Christmas Morning With The Reed’s – Reed Family Linen

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Christmas Morning With The Reed’s

The halls are decked with Holly and Santa has managed to squeeze down the chimney once again, it’s Christmas morning. I have always liked to get an early start on this hallowed day, maybe it’s childlike excitement that means I’m up with the birds, but it never feels like a chore.

The halls are decked with Holly and Santa has managed to squeeze down the chimney once again, it’s Christmas morning. I have always liked to get an early start on this hallowed day, maybe it’s childlike excitement that means I’m up with the birds, but it never feels like a chore.

Fireplaces are lit, the lights on the tree are switched on and coffee is brewed before the household stirs. A stack of fluffy flapjacks are on the menu. This became a tradition when we lived in the USA and instead of English crumpets, golden buttery flapjacks are served piled with all manner of sweet and sticky indulgence.

This year, I am planning plums lightly poached in a cinnamon laced syrup and vanilla creme fraiche.

I also like to serve a warm fruit salad, I add a selection of fruits from the market to my pressure cooker with a sprinkling of brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, a vanilla pod, some water and a spoon of apricot jam. I let this simmer for 10 minutes, I don’t want an indistinguishable mush but rather just softened, glossy spiced pieces of fruit.

This year, I am planning plums lightly poached in a cinnamon laced syrup and vanilla creme fraiche.

Flapjack stack With Maple Syrup, Cinnamon Poached Plums & Vanilla Creme Fraiche

Ingredients |

  • 1 Cup of cake wheat flour,
  • 1 Tbsp of baking powder,
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar,
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter or oil plus a little extra butter to grease the pan,
  • 1 Large egg,
  • 3/4 Cup of whole milk,
  • Pure maple syrup,
  • Fresh plums,
  • A cinnamon stick,
  • A vanilla pod or vanilla extract,
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar,
  • 1 Tub of Creme Fraiche,
  • 1 Cup of lightly toasted pecan nuts

 

Instructions |

  1. Sift all the dry ingredients and set aside. Beat the egg and combine it with the melted butter or oil and buttermilk or milk
  2. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until it forms a smooth batter. I use a whisk to ensure there are no lumps. Add more milk if you feel the batter is too thick. Leave to stand and thicken a little more.
  3. Add your cup of brown sugar, the cinnamon stick, the lemon zest and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or a scraped out vanilla pod to a medium size pot of gently boiling water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add your halved plums and turn down to a simmer, poach for 15 minutes. You want them just glistening and softened but still holding their shape. Gently scoop your plum halves out and set aside to cool, while you carry on with the flapjacks.
  4. Pour about a quarter cup of batter onto a butter greased pan and cook. Once little bubbles form on the surface, flip it over and cook the other side
    Serve dripping with maple syrup, your poached plums, a good dollop of vanilla creme and toasted pecan nuts for salty crunch that echoes the butter that the crumpets are cooked in.

You may need a little more milk for your batter, but you don’t want it too runny, because you want your flapjacks to hold their shape once poured. You can make a vegan version by replacing the egg with lemon juice or vinegar, they aren’t as fluffy but still delicious. They use buttermilk instead of whole milk in the states and I’m convinced it makes for a fluffier flapjack, but milk will do the trick.

Christmas morning is a casual, pyjama clad affair in our home. The table is set with piles of pretty starched Reed napkins the night before. Ready to be adorned with the first feast of the day.

I lay out tea and coffee, as well as warmed mince pies and a big bowl of the spicy warm fruit salad and honey drizzled Greek yoghurt for everyone to help themselves. Gifts are opened before we all end up in the kitchen where the crumpets are served fresh from the pan.

I usually prepare the flapjack batter and poached fruit the night before, store bought mince pies, a big basket for discarded wrapping paper and self service beverages and fruit help the festivities along.

Remember, it’s not all on your shoulders, lay out your flapjack toppings and allow family to all have a turn at the cooker, whipping up a batch of flapjacks for themselves, it’s great fun and will mean that you aren’t run off your feet before the day has even begun.

Merry Christmas,

Karen Reed

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