Christmas Cranberry Cheesecake

This quick setting light textured cheesecake is the perfect answer to an alternative to the richness of Christmas pudding… the fruity cranberry coulis cuts through the soft and creamy filling and the buttery shortbread. Happy Christmas!

Serves 10

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Chilling time: 4 hours, preferably overnight


200g (7oz) shortbread or digestive biscuits, crushed

40g (1½oz) butter, melted

405g can Carnation Condensed Milk Light

300g tub full fat soft cheese

juice 2 large lemons

300g pack frozen (and defrosted) or fresh cranberries

100g (3½oz) caster sugar

You will also need:

20cm (8in) spring form tin, base lined with baking parchment

Christmas Cranberry Cheesecake


1. Crush the biscuits in a blender or in a double lined bag with a rolling pin. Mix together the crushed biscuits and melted butter then lightly press into the tin. Chill while you make the filling.

2. Beat the condensed milk and cream cheese together until completely smooth. Add the lemon juice and combine thoroughly – the mixture should thicken. Spread the creamy filling over the base. Chill for 4 hours.

3. Tumble the berries into a small pan with the sugar and 100ml (3fl oz) water, cover and simmer for 5 minutes until the berries are soft and pulpy. Push the mixture through a sieve and chill the cranberry coulis until ready to serve.

4. Remove the cheesecake from the tin and place on a serving plate. Gently pour the cranberry coulis over the cheesecake, spreading out to the edges to serve.


Add a sprinkling of ground almonds to the biscuit base or use different biscuits for this recipe – try dark chocolate chip cookies or digestives.

This cheesecake sets perfectly without the need for gelatin thanks to the natural setting effect of lemon juice on condensed milk.

Christmas leftovers can be a nightmare and nobody likes to think of food waste.

After the excess of Christmas Day this is the perfect comfort food. It also manages to use up just about every savoury ingredient from a Christmas Day lunch which is a bonus too!

Use whatever you have left over to make your version of this dish, but this recipe will serve as a good guide.

Serves 4

About 500g of roast turkey – brown and white meat – roughly chopped

4 or 5 leftover chipolatas (if they’re wrapped in bacon that’s even better)

2 or 3 tablespoons of leftover stuffing

25 left over sprouts

Spoonful of leftover carrots

2 or 3 leftover roast potatoes

4 left over parsnips

Handful of peas from the freezer

1 pint of left over gravy (or make with gravy granules if you didn’t have any leftover)

2 teaspoons redcurrant jelly

Splash of Worcestershire sauce

Mashed potato – leftover or made from scratch by peeling 4 large potatoes, then chopping into large chunks. Boil for around 10-15 minutes until tender but not mushy. Drain and return to the pot before adding a large knob of butter, salt and pepper and mashing.

Handful of grated cheddar


  • Find a large sauce pan and add the turkey and the gravy before bringing to a very gentle simmer
  • Meanwhile chop up the chipolatas in to bite sized chunks and tip them in to the pan
  • Do the same with the sprouts, carrots, parsnips and roast potatoes – again return the pan to a very gentle simmer – by now the mixture should be moist but not too wet
  • Add the peas and add the Worcestershire sauce and red currant jelly to taste
  • Finally chop the stuffing into chunks and add to the pan
  • Stir the pan very gently and then tip into a large shallow casserole dish
  • Pipe or spoon the mash on top and scatter with grated cheddar
  • Bake in the oven at 170C for about 20 minutes until golden brown and piping hot


How do you make use of Christmas leftovers?

Here is a very special Panettone Al Forno recipe particularly good for Christmas.


Ingredients (panettone)

  • 120gr panettone
  • 350ml skimmed milk
  • 80gr caster sugar
  • Plain flour for dusting
  • 20gr butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Vanilla sauce to serve


Ingredients (vanilla sauce)

  • 500 ml milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla pod halved lengthways



Method (panettone)

  1. Preheat oven at 170c
  2. Tear the panettone into pieces and place in a bowl
  3. Bring the milk to the boil, remove from heat and stir sugar in until dissolved
  4. Pour the mix over the panettone
  5. Grease individual mould with butter and dust with flour
  6. Put the soaked panettone through a sieve to drain, place in a bowl and add the egg and egg yolk, mix well
  7. Spoon the mix into the mould, dot the surface with butter and bake for 20min. then increase oven to 190c for 10min cool it down and serve with vanilla sauce.


Method (vanilla sauce)

  1. Bring milk to boil then remove from heat.
  2. In a heatproof bowl put the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla pod; beat vigorously until fluffy, gradually add to the hot milk
  3. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook; stir constantly until thickened
  4. Strain and leave to cool before serving.

