Festive Recipes

Apple, Cheese and Potato Pie

Serves 4-6


  • 30g salted butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 bunch of thyme
  • 30g plain flour
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 450g potatoes, cut into 2-3cm chunks
  • 3 chopped apples
  • 150g grated mature cheddar
  • Ready to roll pastry

(1) Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the oil and onions, cooking until caramelised. Fry for 1 minute more after adding the thyme. Carefully tip in the flour and combine. Gradually stir in the stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the mustard and vinegar 2 minutes before the end of cooking time.

(2) Put the potatoes into a large pan, cover with cold water and cook for around 5 minutes. Drain and stir into the sauce. Now, stir in the cheddar, seasoning and apples.

(3) Pour the filling into a baking dish and allow to cool. Roll out the pastry and cut into strips roughly 1cm wide. Weave the strips across the dish, leaving gaps of a few millimetres in-between. Brush the top with egg and bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown.

Clementine Trifles

After peeling the zest from a clementine, squeeze the juice into a saucepan and add 2 tablespoons of caster sugar 2 tablespoons of water. Once you have swirled until the sugar has melted, add the shredded zest and simmer until syrupy. Mix the juices from another clementine with some sherry and slice the others into thin rounds. Now all that is left to do is whisk the cream into a soft peak and layer the clementine slices, madeira cake, sherry mixture and custard into a jar! A perfect dessert for adults, you can even leave out the sherry to suit the children.

Sparkling Cranberry Jelly

To begin with, place a large freeze proof glass jug in the freezer and mix the cranberries, orange juice, mulling spice and sugar in a saucepan and simmer until fragrant. Divide the mixture into 6 coupe glasses and set aside for later. Heat the cranberry juice slightly and whisk in the gelatine until filly dissolved, leaving to stand for 3 minutes. Taking the glass jug from the freezer, pour in the gelatine mixture and stir in the Prosecco. Layer the jelly on top of the mixture in the coupe glasses and refrigerate for 2 hours. To make things extra festive, you can even add an orange peel garnish!

Date, Blue Cheese and Pancetta Polenta Stacks

With the oven set at 200°C, sandwich a layer of pancetta rashers between parchment and use a second tray to weigh it down. After 10-15 minutes of baking, the pancetta should be golden and crisp. Boil stock and polenta in a saucepan and allow to simmer until thick and smooth. Add some oil, parmesan, rosemary and season if preferred. Spoon the mixture into a tin and set in the fridge for 1 hour. Slice the polenta into 16 wedges and cook for 4 minutes on either side. Push 1 tablespoon of cheese into the middle of each date half. Now the fun part! Layer the dates, pancetta, spinach and polenta onto cocktail sticks and drizzle with a little pomegranate molasses.