Whoohoo it’s almost Christmas! We are in serious festive mode here and Alice is beside herself that it’s just three sleeps till Santa arrives. We have family arriving for the weekend before the main man so in a nod to organisation have just stashed the below in the fridge for Christmas morning. Snaps for me. They really are beautiful recipes and worth trying if not on the 25th, for any special brunch/morning tea over summer. Happy Christmas and thank you for supporting Local is Lovely in its first few weeks.
Spiced fruit scrollsPrep time 30 mins Cooking time 25 mins (plus 2 hours proving time)
Allow an hour or so to put these scrolls together; while they are simple in terms of technique they do need a little time and love. They reheat beautifully and as I can’t think of anything worse than rolling out dough on Christmas morning so made a couple of batches this morning, wrapped them in foil and tucked them in our overcrowded freezer to gently reheat in a moderate oven as soon as we wake on the 25th. The alcohol-free spiced fruit mix is beautiful in this and lots of other tart/cake/pudding recipes.
4 tsp yeast1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup/125g butter, melted
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
4 cups strong flour
1 cup warm milk 1/4 cup caster sugar 1 egg, beaten 1/2 cup/125g butter, melted 1 tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon 4 cups strong flour
1 cup warm milk 1/4 cup caster sugar 1 egg, beaten 1/2 cup/125g butter, melted 1 tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon 4 cups strong flour filling 2 cups Christmas fruit mix (recipe below) 120g chocolate, chopped into small pieces 60g melted butter 1 tsp cinnamon glaze 1 egg beaten 1 tbsp water
Sprinkle the yeast over warm milk. Add a teaspoon of the sugar and stir. Let stand for a few minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and knead for 10 minutes, either using a mixer with a dough hook or by hand. Set aside, in a lightly oiled bowl covered with a tea towel, in a warm place for one hour or until dough has doubled in size. Transfer to a floured board and roll out to a large rectangle, the dough should be about once centimeter thick. Spread with the butter, sprinkle with the fruit and chocolate and dust with cinnamon. Roll into one long sausage and then cut that into slices, about three centimeters thick. Place these in a greased and lined 28cm cake tin (or square baking tray).
Cover and leave again to prove for one more hour, or thereabouts. Preheat the oven to 200C. Brush the scrolls with egg mixed with the water and bake for 25 minutes. If making this ahead, wrap in foil and freeze, otherwise serve warm with lots of milky tea. Pull out of the freezer the night before you want to serve it, leave in the fridge and then gently reheat in a moderate oven.
Spiced Christmas fruit mix
2 cups mixed dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, lemon and orange peel etc)
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp cloves
1 cinnamon stick
peel and juice of one orange
Place all ingredients except for the fruit mix in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Let bubble for a few minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Strain out the cloves and then add the fruit mix. Pour into a glass jar and keep in a dark, cool place for a month or so. It does get better the longer it sits but is fine to use after just a few hours.
Roasted vanilla berry parcels
Prep time 5 minutes, Cooking time 15 minutes
This will be the most delicious and aromatic present you’ll open on Christmas morning. Make it up a day or two before and keep in the fridge ready to pop in a hot oven just 15 minutes before you need it. The hot, vanilla syrup and soft, sweet berries are just beautiful with toasted granola and berries, or served next to a stack of toasted panettone or brioche. This is also a great dessert idea, I’ve just tried it with a stack of little meringues and whipped cream. Yummo. Thank you to the latest issue of Donna Hay magazine for inspiring this recipe.
700g mixed berries
1 cup caster sugar
juice and peel of one orange
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
Mix everything together in a large bowl. Cut two large strips of baking paper, lay them in a cross, pour the fruit in the centre of the cross and wrap up so the berries are tightly bundled up. Tie with kitchen string and place in a baking tray, in the fridge or on the kitchen bench until you need them.