Our picks for a perfect Christmas dinner

Starter – Filo tarts with caramelised onions & Goat’s cheese


Makes 24
110g butter
6 onions, finely sliced
6 sheets filo pastry
75g (3oz) soft goat’s cheese, sliced
few sprigs flat-leaf parsley

  1. Preheat the oven to160 C fan forced. Melt 50g butter on a low heat, add the onions and fry for about 25 minutes on a low heat until caramelized and slightly browned.
  2. Melt the remaining butter, take out the filo pastry and place one sheet on a chopping board. The rest should be kept covered with clingfilm until needed. Brush the filo with butter, then cut it into squares, approximately 6cm, using a knife. Press two squares of pastry into each muffin tin hole, filling all 24 cases.
  3. Bake in the oven for 4 to 5 minutes, but be careful as it burns easily. Cool the filo cases, then add a teaspoon of caramelized onions and a small blob of goat’s cheese. Garnish with flat-leaf parsley.

Recipe via Women & Home

Main – Apple and herb brined turkey with rosemary gravy


Serves 8
2 litres apple juice
1 lemon, sliced
2 fresh bay leaves
6 sprigs rosemary
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 head garlic, halved
1½ cups (375g) table salt
2 cups (500ml) apple cider
1 cup (250ml) apple cider vinegar
4 litres water
1 x 5kg turkey, rinsed
extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
cracked black pepper
2 cups (500ml) water, extra

apple and rosemary gravy
2 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
1 cup (250ml) apple juice
1 cup (250ml) water
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 sprig rosemary

  1. To make the brine, place the apple juice, lemon, bay leaves, rosemary, fennel seeds, garlic and salt in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove the lemon, herbs and garlic and set aside. pour the brining liquid into a large (10-litre-capacity) non-reactive container. Add the cider, vinegar and water and stir to combine.
  2. Place the reserved lemon, herbs and garlic into the cavity of the turkey. Tie the legs with kitchen string and tuck the wings underneath. Place the turkey, breast-side down, in the brining liquid. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours (but no longer).
  3. Remove the turkey from the container, discarding the brining liquid, and place on a lightly greased wire rack over a deep-sided baking dish. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Pat the turkey dry and brush with the oil, sprinkle with pepper and pour the extra water into the dish. Cover with lightly greased aluminium foil and roast for 1 hour. Uncover and roast for a further 1 hour 30 minutes or until the skin is golden and the juices run clear when tested with a skewer. Reserving the pan juices, carefully place the turkey on a tray, cover with foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  4. While the turkey is resting, make the apple and rosemary gravy. Strain the pan juices into a small bowl. Skim the fat from the surface, reserving 1 tablespoon. Heat the reserved fat in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir for 3–4 minutes or until golden. Gradually whisk in the apple juice and water. Add the pan juices, mustard, rosemary, salt and pepper. Stir for 4–5 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens. Slice the turkey and serve with the gravy.

Recipe via Donna Hay

Dessert – Chocolate Fruitcake Rum Balls


Makes 55
800g dark fruitcake
1/3 cup (80ml) dark rum
3 x 180g blocks good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
1 cup chocolate sprinkles
2 cups desiccated coconut
2 cups crushed Digestive biscuits

  1. Line 2 large trays with baking paper. Crumble fruitcake into a large bowl. Drizzle with rum. Mix.
  2. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high (75%) for 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes, stirring with metal spoon every 30 seconds, or until smooth. Add melted chocolate to fruitcake mixture. Mix well to combine.
  3. Working quickly, roll 1 level tablespoon of fruitcake mixture into a ball. Toss in sprinkles, coconut or biscuits (see note). Place on prepared tray. Repeat with remaining fruitcake mixture and sprinkles.
  4. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Serve.

Recipe via Taste

About peardrealestate

Peard Real Estate is an award winning network of boutique offices throughout Western Australia delivering innovative property solutions, services and results for home owners, landlords and investors.
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