Preparing for Christmas lunch requires for a highly evolved form of procrastination. Sure, you’ll buy all the ingredients (and then get distracted in the grocery store and buy a completely necessary amount of lollies), print off the recipe (but not before spending a few hours trolling through YouTube), re-read the recipe, and before you know it, it’s bedtime and then midnight the day before Christmas.
So Listers: Whether you’ve been put on cheeseboard duty or elected shortbread queen this year, here are the last minute festive recipes you need this Christmas, thanks to some of the awesome providers at Prahran Market.
Cuddureddi from Tad Lombardo, Cioccolato Lombardo
“My favourite Christmas cookie is a Sicilian biscuit called Cuddureddi. There are many variations of this recipe, but this is my grandmother’s,” Lombardo says.
365g plain four
95g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
125g butter, cubed, chilled
1⁄2 cup milk
1 cup dried fgs
Hot espresso (enough to cover fgs)
1⁄4 cup walnuts
1⁄4 cup raisins
30g 65% dark chocolate
2 tbs honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 lemon rind fnely grated
1 orange rind fnely grated
85g pineapple preserves
85g orange marmalade
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp ground clove
1⁄2 tsp ground nutmeg
1⁄4 cup pure icing sugar
100s and 1000s to decorate
1 tsp anisette liqueur or vanilla extract
1. Cut figs, cover with espresso and allow to steep for 3 days (stirring daily so that figs absorb espresso) in the refrigerator. Add more coffee if you need to.
2. Place flour, sugar and baking powder in a food processor for 30 seconds. Add butter and process until mixture resembles fine crumbs. With the motor still running, add milk and process until dough ones together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide in half, press into a 1.5cm thick disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Combine all other ingredients (except for the honey, 100s and 1000s and icing sugar) and use a food processor to firm a paste. Add honey and mix thoroughly.
4. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two trays with a silpat or baking paper. Roll out one disc of dough between two sheets of baking paper until 3mm thick. Cut 6cm by 9cm rectangles out of the dough, then fill dough with a line of filling (about 1 tbs) in the centre. Fold length ways to cover the filling and press edges to seal. Using a sharp knife, make cuts 12mm apart along the sealed edge of the cookie, then curve the cookies slightly to fan out sections to expose filling.
5. Bake cookies for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Cool on the tray for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Cooled cookies can be dusted with icing sugar or glazed. To make the glaze, add some water a little bit at a time to the 1⁄4 cup icing sugar. Add 1 tsp of favouring (Anisette or vanilla) and mix. Dip cookies into the icing sugar mixture and allow excess to drip off, then sprinkle with 100s and 1000s and place on baking paper to dry. Once dry store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
Champagne Dessert Brie from Anthony Femia, Maker and Monger
“Coming from an Italian background, every year there is always a massive feast for both lunch and dinner with enough leftovers to last through to New Year’s Day celebrations,” Femia from Maker and Monger says. We’re not too sure this cheese will last quite that long.
1 whole wheel triple cream Brie (Brillat Savarin, Chaource, Delice de Bourgogne)
30 - 60ml champagne
1. Let the triple cream come to room temperature. With a knife, cut an X into the top of the cheese to about 3/4s deep of the cheese. Slowly pour the champagne into the X, massaging the top of the cheese as you go. Be sure that the champagne is being absorbed by the cheese.
2. Wrap in cheese paper and leave in fridge for a minimum of 2 hours to marinate.
3. When ready, pull cheese out and leave at room temperature again. With a hot and sharp knife, proceed to slice the top of the cheese off to reveal the inner pate.
4. Place the raspberries on the cheese and either stir them through the cheese or allow your guests to do the same.
5. Serve with a spoon.
Sour Cherry Sauce from Kathy Tsaples, Sweet Greek
“Christmas time is about sharing, happiness, reflection and being grateful for everything that we have and for the people we love,” Tsaples says. We think if you’re willing to share this cherry sauce with your family, it must be true love.
2 cups of sour cherries (you can use the tinned ones)
1 pear grated or chopped
1 cinnamon stick
2 cups of brown sugar
Juice and zest of 1/2 orange
Squeeze of lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1. Put all ingredients into a pot and simmer until the sauce becomes a syrup.
2. Allow to cool overnight and serve with your turkey.
Note: This is truly delicious and a great alternative to cranberries. Give it a try and you can adjust the sugar according to taste.
Eggnog from Paul Hatzistamatis, Whisked
“At Christmas, Mum and my aunties deck the table out with a spread fit to feed two armies and when the dust settles, we’re all in a state of euphoria.” Serve up this eggnog for a dessert on the lighter side of Christmas lunch.
6 large Alumuna Farm organic free range eggs
2 large Alumuna Farm organic free range egg yolks
3/4 cup Canadian No.1 Medium Maple Syrup
4 cups St. Davids Dairy full cream milk
1/2 cup brandy (optional)
1 vanilla pod, beans scraped
1/2 cup coconut milk, whipped into soft peaks
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1. Whisk eggs, yolks and maple syrup in a large saucepan until combined.
2. Whisk in milk, one cup at a time, blending well after each addition.
3. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until it has the consistency of custard (about 25 minutes).
4. Pour custard through a sieve into a large bowl.
5. Stir in liquor (if using), vanilla beans and nutmeg.
6. Cover tightly and refrigerate until well chilled, at least three hours and up to 3 days.
7. Serve in individual glasses with a dollop of whipped coconut milk and sprinkle with nutmeg.
If you need some last minute gift ideas, forget braving a department store. Check out the best Pimped Edible Christmas Gifts and get baking!
Image credit: Supplied.