Cooking for friends and family this holiday season is one of the best ways in which to show them your appreciation and when it comes to winter, the cosier the menu you can whip up, the better. While starting the feasting off with a hearty main and warming sides is a great way in which to get things going, everyone knows that it doesn’t count for anything if your dessert isn’t on point. Although catering to the needs of all of your guests might seem like a challenge, you can guarantee that, with the right kind of sweet course, everyone will be on board. And the best way to start the Christmas season? Surrounded by pastries, buttery puddings and spiced fruit dishes, of course!
While you might think that you’ve tasted every kind of apple pie there is to be had, you’ve probably not ever sampled anything like this before. Topped with brown sugar and roasted pecans, the crust of this pie is what it’s all about and it might just leave you coming back for more. Served upside down, think of this pudding like a winter warming tarte tatin, with all the buttery apples you could ever want.
Of course, cold weather doesn’t just call for apples and there is a warming winter dessert out there for any kind of fruit combination. Roughly covered in rustic pastry, the blackberries and peaches in this crostata are left to bubble and caramelize in the oven. Cooked until golden brown, the crostata makes the perfect accompaniment to any winter feast and is perfect topped with melting mascarpone or double cream.
If you’re catering to the masses, then you can’t go wrong with a little bit of melted chocolate. Complete with butter, vanilla, rich yolks and a whole ton of good chocolate, these puddings are designed to be served fresh from the oven. Make sure you catch them while they’re still hot though; the trick is to serve the pudding while it’s still melted in the middle.
While it might not exactly roll off the tongue, the St. Clement’s Posset is a dessert recipe that you will come back to time and time again. Flavored with oranges, lemons and just a touch of mint, the dessert takes a fresh stance on winter food, adding a much needed injection of freshness into the stodgy mix. Topped off with miniature star shortbreads, the desserts are a great way to impress all of your guests over the holiday season, and the perfect recipe to store for future holidays to come.
Traditionally eaten over Epiphany, the humble galette is one of the best ways to indulge your sweet tooth this holiday season. Glazed with salted caramel and baked slowly in the oven, this apple galette is just a touch above the rest and is guaranteed to warm you up on any cold winter’s night. With the apples peeking through the top, there is a real rustic feel to this dish that is guaranteed to fill even the most hungry of eaters up.
Sometimes in order to get it right, you just need to keep it simple. Easy to prepare and even simpler to eat, these cherry pastry pies are a great accompaniment to any winter meal or snack time. Stuffed with a rich pastry jam, these little hand pies will give you all the sweetness of summer, and all the rich butter goodness of a winter dessert. Just think of them as the holiday gift that keeps on giving.
Let’s face it, you can’t pass the Christmas season without eating a yule log of some kind and this one might just be the very best out there. Coated in thick chocolate and studded with chestnuts, the dessert gets the flavour combinations right on point, tasting neither too rich nor too nutty. Dusted with a festive coat of icing sugar, the log makes the perfect finishing centerpiece to any festive table and is bound to impress your guests in more ways that one.
This winter season, it’s all about the dessert and whether you’re into pastry, cream or chocolate, there’s something out there to please you. The time for dessert is now and as soon as you taste one of these, you might not look at another main again!