Growing up in Australia with hot, summer Christmases calls for a different take on the traditional festive menu.
Forget big roast turkeys with all the trimmings, and other winter-warming fare, and think instead of seafood (yes, shrimps, if you must), chicken, and ham cold-cuts. Roast vegetables aren't out of the question, but salad is just as likely to grace the table.
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And when it comes to dessert, it's always a dish best served cold Down Under.
So when one Christmas many years ago my Mum pioneered a cool, summery take on the traditional pud, I fell in love. And it instantly became a family favourite and festive staple.
This recipe is as simple as it gets, and can be made well in advance of the big day. No cooking is required; all it takes is just a bit of chopping and stirring, and a stint in the freezer.
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Christmas pudding ice cream recipe:
(all measurements, and indeed ingredients, are 'to taste')
Vanilla ice cream
Dried fruit (sultanas, cranberries, glacé cherries, etc)
Nuts (almonds, macadamias, etc)
1. Take the ice cream out of the freezer and let it melt a little, until soft
2. Chop the fruit and nuts and add those to the ice cream
3. Make some chocolate shavings, or even easier, crush up a Flake, and throw that into the mix
4. Pour in a few glugs of Baileys and add a couple of shakes each of cinnamon and nutmeg
5. Then stir thoroughly to combine all the ingredients
6. You might wish to pour the mixture into a domed container so you can later turn it out onto a plate and present it like a real pudding. Alternatively, use any old container, and in both cases, put it in the freezer to set.
And that's it, you're done. Sit back and relax, perhaps with a glass of the left-over Baileys.