximenez Truffles


White Chocolate, Pistachio & Coconut Truffles


Christmas Panna Cotta


Christmas Pudding - with a Twist

1. Candied Peel You will need: 1.8 kg of Sugar 1 kg Citrus Fruit (preferably unwaxed) 1 litre of water 100g Glucose Method: Start with fruit, I use a mixture of orange, clementine and lemon. Remove the peel from the fruit and cut into strips. Place in a saucepan, cover with water and simmer for 30 min. Remove peel from water and drain. In a saucepan, place the peel and 1kg of caster sugar and cover with water then simmer for about half an hour, stirring occasionally. Then remove from the heat and leave to cool, covered with the lid. The next day remove the peel from the syrup with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl, In the syrup place 200g of caster sugar and bring to the boil, making sure all the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, replace the peel, and cover with the saucepan lid and leave to cool for another 24 hours. Repeat this process for 3 more days. On the 5th day, repeat the above, but instead of caster sugar, add the glucose. Leave for another 24 hours. Then remove the peel and leave to dry completely on a wire rack for another 24 hours, now it’s ready to use. So that wasn’t so hard was it?

2. Mince Pies Mincemeat: 4 x Quince (if you can’t find quince, brambly apples will do) 100g Butter Zest and juice of 1 Lemon Zest and juice of 1 Orange 200 g Sultanas 250 g Currants 250 g Raisins 100 g Candied Peel, chopped up into very small pieces 600 g Soft brown sugar 1 teaspoon Cinnamon 1 1/2 Teaspoons Mixed Spice 200 ml Brandy Cut the quince into quarters and roast in a medium oven for 30 min, along with a 100g brown sugar and the butter. Remove from the oven and leave until cool enough to handle. Core the quince then grate. I find it easier and quicker to use a food processor to do this. In a large bowl, mix together all the other ingredients then add the quince. Place in sterilized preserving jars. The mincemeat will keep for about 10 months in the fridge.

For the pastry: 250 g unsalted butter 100 g Sugar 1 egg 575 g Plain Flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder Zest of 1/2 Orange 1 egg beaten This pastry is based on a Skye Gyngall recipe, simply because I always find her pastries always work so beautifully. I added the orange zest just to give it an extra Christmasy flavour. Place all ingredients, except the egg, into a food processor and blend until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then add one beaten egg gradually until it forms a ball. If you’ve used one whole egg, but it still needs help, a few drops of cold water should do it. Remove from the processor and knead gently. Then wrap in cling film and refridgerate for 1/2 hour. Remove, then roll the pastry out, cut using a round cutter, line a buttered patty cake tin, fill with mincemeat then, using either the round cutter or a star cutter, make the top. Paint the beaten egg lightly on top of the pies and place in a preheated oven, 175 degrees for approx 15 minutes. Remove when golden and leave to cool. Best eaten with a dollop of cream (maybe even with a drop of brandy and icing sugar mixed in).

3. Pedro Ximenez Truffles I first discovered Pedro Ximenez at Fino restaurant in Charlotte Street about 5 years ago. I loved it so much I bought a case, and I’m still drinking my way through it. It is totally delicious, like liquid Christmas. So what better way to use up all the excess than transforming it into these delicious Christmas truffles. You will need: 10 Prunes, soaked in 3 Tablespoons Pedro Ximenez overnight (or if you can’t find Pedro Ximinez delicious Armagnac will do the job nicely) 500 g Good Quality Dark Chocolate (I use Green and Blacks 72% Cooking Chocolate) 1 Cup Cream Cocoa for dusting First, blend the prunes and Pedro Ximenez in a food processor and set aside. Then warm a heat proof bowl in the oven until warm to the touch. Take out and break the chocolate into small cubes and place in the bowl. Heat the cream up in a saucepan until just boiling (do not boil though, the truffle mixture will split). Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir to combine. If there are still great lumps of chocolate, heat gently over a bain marie, but for the shortest time possible and no more than 2 minutes. Stir in the prune and Pedro Ximenez mix then leave the mixture out for approx 6 hours or overnight. Roll about a teaspoon of mixture into a ball then pop into a bowl of cocoa and coat. Place truffles on a tray and pop them in the fridge to set. Truffles are best eaten within 3 days of making.

