Sprouts don’t have the best reputation, and not everyone is a fan of Christmas pudding - but Prue Leith is here today with her twists on Christmas classics that’ll have your guests begging for more.
Prue's Christmas sprouts
2 garlic cloves, crushed
500g Brussels sprouts, tough outer leaves peeled off
180g baby spinach leaves
Handful of wild garlic leaves, plus a few extra to garnish (optional)
250g frozen peas
300ml double cream
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to season
In your smallest saucepan, fry the garlic gently in the butter until foaming and smelling good, but don’t let it get brown. Remove from the heat but leave in the pan.
Boil the sprouts in plenty of salted water until just tender (about 5 minutes), then drain and swish them under the cold tap briefly to stop them from cooking. While they are still pretty hot, decant into a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped (this step can, of course, be done by hand – it will just take longer). Spread out the chopped sprouts on a clean tea towel to steam dry a bit more.
In the pan you used for the sprouts, cook the spinach leaves and wild garlic, if using, in a teacup of water over a medium-low heat, turning them until they are all wilted. Drain and rinse under cold water, then dry and chop roughly. Now put the peas into the saucepan, pour boiling water over them, wait a minute for them to thaw, then drain.
Pour the cream into the garlic pan. Add the nutmeg, a good few twists of the pepper mill and a generous pinch of salt. Mix the three veg together and put them into a microwaveable serving dish. Pour the garlicky cream over the top and fork the top a bit to encourage the pepper and nutmeg to penetrate. Serve
Tip: Cover and refrigerate if not serving right away and when ready to serve microwave for 3 minutes, forking them over halfway through. Serve with a few wild garlic leaves, if using.
Prue's easy Christmas pudding
1 litre vanilla ice cream
1 jars mincemeat, or three slices Christmas pudding, crumbled
3 tablespoons rum or brandy
Sprig of holly
If the ice cream is frozen hard, put it into the fridge so that it softens without melting*. Mix it, in a food processor or by hand, with the mince meat and then freeze it in a 1.1litre/2 pint pudding bowl.
To serve, dip the bowl into hot water for half a minute to loosen the pudding, then turn out on a serving plate. Stick the holly in the top and serve
Add the rum or brandy by poring on top and thenLight and serve
*It's important to do this in the fridge so that the ice cream only softens. Never allow the ice cream to fully melt as this can cause a health and safety risk.*
TIP ON HOW TO LIGHT
Tip: Prue sets the pudding alight. It’s true the flames and warm brandy melt the pudding a bit. Here’s the secret to getting it right...
Keep the turned out pudding in the freezer or fridge until ready to go
Clear a good bit of the table of paper hats and other inflammable stuff. Better still, clear a side-table.
In the kitchen, warm about 3 tablespoons brandy or rum in a saucepan to just warmer than blood heat. If you get it too hot you will lose the alcohol.
Stick the holly in the pud and take pud, matches and warm brandy to the table
Put the pud down at the cleared spot on the table. Put the brandy pan down on a mat out of reach of little fingers.
Stand back as you carefully light the brandy and pour it, flaming over the pud. It will flare up and crackle as it lights the holly.