5 Christmas recipes you can prepare in advance
Prepare these festive recipes before the 25th December to make Christmas Day as stress-free as possible.
Image: Vivek Singh
Get ahead of the game and be prepared by making some delicious Christmas dishes before the big day.
Image: Created using Panasonic NN-CS89 4-in-1 Microwave
Prepare your mincemeat for your mince pies way in advance to tick another thing off the list.
- 1 kg mixed dried fruits
- 600 g Bramley cooking apples
- 2 tsp ground mixed spice
- 600 ml sweet cider
- 50 g flaked hazelnuts
- 30 ml brandy
- Put the fruit, apples, spice and cider into a large bowl and cook on high microwave for 10 minutes or until the mixture reaches boiling point.
- Remove from microwave and stir thoroughly. Then cook on medium microwave for a further 15-20 minutes or until the mixture is pulpy and most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Stir in the hazelnuts and brandy. Then fill the warmed sterilised jars with the mixture and store in the fridge until required or for up to 4 months. Once opened use within one week.
Vegetarian sausage rolls
Image: Maldon Salt
Make these tasty sausage rolls and keep them in the freezer until you’re ready to serve up your canapes.
- 1 pack of vegetarian sausages
- 1 pack of buttery puff pastry, ready rolled
- grated Parmesan
- Maldon Salt
- 1 egg yolk mixed with a little milk
- Fry the sausages until nicely brown, but don’t overcook them. Set aside to cool.
- Roll out your pastry and cut into six squares. Wrap each square around one vegetarian sausage and lay on a baking tray with the fold down.
- Brush with your egg mixture and sprinkle over the parmesan and Maldon Salt.
- Bake in the oven at 180C fan for around 25 minutes or golden.
Image: Vivek Singh
Whip up your Christmas pudding a month in advance to let the flavours and spices shine through.
- 100g dried apricots, chopped
- 100g dried figs, chopped
- 100g dried black currants
- 100g seedless raisins
- 100g sultanas
- 75g candied lemon and orange peel, finely chopped
- 50g almonds, finely chopped
- 50g walnuts, finely chopped
- 50g pecan nuts, finely chopped
- 50g pine nuts, finely chopped
- 50g hazel nuts, finely chopped
- 50g cashew nuts, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground garam masala
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg
- 150ml/5fl oz dark rum
- 4 tbsp brandy
- 1 orange, zest and juice
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 225g/8oz salted butter
- 225g/8oz Muscovado sugar
- 3 free-range eggs
- 150g/5oz plain flour
- Place all the dry fruits, nuts and spices into a large bowl and mix together thoroughly.
- Add the rum and brandy and mix together well with your hands. Cover and leave it overnight to soak in the flavours.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time and continue mixing until all the eggs are incorporated into the mixture.
- Fold in the flour and the soaked fruits and nuts.
- Divide the mixture between two greased 1½ litre/2½ pint heatproof pudding bowls, filling almost to the rim, then smooth down the surface.
- Cover each bowl with a large square of greaseproof paper, then cover that with a large square of aluminium foil. Tie the two sheets tightly into place under the rim with string, leaving long ends of excess string to make a handle. Loop one of the excess string lengths over the pudding basin and slide underneath the taut string holding the sheets in place on the other side. Bring up the string and firmly knot with the other piece of excess string, to form a secure handle to lift the pudding in and out of the water.
- To cook, stand both puddings on a trivet in a large, deep, heavy-based pan (or each pudding in a separate pan). Pour boiling water into the pan(s), enough to come about halfway up the sides of the bowls.
- Cover the pan(s) with a lid or a dome of foil and boil for seven hours. Check the water level regularly, topping it up with more boiling water as necessary to keep the bowls half submerged.
- After seven hours, remove the bowls from the pan and leave to cool. Untie and remove the foil and greaseproof sheets and replace with clean, dry sheets of both greaseproof paper and foil.
- Store in a cool, dry place. To reheat at Christmas-time, return to a pan containing a few inches of boiling water, cover and steam for two hours, checking the water levels now and then, until completely heated through.
Read more: The ultimate Christmas cake recipe for 2020
Traditionally served with warm mince pies and Christmas pudding, add a little extra indulgence this Christmas with this delicious brandy butter.
3. Lastly, add the Brandy. Continue to mix until your butter is a smooth consistency.
4. For quick and easy serving, place into baking parchment and roll into a small sausage. Chill and ensure the mix has set before cutting into slices and placing on top of your favourite desserts. Alternatively, place into a small jar and store in the fridge for up to three weeks.
Maple and sausage stuffing
Image: Maple from Canada
This sweet and meaty stuffing is the perfect accompaniment to any Christmas bird this year.
- 25g butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 leeks, finely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 200g sausage meat
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup (preferably amber syrup for its rich taste)
- 1 orange, zest and juiced
- 50g pecans, chopped
- 6 sage leaves, chopped
- 100g breadcrumbs
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
- Heat a pan and melt butter, fry onions, leeks, celery and carrots together then add sausage meat.
- Break up the sausage meat using a spoon and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Add maple syrup, orange zest and juice, pecans and sage leaves, breadcrumbs and salt and pepper.
- Mix together and transfer to a square deep baking tray, levelling out with the back of a fork and set aside.
- Place the stuffing in the oven and bake for 25 minutes until sausage meat is cooked through.
- You can then keep the stuffing in the fridge or in the freezer if you’re making it weeks beforehand.
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