4. White Chocolate, Pistachio & Coconut Truffle

You will need: 180g good quality white chocolate (like Green and Blacks) 1/3 cup double cream 1/2 tsp vanilla 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, finely chopped 1/3 cup desiccated coconut Method: Chop the white chocolate into small, even chunks and place into a heatproof bowl. Add the cream and place in microwave (or on a baine marie if you would prefer, but the microwave is amazingly good with chocolate). Microwave the chocolate uncovered, on a medium heat for 2 minutes, then remove and stir with a metal spoon. If there are still lumps, pop the bowl back in for 1 minute, then stir again. Once all the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the microwave and stir in the vanilla and chopped pistachios and place the mixture in the refrigerator for half an hour to set. Once set, remove and roll into balls, and then into the coconut. Top tip: pop a handful of truffles into one of our Golden Espresso Cups to make the ideal gift.

5. Christmas Panna Cotta You will need: 6 sheets of gelatine (or Agar Flake for vegetarian friends) 1 litre double cream 120g caster sugar 1/2 tsp ground all spice 3 tbsp Pedro Ximenez 1 tsp cinnamon 1/3 cup crumbled Christmas Pudding (can be a shop bought) A sprinkling of nutmeg To serve: 2 tbsp raisins 1 tbsp Pedro Ximinez Method: Place the raisins and one tablespoon of Pedro Ximenez in a bowl and leave aside to soak. Leave them for at least a few hours, but if you have time, overnight. Meanwhile, soak the gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water until softened. Drain and squeeze out any excess liquid. In a heavy-based pan, heat the double cream, sugar and cinnamon, nutmeg and all spices. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering and simmer for 2-3 minutes, whisking until the sugar has dissolved. If you’re using agar flake instead, follow the instructions on the packet. Remove the cream mixture from the heat and whisk in the drained gelatine, 2 tablespoons of Pedro Ximenez and the crumbled Christmas pudding. Pour the mixture into ramekins. Best to fill them up about ž full. Leave aside until completely cool then refrigerate until set. When ready to serve, dip the ramekins briefly into hot water to loosen the Panna Cotta. Place on a plate and top with the Pedro Ximinez and soaked raisins. A touch of gold leaf on top would look ever so pretty, too.

6. Christmas Pudding, with a Twist You will need: 200g Raisins 200g Sultanas 200g Currants 50g Stem Ginger, chopped up into small pieces 100g Stone Prunes, chopped 60g Mixed Peel 1 cup Pedro Ximenez 250g Unsalted Butter Grated rind of 1 x lemon and 1 x orange 4 eggs, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon Cinnamon 1/2 Teaspoon Ginger Pinch of Salt 1/2 Teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda 100 g Finely Chopped Almonds 250g Plain Flour 2 Cups Fresh Breadcrumbs

Method: Place dried fruit (rainins, currants, sultanas, peel, prunes and stem ginger) in a bowl and add the Pedro Ximenez. Leave overnight. The following day cream the butter with the sugar and grated rind until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each. Stir in fruit, chopped almonds, spice and salt, Sift in flour and bicarbonate of soda. Finally add breadcrumbs. Form into a bowl and place in a pudding bowl. Add circle of greaseproof paper or parchment to top, then wrap in muslin or unbleached calico and secure tightly with string. Steam over a pan of boiling water for six hours. Add more water if necessary. Remove and allow to cool competely. Replace cloth with a new one. Leave in a cool dry place. On Christmas Day, place pudding in a saucepan of boiling water for 2 - 2 1/2 hours before serving with a dollop of Brandy Butter.

Little Book of Christmas Recipes  

Recipes for Christmas from the Blog

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