Book review: Maggie’s Christmas by Maggie Beer

maggies-xmas-cover

I was pleased as punch when I got myself a copy of Maggie’s Christmas by Maggie Beer.

The book is divided into sections and includes crabbing at Port Parham, Pre-Christmas Drinks, Carols Buffet, Christmas Eve Supper, Christmas Day Lunch, Boxing Day Leftoverss and then New Year’s Eve Lunch and Dinner as well as Food for the Beach House.

maggies-xmas-lunch

The book is illustrated by full pages of colour photography for most of the recipes.

Some of the recipes contain unusual ingredients such as burrata, vino cotto, and verjuice which you can find at a good deli or online at Maggie Beer.

maggies-xmas-turkey

The only drawback to the book is most of the recipes serve 8 people, which is ideal if you have a big family, but not so good for the every day. But these are really recipes for special occasions so it is appropriate.

I cooked the warm brioche and ice-cream sandwiches and since it was my first time at brioche, I was comforted by Maggie’s reassuring instructions that the mixture would be moist. They were delicious.

maggies-xmas-pudding

Be tempted by seasonal recipes such as pickled fig-glazed leg of ham, pavlova with lady finger banana and passion fruit topping, and Christmas pudding with cumquat brandy butter. For Christmas day lunch choose between roost goose with marmalade and cumquat stuffing and goose fat roasted potatoes, roast turkey with prune and orange stuffing and Cumberland sauce, or roast pork loin with verjuice and grapes.

Maggie’s Christmas by Maggie Beer is a beautiful book you’ll want to cherish for special occasions with family.

Maggie’s Christmas by Maggie Beer – available on Fishpond.com.au

Jason’s winning Christmas pudding

This is Jason’s Christmas Pudding recipe which he won first prize in the local show. Last year I regrettably made a different version, but we didn’t like the addition of nuts and it was more work . I also bought a special pudding tin and it went rusty after only a few months! Anyhow I’ve gone back to this winning one which was well received the year I made it. I’ve made a few changes, mostly notably I’ve divided everything in half which you’ll find is still plenty.

375g sultanas, sundried
375g raisins, sundried
200g glaced cherries, or cranberries
50g dried mangos, or your favourite
125g butter
½ large cup of rum
1 cup sugar
2 cups plain flour
½ tbps baking soda
pinch of salt
½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp cinnamon
2 eggs, organic
Parisian essense or vanilla

  1. Soak the dried fruit in the rum overnight. You can use any combination of dried fruit – the original recipe had 500g mixed fruit, 250g raisins and 250g sultanas, but I wanted to use up some things in the cupboard.
  2. The next day, cream the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the eggs and beat well.
  4. Add the fruit and essence, then the remaining ingredients.
  5. Place mixture in an oven bag. Tie bag tightly with some string about 3 cm from the mixture. It’s important to make sure that you get all the edges tied with the string so no water gets in.
  6. Place in the fridge for 2 hours.
  7. Put small plate upside down or rock in the bottom of a boiler. I use a large pasta pot with an enclosed strainer. Add water to nearly cover the pudding and bring to the boil. Cook for 4 hours.
  8. As needed top up with more boiling water.
  9. Mature for a few weeks in the fridge.
  10. To reheat: place in boiling water for ½ hour. We just use the microwave.

Notes: Suitable for freezing, but keeps for ages.