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Four quick and easy Christmas dessert recipes

These fruity puddings need just 10 minutes of prep: marmalade tart, roast apples in calvados cream, lemony biscotti, and a sumptuous custard and pears

Four Christmassy desserts by David Gingell.

Roast apples and calvados cream

Prep 10 min
Cook 35 min
Serves 4-6

For the apples
6 large braeburn apples, peeled, halved and cored
100g salted butter
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
2 bay leaves
200g demerara sugar
200g apple juice

For the calvados cream
400g full-fat creme fraiche
100g double cream
30ml calvados
50g icing sugar

For the hazelnut crumb
50g chopped hazelnuts
100g salted butter
100g fine cake flour
200g caster sugar

Four quick and easy Christmas dessert recipes
David Gingell’s lemon curd and vanilla biscotti

Heat the oven to 190C (180C fan)/375F/gas 6. Lay the apples in a baking dish and cover with the other ingredients. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until tender.

Whisk the cream ingredients together with a wooden spoon, or an electric whisk if you have one, until it forms light peaks.

For the hazelnut crumb, smash the hazelnuts into bits with a rolling pin (wrap them in a tea towel first), and rub the other ingredients together with your fingertips. Mix, transfer it all to a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, and bake for about eight minutes, until golden brown.

Serve hot, spooning first the crumble, then the calvados creme fraiche over the apples.

Fiona Beckett’s wine-pairing recomendation

You could serve an extra shot of calvados (or three-year-old Somerset Cider Brandy) with this, or a sweet cider like Once Upon a Tree Blenheim Superb Ice Cider 2015 (£19.95 a half bottle from slurp.co.uk) – England’s answer to ice wine.

Lemon curd and vanilla biscotti

Prep 10 min
Cook 50 min
Makes about 24

For the cream
400g double cream
50g caster sugar
½ vanilla pod, seeded

For the curd
6 egg yolks, plus 3 extra eggs
250ml lemon juice Zest of 1 lemon
350g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the biscotti
330g caster sugar
330g fine cake flour
8g baking powder
150g eggs
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
250g whole hazelnuts

David Gingell’s lemon curd and vanilla biscotti

Whip together all the cream ingredients with a whisk. Next make the curd: whisk the eggs and extra yolks, lemon juice, zest and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Heat over a bain-marie, whisking constantly, until it thickens, then remove from the heat, slowly stir in the butter and leave to cool.

Heat the oven to 160C (150C fan)/325F/gas 3. Put all the biscotti ingredients apart from the hazelnuts in a bowl and gently work with your hands – be careful not to overwork the dough. When the mixture is smooth, add the nuts, mix them in gently and shape the dough into a long sausage shape.

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown, then leave to cool on the baking tray. Cut into 5mm-thick discs, then turn up the oven temperature to 180C (170C fan)/350F/gas 4, and bake again on the same trayfor five to six minutes, until light brown.

Spoon the curd and cream into glasses in as many layers as you like, and serve with the biscuits.

Fiona Beckett’s wine-pairing recommendation

A young sauternes or similar sweet bordeaux would be perfect with this. The luscious, lemony 2014 Château Roumieu Sauternes (14%) is on offer at a very appealing £13 a half bottle at the Co-op.

Baked nutmeg custard and pears

Prep 10 min
Cook 50 min
Serves 6-8

700ml whipping cream
1 vanilla pod
120g caster sugar
7 egg yolks
½ whole nutmeg,grated

For the pears
6 pears,peeled, cored and quartered
40g fresh ginger,sliced
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
½ star anise
½ bottle red wine
Zest and juice of 2 oranges
300g demerara sugar
300g water

David Gingell’s lemon curd and vanilla biscotti

Heat the oven to 120C (110C fan)/250F/gas low.

Bring the cream to a boil, mix in the vanilla pod and sugar, then take off the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

Pour this over the egg yolks, mix, then pour through a fine sieve into a heavy-based, 30cm baking dish.

Top with the grated nutmeg, put on a wet cloth on a baking tray, and bake for about 35-40 minutes, until the custard has just set.

For the pears, put all the ingredients apart from the fruit in a saucepan over a medium heat, bring to a boil, add the pears and cook until tender – about 10 minutes – then leave to cool in the cooking syrup.

To serve, put the pears and custard separately on the table for people to help themselves and tuck in.

Fiona Beckett’s wine-pairing recommendation

Given the pears are cooked in red wine, I’m not sure you need extra booze, but you could go for a sweet red like Bertani’s Recioto della Valpolicella (about £23 for 50cl, 13%).

Orange marmalade and almond tart

Prep 10 min
Rest 1 hr
Cook 1 hr 5 min
Serves 8-10

For the filling
220g salted butter,at room temperature
220g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
Zest of 2 oranges
220g ground almonds
2 large eggs
25g fine cake flour
35g whole salted almonds, smashed
35g flaked almonds

For the sweet pastry
120g salted butter, at room temperature
70g caster sugar
240g plain flour
1 egg
250g orange marmalade

David Gingell’s lemon curd and vanilla biscotti

Heat the oven to 180C (170C fan)/335F/gas 3½. Cream the butter and sugar with the vanillaand orange zest, until white and fluffy, and mix in the eggs, flour and almonds.

For the pastry case, beat the butter and sugar, then fold in the flour and egg – just enough to bring it together; try not to overwork it. Rest for an hour in the fridge, then roll it out on to a 30cm round tart case. Fill with baking beans or rice, and blind bake for 20 minutes.

Take out of the oven, spread the marmalade over the base, pour in the filling, level with a palette knife and bake at 155C (145C fan)/310F/gas 3 for about 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and slightly springy. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche or cream.

Fiona Beckett’s wine-pairing recommendation

Echo the marmalade in the tart with a fabulously orangey 2017 Muscat of Samos Vin Doux (£8.99 Waitrose, 15%) or splash out on the exotic Ben Ryé Passito di Pantelleria from Donnafugata (£26.92 Tannico, 14.5%).

  • Recipes by David Gingell, chef at Jolene, London N16

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