Festive Essentials

Christmas, everyone’s favourite season of festivities. It’s a time spent with our close family and friends, a time of indulgence, a warming respite from bleakest midwinter.

Chicken being jointed

While also looking at quality of produce, I’m also ensuring I am always buying the best value option available. Buying a whole chicken may seem expensive, but per gram it is by far the most cost effective way to purchase chicken meat, especially if the giblets are included. Even if I don’t want to cook the whole bird right away, I’ll always buy the whole chicken and I advise you to do the same.

Pressing pastry down into metal tart tin

There’s nothing more satisfying than a delicious pie in perfectly cooked pastry. I absolutely adore a pie. In fact, arguably my favourite dessert has got to be Lemon Meringue Pie (apart from when nothing but chocolate will do).

To make all sorts of superb pies or tarts, one must start with lining a tart tin. It may seem a little challenging to lift the pastry into the tin but it’s really simple when you now how. Below I will outline how to line a tart tin in 4 simple steps.

How to steam a pudding

Although steaming a pudding may sound like a daunting challenge, it’s actually quite simple once you know how. A lot of modern pudding basins have made it even easier by including a raised lid. Below I will outline the technique to secure the top of a traditional pudding basin and how to steam puddings in order to make desserts such as sticky toffee pudding. 

If you don’t have a lipped pudding basin to hand, you can use any lipped heatproof bowl. To demonstrate this, I have used a stainless steel bowl with a very small lip in the photos for this article.