Christmas cooking with Andi Oliver

Andi Oliver's alternative Christmas dinner

Broadcaster and cook Andi Oliver shows The Pool how to make some of her favourite alternative Christmas recipes: Sea bass cured in apple shrub, a beetroot and cranberry nut roast, and a lemon curd trifle

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By Andi Oliver on


  • 4 pin-boned sea bass fillets 
  • 4 green apples, chopped and cored  
  • 60g sugar 
  • 40g salt 
  • 100ml apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 tsp English mustard 
  • 100ml cold pressed golden rapeseed oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 1 spring onion 
  • Juice of 1 lime 
  • Splash of water 
  • Mixed micro herbs (chervil/parsley/garlic chives)
  • Packet blinis 
  • Tub sour cream 
  1. Two days before needed, blitz together three of the apples, the sugar, vinegar and salt, then line a dish with clingfilm, leaving lots of extra at the sides, so that you can wrap it all up at the end. 
  2. Lay the fish fillets on to the clingfilm, then pour over the apple "shrub" mixture. Make sure all the fillets are fully covered, then wrap in the clingfilm and leave in the fridge for two days, turning it every now and again. At the end of the curing period, remove the fish from the mix and rinse off, slice thinly and lay on a plate. 
  3. Take the remaining apple and blitz it with the mustard, rapeseed oil, garlic, spring onion, a dash of water and the lime juice, season with salt and pepper, then pass through a sieve. Pour over the sliced sea bass and garnish with the micro herbs. Serve with blinis and sour cream as a starter or brilliant Christmas breakfast with a glass of something cold and bubbly! 

Beetroot and cranberry nut roast 

  • 1kg beetroot
  • 250g cranberries 
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 200ml pomegranate juice
  • 100g cooked green lentils 
  • 100g cooked pearl barley 
  • 3 cloves garlic 
  • 1 onion 
  • 1 thumb-sized piece ginger
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 150g pistachios, blitzed
  • 250g walnuts, blitzed 
  • 400g tofu 
  • 4 sprigs oregano 
  • 150g herb oil 
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/fan 160ºC/gas mark 4.
  2. Poach the whole beetroot for about 40 minutes to an hour, until just soft, then peel, dice and gently roast for 20 minutes. 
  3. Combine the cranberries, sugar and pomegranate juice in a saucepan, and gently simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the mixture turns jammy. Cool slightly, before folding in the beetroot. Pour into a lined baking tray.
  4. Blitz the green lentils with the remaining ingredients until they are thoroughly mixed. Spread on top of the beetroot mix and press down, then bake for 20 to 30 minutes. 
  5. Allow to cool before turning out of the tray and portioning to serve.

Lemon curd trifle

For the sponge:

  • 4 eggs
  • 225g sugar 
  • 225g butter, melted
  • 225g self-raising flour

For the lemon syrup:

  • 100ml water
  • 100ml vodka
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 250g sugar 

For the compote:

  • 300g frozen raspberries 
  • 75g sugar 
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 150g water

For the lemon curd: 

  • Zest and juice of 4 lemons
  • 4 eggs
  • 350g sugar
  • 225g unsalted butter

For the creme patisserie:

  • 600ml milk
  • 600ml cream
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 150g sugar
  • 100g cornflour
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 50g unsalted butter, cubed
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/fan 160ºC/gas mark 4.
  2. Whisk the eggs and sugar on high for three minutes, until thick and creamy. Pour in the butter in a gentle stream. Fold in the self-raising flour and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the lemon syrup in a saucepan and bring to the boil, and combine all the ingredients for the compote in another saucepan and gently simmer for around 10 minutes. 
  4. To make the lemon curd, bring the juice, zest, butter and half the sugar to the simmer. Combine the remaining sugar with the eggs in a separate bowl. Slowly pour the juice mixture over the eggs, whisking constantly. Return to a low heat and stir constantly for around five minutes, until thickened. Pass through a sieve and keep refrigerated until needed.
  5. To make the creme patisserie, bring the milk, cream and vanilla to the boil. Combine the sugar and the cornflour, then gradually whisk in the eggs. Pour the hot milk mixture over the eggs, whisking constantly. Return to the heat, stirring constantly over a low heat until thickened, then pass through a sieve. 
  6. To build, start by layering the sponge into bottom of the dish or glass. Pour over the syrup and let it sink in for about five minutes or so. Layer the raspberry compote, then the custard then the lemon curd, then the cream. Top with crushed pistachios. 


Tagged in:
food honestly
Christmas Food

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