If you’re looking to serve up an alternative to figgy pudding this year, the show-stopping sweet treats that Ed Loftus, Head of Food Development across the Jamie’s Italian group, has created for Jamie magazine have the real festive wow-factor.
With long winter nights drawing in, Christmas is the perfect time of year to spend a bit longer in the kitchen, and go all out to make your celebrations feel extra special. A mind-blowing dessert is a truly indulgent way to end your meal, and if you’re keen to try something different, Ed Loftus’ dreamy recipes never fail to inspire. As the man behind the amazing desserts served at all of Jamie’s restaurants, when it comes to pastry, what Ed doesn’t know simply isn’t worth knowing. “Christmas is all about fun, indulgence and extravagance,” he says, “the ideal time of year for some outrageous desserts!” His creations are often based on tradition: “I always use familiar favourites for the foundations, but add a few twists – and a bit of fun – along the way.”
To turbo-charge your mince pies this year, try Ed’s version from the bumper Christmas issue of Jamie magazine. “These are my favourite pudding from the feature – I’ve taken mince pies to a whole new level!” he says. “Pillowy brioche, naughty crème pâtissèrie and festive mincemeat… what’s not to like?” Ed also shares his festive take on a French classic – millefeuille. His festive version is spiked with tangerine curd, speckled with pomegranate seeds and drizzled in vibrant cranberry icing. “It’s nice to have a flash of colour at Christmas,” he says. “The combination of rich custard, tangy fruits and flaky puff pastry is an absolute pleasure!”
After the richness of a Christmas dinner, a zesty pudding can help to cleanse your palate and cut through all of that heavy festive food. Lemon posset is a retro classic, and Ed has given it his own spin in this Jamie magazine recipe, with the addition of orange-infused cream and macerated raspberries. Lemony shortbread stars are the final festive flourish. “I always like to give classics a new twist,” says Ed, “I love my creations to be nostalgic, but with a difference.”
Also known as plum or figgy pudding, a traditional steamed Christmas pud has appeared on our festive menus for hundreds of years. However, this old-school dessert isn’t always to everyone’s taste. If you’re keen to break with tradition – but still serve up something centrepiece-worthy – try Ed’s chai sticky date pudding with toffee sauce, as seen in this month’s Jamie magazine. “One of my earliest memories of festive desserts is the condensation dripping down the kitchen windows of my mum’s house, with the plum pudding steaming for hours on end,” says Ed. “ I don’t actually like Christmas pudding very much, but I’m a sucker for sticky toffee, so this is my interpretation!” Try adorning yours with the traditional sprig of holly, or for a real sense of celebration, drizzle with warmed brandy and carefully set it alight before bringing to the table.