Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

Christmas Recipe Inspiration from Waitrose

December 2013

Christmas is almost upon us, and here at LaterLife we have compiled some Christmas recipes from Waitrose for you to enjoy at home during the festive season.

These recipes are the best of hearty English food, perfect for warming your heart (and filling your stomach!) in the cold winter months.

Everyone loves a good Christmas pud! Try out some of these recipes for delicious festive desserts.

See more Christmas Recipes from Waitrose on their Christmas Hub



Spiced Plum Trifles

(Prep. time 20 mins plus 1-2 hrs chilling time, cooking time 15 mins, serves 8)


  • 8 large plums, quartered, stones removed
  • 100ml port
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways
  • Piece of lemon rind, pared
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 2cm piece root ginger, peeled
  • 250g Madeira cake, cut into cubes
  • 250ml tub Waitrose Spiced Plum and Rum Cream
  • 25g shelled pistachios, roughly chopped

For the custard

  • 284ml carton double cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 25g caster sugar

1. Place the plums, port, sugar, vanilla pod, lemon rind, cardamom and ginger in a saucepan. Set over a gentle heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved, then simmer for 10 minutes, or until the plums are tender. Set aside to cool completely, then remove the vanilla, cardamom, ginger and lemon rind. Divide the plums and their juice between 8 individual trifle dishes and top with the Madeira cake.

2. To make the custard, heat the cream in a heavy-based pan until almost boiling. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a heatproof bowl, then add the hot cream, stirring all the time. Return the custard mixture to the pan and stir over a gentle heat until thickened. Do not allow the mixture to boil or it will split. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely, then spoon over the plums and Madeira cake.

3. Cover and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours, until set, then top with the plum and rum cream. Sprinkle over the pistachios and serve.

Drinks recommendation
-Year-Old Madeira is a good match. Its rich fruit flavours and clean acidity work with the sweetness of the trifles.



Christmas Sorbet with Cranberries

(Prep. time 15 mins, cooking time 20 mins, serves 6)


  • 150g caster sugar
  • 500g cranberries, defrosted if frozen
  • Juice of ½ lemon




1. Place 50g of the sugar in a medium pan with 150ml cold water. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cranberries, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit becomes pulpy. Allow to cool slightly, then place in a food processor and blend to a smooth purée. Place a sieve over a bowl and, using the back of a spoon, press the fruit through to remove the skin and pips. Set the purée to one side and leave to cool.

2. Meanwhile, make a sugar syrup by placing the remaining sugar, 350ml cold water and the lemon juice in a small pan. Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved then simmer for 2-3 minutes. Leave to cool.

3. When cool, add the sugar syrup to the cranberry purée, stir well until smooth, then pour the mixture into a 1-litre freezerproof container and place in the freezer.

4. Freeze for 2-3 hours until the mixture is slushy. Place in a food processor and whizz to break up the ice crystals. Return to the freezer. Then, every 2 hours, use a fork to draw the ice crystals from the edges to the centre until the sorbet is smooth and even-textured with tiny ice crystals. Place in glass bowls and serve.

Cook's tip
This sorbet can be made in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions. The sorbet will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 weeks. If liked, serve with a couple of Florentines from Waitrose Florentine Assortment.



Heston's Cointreau Butter Perfect with his Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding

(Serves 12)


  • 1 Heston from Waitrose Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding

For the butter

  • 2 large oranges
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 50ml Cointreau


1. Preheat the oven to 110c, gas mark ¼. Use a Microplane ora fine grater to zest the oranges. Place the zest in a deep,parchment-lined roasting tray and place in the preheatedoven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the zest is dry. Shake the tray every 5 minutes to ensure the zest dries evenly. Allow to cool.

2. Using a food mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand-held electric whisk, cream the butter for 15 minutes until light and creamy.

3. Reduce the speed to low and add the Cointreau a little at a time until it is completely incorporated.

4. Place the mixing bowl in the fridge for 10 minutes then remove and whisk for an additional 15 minutes.

5. Using teaspoons, make a quenelle of butter (see picture) andplace it on top of a warm slice of Christmas pudding. Sprinklesome of the dried orange zest on top.

