Recipes for a Christmas feast

Clementine Christmas pudding

Clementine Christmas pudding - Credit: Archant

When it comes to Christmas dinner this year, why not try something a little different

Croustade canapés

Goat’s cheese and broad bean pâté


Makes enough to fill approximately 30 croustades

250g frozen baby broad beans, defrosted

4 tbsp cold pressed rapeseed oil

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1 lemon, juiced

A small bunch of mint, chopped

150g fresh, crumbly goats cheese

1 Boil the broad beans in salted water for 4 minutes, then drain and refresh in cold water. Drain again.

2 Put the beans in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and a good grind of salt and pepper.

3 Blend until smooth then crumble in the goat’s cheese and fork it through to retain the texture.

4 Chill until you’re ready to fill the croustades.


Truffled mushroom pâté

Makes enough to fill approximately 30 croustades

15g dried porcini mushrooms

2 tbsp cold pressed rapeseed oil

300g mushrooms (portabella, chestnut and shitake all work well), finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 bay leaves

175ml white wine

100g butter, melted

A few drops of truffle oil


1 Pour 100ml of boiling water over the porcini, then leave to soak for 20 minutes. Squeeze out the porcini and chop them finely, then pass the soaking liquor through a tea strainer and reserve.

2 Heat the oil in a large sauté pan then fry the mushrooms, garlic, bay leaves and porcini for 5 minutes. Add half of the wine and simmer until almost all of the liquid has evaporated then repeat with the rest.

3 Do the same with the porcini soaking liquor, adding it in two batches, then let the mushrooms cook until you can draw a trench across the pan with the spoon and it stays dry on the bottom.

4 Remove the bay leaves, and then tip the rest of the contents into a food processor. Blend until smooth, and then pour in the butter in a thin stream with the motor still running.

5 Season the pâté to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in a few drops of truffle oil. Chill in the fridge until you’re ready to fill the croustades.


Wine Selection

Domaine Déliance Crémant de Bourgogne (Givry, Burgundy) £15.95

As a nation the UK is now drinking more Italian Prosecco than Champagne, demonstrating how price and quality can be achieved at the same time in a bottle; but also low priced Champagne can so be a disappointment. An alternative route is to buy this Chardonnay/Pinot Noir blend from the little village of Givry in Burgundy’s Côte Chalonnaise. Made by Gérard and Philippe Déliance, it is aged for over 20 months on its lees; it bristles with brioche and pear notes, while the effervescence does not explode in the mouth. This really is like a good Champagne just less expensive.


Mushroom, spinach & Lyburn pudding

Ingredients - serves 6

2 tbsp cold pressed rapeseed oil

200g chestnut mushrooms, quartered

150g oyster mushrooms, torn into strips

4 garlic cloves, crushed

50g butter

3 leeks, halved and sliced

½ tbsp fresh thyme leaves

300ml double cream

100g spinach, washed

100g Old Winchester cheese, grated

300g self-raising flour

150g vegetarian suet

1 tsp mustard powder


1 Heat the oil in a large frying pan, then add the mushrooms and fry over a high heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until any liquid that comes out of them has evaporated and the mushrooms turn golden brown. Season with salt and pepper, then add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 more minute before taking the pan off the heat.

2 Heat the butter in a saucepan and fry the leeks and thyme over a medium heat for 6 minutes to soften. Pour in the cream and bring to a simmer, then stir in the spinach. When it has wilted, take the pan off the heat and stir in the mushrooms and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper (a few drops of truffle oil or some freshly grated nutmeg are nice additions here), then leave to cool.

3 Preheat the oven to 180c / gas 4. Mix the flour, suet and mustard powder together and season with salt and pepper. Stir in just enough cold water to form a pliable dough.

4 Roll out the pastry into a large circle, then cut out a quarter and set it aside for the lid. Use the rest of the circle to line a buttered metal, glass or ceramic pudding mould. Spoon in the filling, then use the reserved pastry quarter to cap the top, pinching around the edge to seal.

5 Bake the pudding for 50 minutes, then turn it out onto a large platter. Serve with roast potatoes and parsnips, buttered carrots and steamed sprouts.


Find it in Hampshire

Goat’s Cheese - Rosary Goat’s Cheese, Landford, 01794 322196.

Mushrooms - Natural Wight Mushrooms, Isle of Wight, 07962 449187,; Old Winchester Cheese Lyburn Farmhouse Cheesemakers, Landford, 01794 399982,

Blood orange sorbet - Jude’s, Twyford, 01962 711444,

Leeks, spinach and thyme - Sunnyfields, Totton, 02380 861266,

Marmalade - Naked Jam, New Forest, 01425 621697,


Clementine Christmas pudding

Ingredients - Serves 6 - 8

300g golden caster sugar

225g butter

6 - 7 clementines

3 large eggs

50g stem ginger, finely chopped

125g quick-cook polenta

250g ground almonds

50g cornflour

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp baking powder

3 tbsp marmalade

2 tbsp syrup from the stem ginger jar


1 Butter a large pudding basin and put a steamer on to heat.

2 Put 100g of the sugar in a saucepan and heat gently until it starts to turn to liquid around the edges. Continue to heat, swirling the pan, until all the sugar crystals have melted and the caramel turns a rich golden brown. Stir in 25g of the butter, then pour the mixture into the pudding basin.

3 Use a fine grater to zest the clementines and reserve for the cake mixture. Peel the clementines, then cut each one across into 4 slices. Arrange the slices inside the pudding basin, ensuring there are as few gaps as possible.

4 Cream the rest of the butter and sugar together until smooth and pale. Lightly beat the eggs with the clementine zest and stem ginger, then gradually beat them into the butter and sugar mixture. Mix the polenta with the almonds, cornflour, ground ginger and baking powder, then add it slowly to the mix, stopping as soon as everything is combined.

5 Scrape the mixture into the pudding basin, being careful not to dislodge the clementine slices. Make a pleat in a sheet of greaseproof paper, then tie it onto the basin with string and make a handle to lift in and out.

6 Steam the pudding for 2 hours 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

7 Heat the marmalade and ginger syrup in a small saucepan then sieve to remove any zest. Turn the pudding out onto a serving plate, then brush it all over with the marmalade glaze.


Wine Selection

Monte Tondo Recioto di Soave 2009 (Veneto, Northeast Italy) £18.95 (50cl bottle)

Susie’s Clementine Christmas pudding calls for a wine that combines weight of flavour with sweetness and length, and this Recioto di Soave succeeds on both fronts. Late harvested Garganega grapes are left to ‘half dry’ on straw matting during the winter months before being gently pressed in late January. The honeyed juice that emerges ferments very slowly in oak barrels to emerge as this amber wine that is laced with barley sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg on the palate. What could be more fitting for Christmas!