Combine a few key Christmas flavours here to make a pie that both children and adults will adore
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- knob butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 500g sausagemeat or skinned sausages
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 100g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 85g ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped
- 50g chestnut, canned or vacuum-packed, chopped
- 2 tsp chopped fresh or 1tsp dried thyme
- 100g cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 500g boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 500g pack ready-made shortcrust pastry
- beaten egg, to glaze
MethodHeat 1 tbsp oil and the butter in a frying pan, then add the onion and fry for 5 mins until softened. Cool slightly. Tip the sausagemeat, lemon zest, breadcrumbs, apricots, chestnuts and thyme into a bowl. Add the onion and cranberries, and mix everything together with your hands, adding plenty of pepper and a little salt.
- 4 cups whole unblanched almonds or mixed nuts
- 1 Egg white
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread nuts in a single layer in a shallow baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Grease a 15x10x1-inch baking pan; set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together egg white and water until frothy. Stir in granulated sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Stir in cooled nuts. Spread nuts in a single layer in the prepared pan.
- Bake about 20 minutes or until nuts appear dry, stirring once halfway through baking. Transfer nuts to waxed paper, separating into individual pieces or small clusters; cool completely. Divide nuts among clear gift bags. Tie bags closed with string and place in tins.
- 12 2-1/2- to 3-inch sticks cinnamon
- 1/3 cup crystallized ginger
- 1 tablespoon whole allspice
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- 16 white and/or Green Tea bags
- 2 cups crisp dried apple chips* or dried apples
- Cut four 7- to 8-inch squares of double-thick 100%-cotton cheesecloth. Divide cinnamon sticks, crystallized ginger, allspice, and cloves among cheesecloth squares. Tie closed with clean kitchen string. Divide tea bags, apple chips, and spice bags among four decorative containers. For each gift: Give 1 spice bag, 1 container of apple chips and tea bags, and the serving directions.
- To serve each gift, in a medium saucepan, combine spice bag and 4 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat. Add apple chips and tea bags to spiced water mixture. Let tea steep for 5 minutes. Remove and discard tea and spice bags.
- 1 pastry for a Single-Crust Pie or half of a 15-ounce package (1 crust) rolled refrigerated unbaked Piecrust
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 3 Egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 bananas
- 2 ounces white baking chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
- 2 ounces dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. If using, prepare Pastry for a Single-Crust Pie. On a lightly floured surface, use your hands to slightly flatten pastry. Roll pastry from center to edges into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Wrap pastry circle around the rolling pin. Unroll into a 9-inch pie plate. Ease pastry into pie plate without stretching it. Trim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry even with the plate's edge. Crimp edge as desired. Generously prick bottom and sides of pastry with a fork. Line pastry with a double thickness of foil. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes more or until golden. Cool on a wire rack. (If using refrigerated piecrust, follow package directions.)
- In a 6-ounce custard cup stir gelatin into the cold water; set aside to soften.
- In a large saucepan combine 1 cup of the brown sugar and the butter. Cook and stir over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes or until mixture is slightly dark brown in color and smells almost burnt. Immediately add cream (mixture may sputter). Remove from heat.
- In another small saucepan heat milk just until bubbly around the edges. Remove from heat.
- In a medium bowl stir together the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, cornstarch, flour, and salt. Add egg yolks, egg, and vanilla. Whisk about 1 minute or until fluffy. Gradually stir hot milk into egg mixture. Add egg mixture to cream mixture in saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat about 15 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat; stir in gelatin mixture.
- Cut bananas into 1/2-inch slices; fold into cream mixture. Pour into pastry shell. Cover surface of filling with plastic wrap and chill pie for 4 to 24 hours.
- Before serving, fill a small, heavy resealable plastic bag with melted white chocolate. Fill another bag with melted dark chocolate. Snip a small hole in one corner of each bag. Pipe chocolates over pie.