Copyright © Heston Blumenthal 2010

Cook's tips
Make this on the morning of Christmas Day and keep cool in the fridge. The zest can be dried in advance and kept in an airtight container until needed.



Ginger & Apple Puds

(Prep. time 20 mins, cooking time 35 mins, serves 6)


  • 150g essential Waitrose Butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 175g Unrefined dark brown soft sugar
  • 3 medium Waitrose Columbian Blacktail eggs, beaten
  • 150g Self-raising flour
  • 3 pieces Waitrose Chinese Stem Ginger in Syrup
  • 2 small Cox or Royal Gala apples


1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Butter 6 x 200ml pudding basins and line the base of each with a disc of parchment. Cut 6 squares of kitchen foil, about 15 x 15cm in size, butter one side of each square and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat 150g of the sugar with the butter, until very pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, then the flour. Strain the ginger, saving about 3 tbsp of the syrup, and finely chop. Peel, core and dice 1 apple. Mix it into the cake mixture with the ginger.

3. Cut the top and bottom from the remaining apple. Cut the apple into 6 horizontal slices. Sprinkle the remaining sugar onto a plate and dip the apple slices in, to coat thickly. Place a slice into the base of each basin.

4. Divide the cake mixture between the 6 basins and level each surface. Cover tightly with the foil squares. Bake in the oven for 30–35 minutes or until risen and spongy to the touch. Leave to rest for 2–3 minutes. Use a sharp knife to loosen the edge of each sponge and turn out. Drizzle with the reserved ginger syrup and serve with dollops of crème fraîche.

Cook's tips
Use smaller apples so that when sliced, the pieces easily fit into the basse of each pudding basin.

Drinks recommendation
These desserts can be matched with a luscious Australian Muscat. Try this one, it's fortified, award-winning and simply delicious: Campbells Rutherglen Muscat.



Rustic pear and Bramley apple tart

(Prep. time 20 mins, cooking time 45 mins, serves 8)


  • 50g Waitrose LOVE Life Hazelnuts
  • 225g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 140g butter, chilled and diced
  • 3 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 1 Large Waitrose British Blacktail Egg
  • 4 pears, peeled, quartered, cored and sliced
  • 2 Bramley Apples, peeled, quartered, cored and sliced
  • 50g essential Waitrose Sultanas
  • 60g light brown soft sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or clear honey

1. Place the nuts in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Add the flour, butter and caster sugar and whizz until all the butter is blended in well. Add the egg and whizz again to form a firm dough - if the mixture seems dry, add 1 tbsp cold water. Shape into a ball and chill for at least 10 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. In a large bowl, toss together the pears, apples, sultanas, brown sugar, cinnamon and cornflour.

3. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry to a circle about 35cm in diameter. Transfer to the baking tray.

4. Spoon the fruit mixture onto the centre of the pastry, leaving a 4cm border all the way around. Fold over the edges and brush the pastry with milk.

5. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the fruit is tender and very juicy. Drizzle with the maple syrup or honey. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature with clotted cream or custard.


Go Back to Starters, or Go Back to Main Courses

Try your hand at cooking with the help of Celebrity Chefs!
Find their books here on The Book People's website

Keep in touch with everything happening in Laterlife Today!

Subscribe to our free monthly email newsletters for the latest articles, offers and events. You can unsubscribe at any time should you want to.

Bookmark This Share on Facebook Receive more like this

feeling Good

Feeling Good

The above article is part of the features section of called laterlife interest. laterlife interest contains a variety of articles of interest for visitors to written by a number of experienced and new journalists.

It includes both one off articles and also associated regular columns of a more specialist nature such as Healthwise, Gardener's Diary, our regular IT question and answer section called YoucandoIT and there's also 'It could be you' by Maggi Stamp laterlife's counsellor on human relationships. 

Looking to the future

Looking to the future

Tell us about what you would like to see here on in the future or any changes you would like to see. Just email

Latest articles

To view the latest articles click on laterlife interest index. To search for articles about a certain topic, use the site search feature at the top right of the page.
Back to Laterlife Today

Visit our Pre-retirement Courses section here on laterlife or our dedicated Retirement Courses site


Advertise on

LaterLife Travel Insurance in Association with Avanti