These Christmas Pudding Ice Cream Pops taste incredibly festive and are made using only four ingredients. PLUS I share 12 recipes for a simple finger-food Christmas feast.
Christmas is the time for families and friends to get together and share in the joy of food and kinship. As we grow older it becomes less about the gifts, ribbons, trimmings and tags, and more about the sense of community we can foster through these connections.
When catering for a large gathering, you can opt to prepare a selection of finger foods – with some great ideas and recipes below.
And for dessert? Try this pavlova recipe made into finger food portions or head straight to the Christmas Pudding Ice Cream Pops recipe below. It’s almost instant and soooo delicious!
Oysters with a Mango and Macadamia Oil Dressing
You’ll need 12 freshly shucked oysters (I used Coffin Bay oysters from South Australia). Place about 1/4 cup Brookfarm’s macadamia oil in the freezer about an hour ahead. For the dressing, mix together 1/4 cup finely diced mango, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 sprig coriander – stems only, finely chopped and 1 teaspoon finely chopped red long chilli. To serve, spoon about 2 teaspoons of the mango mixture over each oyster. Shave the frozen oil with a fork and place a little on each dressed oyster. Serve immediately.
Scallops on Half Shell with a Caipiroska Dressing
This is one of my favourite ways to serve scallops. This Vodka and Lime Scallop recipe is perfect as a shared starter, looks very stylish and is a breeze to make.
Cucumber Consommé Shooters
I actually ended up changing these up a little and made them into Cucumber Slushie Shooters. Using a power blender, blend together 2 cups ice, 2 Lebanese cucumbers – diced, 1 cup coconut water, 1 sprig of dill fronds only, a good grind of salt and 1/4 cup milk of choice. You could strain the cucumber puree and serve only the liquid in the form of consomme. Serve in tall shot glasses with a straw.
Thai Pumpkin Soup Shooters with Crispy Onion and Coriander
This one was everyone’s favourite and I wish I had made more than one serve per person. I used this recipe for Thai Pumpkin Soup but instead of garlic croutons, I served the soup with Crispy Fried Onion (available from IKEA, how handy) and finely chopped coriander.
Organic Eye Fillet Peking Pancakes
I’ve mastered the Peking Duck at Home recipe a while back, but this time I wanted the prep to be a little more fuss-free, so I opted for more beef instead. To be honest, you could almost use rare roast beef in this recipe for an extreme shortcut version. For 24 pancakes, cook about 300g eye fillet steak to your liking and slice thinly. Layer a couple of strips of the beef on a mandarin pancake and top with a small handful of pea sprouts and a wedge of cucumber or raw zucchini. Serve with soy sauce or this Natvia sweetened bbq sauce.
“Sweet Salty and Sour” Eye Fillet with Chimichurri My Way
I chose organic eye fillet because it’s tender and I dry-aged it for 24 hours in the fridge beforehand. To do this, sprinkle a little rock salt (about a tablespoon per 200g of meat) on a platter. Cover with paper towel and place beef on top. Store uncovered in the fridge for upto 36 hours. For this particular recipe, cube the beef fillet first so that it can be dry aged more intensely and would be easy to skewer straight from dry-aging. Use about 3 pieces per skewer. Season with freshly ground pepper before frying or grilling for 20 seconds on each side. The Chimichurri My Way recipe was a no brainer to use with this and it was an all-round favourite on the night. It seems that for most of the men in attendance, there was no simpler joy than a skewer of beef.
Pulled Lamb Sliders with Slaw
I used this 48 Hour Pulled Lamb Shoulder recipe and a variation of the slaw to make the sliders. Brasserie Bread’s brioche buns were perfect for this, but if you can’t get those, any small dinner rolls would do.
Chicken and Veg Spring Rolls
Everyone’s favourite finger food, wouldn’t you agree? I based mine on this Healthy Baked Spring Rolls recipe but used larger sheets and combined barbecue chicken with cooked down shredded undressed coleslaw mix to make the filling. A dash of powdered ginger and five spice mix added some Asian flair to the dish.
Caramelised Pork Belly Salad
Inspired by the Chophouse signature salad, but without the scallops and caramelised pork is made using rice syrup. This will serve 4 as a main. Toss together 1 small wombok, 200g of cherry tomatoes cut in half, finely sliced carrot, 1/2 small red onion, handful of snow peas – sliced and a handful of baby spinach leaves. To make the dressing, mix together 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp fish sauce, 3 tablespoons rice syrup, 1 teaspoon sesame seeds and 1/4 cup light olive oil. Reheat a pressed cooked pork belly piece in the oven according to instructions – this takes around 20 minutes. Cut into bite-sized pieces and toss in a warm pan with 1/4 cup rice syrup until caramelised. Add into the salad and mix. Dress with the dressing and serve.
Turkish Delight Donuts
I decided to omit them from the menu because in the mad rush that morning, I’d forgotten to buy some quark cheese for this 10 Minute Quark Donut recipe I was going to adapt from. However, the next day I thought I might as well try making them with regular cottage cheese and they worked! So, use the abovementioned recipe and substitute 1/2 teaspoon of lemon essence with 2 teaspoons rosewater.
As for the “Hero Desserts”…
Luck had it I’d just finished developing and shooting a Christmas inspired range of recipes for Anathoth using their Traditional Fruit Mince. These are the folks whose jam, relishes and pickles I’ve loved long before I even dreamed of writing a food blog, let alone thought of developing recipes for. And oh my gosh, that Fruit Mince is no exception… It makes to die for Nut-Rolled or Cocoa Fruit Mince Ganache Truffles.
And while the idea of serving theice cream as a loaf has crossed my mind, I wanted to make it a little more quirky and finger-foody as well. And so, having about half the loaf left in the freezer from shooting a few days before I decided to make what turned out to be the most sought-after, creamy and tasty ice Christmas Pudding Ice Cream Pops.
Christmas Pudding Ice Cream Pops
- 600 ml cream or coconut cream
- 250 ml milk of your choice
- 1/4 cup Traditional Fruit Mince
- 1 tbsp mixed chopped nuts optional, or 1/2almond butter
- 10 g dark chocolate shaved
- Place all ingredients into a high powered blender and process until smooth, about 40 seconds.Pour mixture into ice pop moulds and slide in a paddle pop stick.
- Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Remove ice pops from moulds and wrap each tightly in non-stick baking paper to help prevent freezer burn and odour transfer when storing.
- Store in the freezer for upto 1 month.