5 recipes to make Christmas entertaining simple and delicious

Apple and Herb Christmas Turkey

INGREDIENTS

APPLE AND ROSEMARY GRAVY

METHOD

  1. To make the brine, place the apple juice, lemon, bay leaves, rosemary, fennel seeds, garlic and salt in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove the lemon, herbs and garlic and set aside. pour the brining liquid into a large (10-litre-capacity) non-reactive container+. Add the cider, vinegar and water and stir to combine. Place the reserved lemon, herbs and garlic into the cavity of the turkey. Tie the legs with kitchen string and tuck the wings underneath. Place the turkey, breast-side down, in the brining liquid. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours (but no longer). Remove the turkey from the container, discarding the brining liquid, and place on a lightly greased wire rack over a deep-sided baking dish.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Pat the turkey dry and brush with the oil, sprinkle with pepper and pour the extra water into the dish. Cover with lightly greased aluminium foil and roast for 1 hour. Uncover and roast for a further 1 hour 30 minutes or until the skin is golden and the juices run clear when tested with a skewer. Reserving the pan juices, carefully place the turkey on a tray, cover with foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  3. While the turkey is resting, make the apple and rosemary gravy. Strain the pan juices into a small bowl. Skim the fat from the surface, reserving 1 tablespoon. Heat the reserved fat in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir for 3–4 minutes or until golden. Gradually whisk in the apple juice and water. Add the pan juices, mustard, rosemary, salt and pepper. Stir for 4–5 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens. Slice the turkey and serve with the gravy. Serves 8.

+ Non-reactive materials include glass, plastic or stainless steel.

Chocolate Caramel Truffles

 

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

  1. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium and bring to the boil. Cook for 6–6½ minutes or until a deep-golden+. Remove from the heat and, working quickly, add the cream and butter. Return saucepan to the heat and stir to combine.
  3. Place the chocolate in a bowl, pour over the caramel mixture and schnapps and stir gently until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Place in a lightly greased 20cm-square tin lined with non-stick baking paper and refrigerate for 2–3 hours or until set.
  4. Roll tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper++. Freeze for 1 hour or until firm.
  5. Dip the truffles in the melted chocolate and place on a tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set. Makes approximately 22.

+ It’s important the caramel is deep-golden in colour, as adding the cream and butter will arrest the cooking process. If the caramel is too pale, it will have a weak flavour. And if it’s too dark, it will taste bitter.

++ Dip a tablespoon in hot water and pat dry to help roll the mixture into balls. Use a skewer to help remove the truffles from the tablespoon.

Christmas Day Punch

 

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

  1. Mix to combine the whisky, agave, cranberry juice, orange juice and soda in a 2-litre-capacity jug. Add the cranberries and pour over ice to serve. Makes 1.58L.

Serves 6–8 (5 standard drinks).

Pineapple, Coconut and Lemongrass Popsicles

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

  1. Cut 8 x 10cm lengths from the lemongrass stalks to use as popsicle sticks. Chop the remaining white parts of the lemongrass, reserving ¼ cup.
  2. Place the reserved lemongrass, the pineapple, coconut milk and sugar in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a jug, discarding the solids, and divide between 8 x 1-cup-capacity (80ml) popsicle moulds. Cover with 2 layers of aluminium foil and freeze for 2 hours.
  3. Make a small incision in the foil in the centre of each mould and insert the lemongrass sticks. Freeze for a further 2–3 hours or until frozen. Makes 8 

+ You can often buy chopped fresh pineapple in tubs in the refrigerated section of supermarkets and greengrocers – you’ll need 500g.

Whiskey Crème Caramel

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Place the sugar, whiskey and water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil and cook, without stirring, for 10–12 minutes or until the mixture is dark golden. Divide the caramel between 6 x 1-cup-capacity (250ml) pie tins or ramekins. Set aside.
  2. Place the milk and cream in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat.
  3. Place the eggs, extra yolks, extra sugar and vanilla in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Gradually add the milk mixture, whisking to combine. Pour the mixture back in the saucepan and cook over low heat for 2–3 minutes or until the mixture is just warm. Divide the mixture between the tins, place in a water bath+ and cook for 35–40 minutes or until just set and with a slight wobble in the centre.
  4. Remove the tins from the dish and allow to cool completely before refrigerating for 3–4 hours or until chilled. Makes 6.

+ To make a water bath, place the tins in a baking dish and pour in enough boiling water to come halfway up the sides.


Tip: Crème caramel can be made a day ahead and kept refrigerated.