Plum Tarte Tartin with Mulled Wine Amaze-Glaze

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I’ve never been much of a baker (which you can probably tell by the disproportionate lack of sweet vs savoury recipes on tidymunch) and to be honest, I’d generally rather have a starter than a dessert. I do have a tiny bit of a sweet tooth now and again, though, and at Christmas I like to present a three course menu to you… so here you have this year’s dessert!

As usual, I wanted something a bit “different” but something that also references the traditions and themes of Christmas. Wracking my brains, I figured plum pudding would be a fairly traditional dessert, but with so much food to be consumed in the rest of the day, wouldn’t it be a bit on the heavy side? (One of the reasons I usually avoid Christmas Pudding!) So what about a tart? That could be nice and light, right? I scoured the interwebs, and tarte tartins came out tops…. I found a recipe that included spiced red wine, and that just screamed mulled wine to me (sue me if this isn’t quite accurate :p) and what’s more Christmassy than mulled wine?

Little did I realise that tarte tartins aren’t exactly easy! That’s the bad news… the good news is that even if you don’t get it quite right, this will taste amazing anyway! Go on, give it a whirl, I did, and even although I wasn’t 100% happy with the final outcome, it got rave reviews from six hungry co-workers!


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Apricot & Ginger Glazed Ham

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This one maybe isn’t quite as “alternative” as you’d expect from me, but no matter what’s on the Christmas Day menu, I always insist on having “nice ham” as well! I did want something slightly different from the joints you’d pick up easily in the supermarket, though, so I scoured the internet and found this (not-so) little beauty. It fed 5 people in work, me twice, and there’s still at least half sliced up in my freezer!


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Party (Chilli)Poppers

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So you know me by now. For my Christmas Menu I wanted something a little bit different that would still tie in with Christmas themes…. It also just so happens that the Jalapeño Chilli plants I grew from the seeds I was given last Christmas have only just borne fruit…. and so I give you my Christmassy take on jalapeño poppers – I’ve replaced the more traditional cream cheese filling with Wensleydale with Cranberry, and wrapped in Turkey rashers, just so you can be sure that they’re definitely 100% bonafide Christmas food! A dollop of Cranberry Jelly adds the perfect sweetening touch to lighten the fire of the chillies 😀

Feliz Navidad!


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Ifits Christmas Dinner Pie

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This is without a doubt the ultimate Ifits recipe! For those who aren’t aware of the term, an Ifits recipe is one made from left-overs – Ifit’s in the fridge/cupboard, we’re having it! And so I present to you a genius recipe for left-over Christmas food!

I do have a confession to make – I had the idea for this recipe long before I had the opportunity to have left-over Christmas dinner, and just had to try it! I bought all the ingredients in (in small quantities) and went for it. The result was so good, that I had a missive from mother insisting that we actually make this for Christmas Dinner proper, instead of the traditional roast! As it turns out, we were subsequently invited to a family affair elsewhere… but I wasn’t off the hook… we had this on Christmas Eve!

The original idea came to me while I was flicking through Lisa Faulkner’s The Way I Cook. She has a Chicken Pie recipe that includes a layer of stuffing in the pastry crust, so that got my mind going. I only really have stuffing with Christmas Dinner (well, unless I visit a Carvery and it’s just there) so my mind instantly turned towards festive food!

The base for the sauce, as well as the idea of the stuffing-in-the-pastry, is adapted from her recipe… the rest is all me.

And remember, it’s an Ifits, so use this only as a template, and chuck in whatever you’ve got!


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A Partridge & A Pear. Squee!

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I love a turkey Christmas Dinner, but for my blog I wanted to do something a bit different, so I’ve gone back to something even more traditional and added some modern/non-traditional twists.

Today’s recipe is Roast Partridge, served on a bed of Rosemary, Sage, and Parmesan Polenta, with a Pear wrapped in Pancetta on the side. Not included in the recipe (but in the photographs) is a bit of a lower-brow side that might seem out of place. Can’t think what on earth inspired me to include those 😉


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Naughty & Nice Ferrero Rocher Cake

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In the month of December, I’ve wanted to try putting together an alternative Christmas Menu that calls upon traditional flavours, but with a modern twist. For dessert, I wanted something a bit lighter than the normal Christmas pudding. I’d been thinking along the lines of a plum Panna Cotta or something like that, until Jay (who needs to tweet more) declared “it’s gotta be something to do with Ferrero Rocher!”

Ferrero Rocher has undoubtedly become one of the UKs newest Christmas traditions in the last two or three decades (how long does it take for something to be considered a tradition?), and one that my household certainly embraced. Since I was a little boy, I always received these amazing little sweets at Christmas time. I can remember only one Christmas without them, which brought tears, great heartache, and much questioning over Santa’s existence. It never happened again after that, as let’s face it… nobody wants to see a man in his thirties reduced to tears on Christmas Day.

I can’t take any credit for creating this recipe… I found it on the interwebs, and felt compelled to try it as it was… this is a straight take on that recipe.

Now the original recipe calls this a mousse, but I don’t think my technique was great; I’ve never made a mousse and seem to have battered all the air out of it. It’s somewhat more dense, and has the consistency of a cheesecake without the cheese. That said, it’s still light, but don’t let that fool you! There’s so much chocolate and cream in here that it’s incredibly decadent. It’s so rich that you probably won’t need (or want) a large serving of it, but on the taste and luxury front, it’s a perfect way to round off your Christmas Dinner!


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Christmas Parcels of Goats Cheese & Cranberry

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It’s the simple things that make Christmas, right? Well, you won’t get much simpler (or tastier) than these Christmas Parcels. They’re pretty easy to make, but harder to make pretty… I’ve worked hard to make these parcels look as if they were wrapped by a three year-old (ahem).

I wanted a starter for Christmas dinner that would be different from the norm (prawn cocktail, anyone?), light enough to leave room for the courses to follow, yet still satisfying… and above all, tasty!

I believe I’ve ticked all the boxes with these!


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