Category Archives: Christmas

apple toddy (15 servings)

4 liters unfiltered apple juice
a bottle of brown rum
200 g unrefined sugar
1 vanilla pod, split
10 star anise
1 lemon, grated rind and juice
1 tbsp cardamon pods, lightly crushed

Heat everything except the rum together and stand for at least a couple of hours. Adjust sugar and lemon juice to balance the toddy’s acidity.

Just before serving heat to below boiling, add the rum and serve immediately. If your guests are thirsty, make lots!

From: Camilla Plumb

roast duck with apple and prunes

Duck for christmas in Denmark. The sauce is time-consuming but delicious. A good thing about traditional food like this is that every last piece of the luxury ingredient (duck in this case) gets used to full advantage.

a whole duck, washed, patted dry and seasoned
6 cox orange apples, cored and sliced
300 g prunes de-stoned
liver from the duck, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

neck and giblets from the duck
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
200 ml red wine
150 ml double cream
cornflour dissolved in little cold water (optional)

Trim extraneous fat from the duck and melt in a pan. Brown the apple in the fat, add thyme, prunes, liver, season well and stuff the duck. Fasten both ends with kitchen needles. Put on a grill over an oven tray, breast down and bake at 165’C for 40 min per kilo. Turn the duck over after 2/3 of the time. Turn the heat up to 190’C for the last 10 mins to ensure crispness.

At an opportune point remove the juices and fat collecting in the oven tray to a large frypan (juices can be collected later too). Add onion, garlic and duck remnants and fry til soft. Add wine and bayleaf and reduce. Add boiling water to cover, season and simmer.

When the duck is done, remove from oven and rest uncovered 20 mins.

Sieve sauce and skim off excess fat if you wish. Return to pan, add cream and thickening if desired, simmer up gently, check final seasoning.