Top tip: Serve with ice cream instead of vanilla sauce to save on time!


This recipe was kindly provided by Zizzis restaurant and more recipes can be found on their website.



    Festive Spiced Cranberry Muffins


    These lovely light muffins have a deliciously festive flavour. They even smell of Christmas as you take them from the oven!



     Preparation: 20 minutes

    Cooking: 25 minutes

    Makes: 8

    Suitable for freezing

    Suitable for vegetarians




    100g (4oz) Jordans Super 3 Seeds Granola

    125g (5oz) butter, melted and cooled slightly

    2 tablespoons milk

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    2 large eggs, beaten

    100g (4oz) self-raising flour

    1 teaspoon ground mixed spice

    75g (3oz) light muscovado sugar

    75g (3oz) dried cranberries

    1 banana, mashed


    75g (3oz) dried cranberries

    Finely grated juice and rind of 1 small orange

    200g (7oz) medium-fat soft cheese

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract



    1 Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan oven 160°C, Gas Mark 4. Line 8 holes of a muffin tin with squares of baking paper or paper muffin cases

    2 Mix together the cooled melted butter, milk, vanilla extract and eggs

    3 In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, mixed spice, sugar, cranberries and Jordans Super 3 Seeds Granola, breaking up any large clusters

    4 Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with the mashed banana, taking care that you don’t over-mix. Don’t beat the mixture! Spoon into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 25-30 minutes, until firm and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack

    5 Meanwhile, make the topping. Put the cranberries into a saucepan with the orange juice and simmer gently until the liquid has evaporated. Cool completely, then stir them into the soft cheese with the vanilla extract. Use to top the cranberry Christmas muffins, then decorate with the orange zest


    Cook’s tips:

    ·      The secret of successful Christmas muffins is to make sure that you don’t over-mix the wet and dry ingredients

    ·      You could serve the Christmas muffins without the topping, if you prefer

    ·      Another time, use dried cherries instead of cranberries, though you’ll need to chop them in half


    3 Little Buttons

    Roast turkey is delicious and the addition of shallot stuffing with fresh sage makes it sensational especially at Christmas.



    You’ll need:

    5kg free-range Totally Traditional Turkey

    4 tbsp rapeseed oil

    Sea salt and black pepper


    For the stuffing:

    75g butter

    2 tbsp rapeseed oil

    8 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

    3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

    250g dried figs, chopped into small cubes

    2 small eating apples

    250g fresh breadcrumbs

    3 tbsp fresh sage leaves, chopped

    750g sausage meat

    3tbsp of parsley, chopped

    1 large egg beaten

    Sea salt and black pepper


    What to do:


    Preheat oven to 230°C/Gas Mark 8


    Remove turkey giblets and reserve. Rinse the turkey inside and out and dry well.

    Place the turkey in a large roasting pan, brush the turkey generously with rapeseed oil and season with sea salt and black pepper and cover with foil.


    Place the prepared turkey in the pre-heated oven and cook at this temperature for the first 30 minutes. Then, lower the oven temperature to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 and cook for approximately 30 minutes per kilo, basting every hour.


    To prepare the stuffing, heat the butter and rapeseed oil until the butter has melted. Add the shallot and fry gently until well softened but not browned. Stir in the garlic and season well with sea salt and black pepper. Remove from the heat and place in a bowl, leave to cool.


    Peel the apples, cut into quarters, remove the core and cut into small cubes. Mix the figs, apples, breadcrumbs, sage, sausage meat and parsley with the shallots, season well with sea salt and black pepper using clean hands and then mix in the beaten egg. The mixture should be quite firm, with wet hands, mould the stuffing into balls the size of a golf ball.


    Place on a greased baking sheet and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Alternatively you can use the mixture to stuff an onion, per person, and place the rest of the mixture into an ovenproof dish to cook.


    Take one small onion per person and peel, leaving the top of the onion intact and the base root in place. Peel and boil, whole, in salted boiling water for 8-10 minutes, until just soft, drain and cool in cold water. Drain and cut the top off the onion, about three quarters of the way up, so as to make a lid. Using a sharp knife, hollow out the onion and stuff with the stuffing mixture, replace the lid and brush all over with rape seed oil. Bake for 30-35 minutes in the oven alongside the turkey until cooked through and slightly caramelised.


    When the turkey is approximately 35 minutes before the end of cooking, remove the foil, drain off any of the excess fat and cook for a further 35 minutes or until golden brown.


    Transfer the turkey to a platter and cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes.



    Serve the turkey carved with stuffing balls or stuffed onions and gravy.


    Recipe supplied by

    How do you prepare your roast turkey? What are your favourite treats for the Christmas period?