FBS16: a merry Christmas dinner

xmas15_10Dare I say we did it, a low maintenance Christmas dinner?!?  With one less dinner guest than last year, Mike and I hosted our smallest holiday dinner yet.

As our holiday traditions would have it, I spent Christmas day happily away form the kitchen allowing for Mike to do his thing.  With Home Alone playing on the TV, I sat on the couch + sipped wine + snacked.  Compared to years past, Mike spent substantially more time on the couch during dinner prep leading me to my conclusion of a low maintenance meal; less fuss and more Macaulay Culkin!

xmas15_01Dinner was a southern inspired fare and as I was in charge of desert, I only have one recipe to share.  As for the rest of the meal, we had a flavourfully rich succession of the following courses…

s a l a d :

xmas15_06beets + dandelion greens + spinach + olive oil roasted pistachios + crackling + blue cheese in a honey vinaigrette

s i d e s :

xmas15_04xmas15_03cornbread dressing

xmas15_02xmas15_05smoked ham hawk + gruyere cheese + Beemster cheese + bacon scallopped potatoes

m a i n :  f r e s h  h a m

xmas15_13slow roasted for 4hrs served with a pineapple jus


d e s s e r t :  b o u r b o n  p e a c a n  t a r t s

xmas15_07In keeping with the southern + low maintenance themes, I went with a seemingly simple pie recipe from Chef John Currence’s cookbook Pickles, Pigs, & Whiskey; made only more difficult by my decision to make the pie into tarts.

To avoid the Christmas day oven takeover, As Mike watched his Thursday Night Football,  I baked my tarts.

tarts_01tart pastry | with filling, recipes will make about 48 tarts

tart filling

  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/4C sugar
  • 4tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2C unsulfured molasses
  • 2C pecan pieces | toasted
  • 2tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4C bourbon
  • if not tarts than ….1 -9″ blind-baked pie crust

xmas15_16preheat oven to 350ºF
whisk together eggs + yolks + sugar in a stainless-steel or glass bowl until smooth and creamy
blend in butter + molasses + pecans + vanilla + bourbon + salt until smooth
fill tart shells 1/2 way with filling [or pour filling into pie shell]
bake for 35mins or until centre is set and pastry is golden
remove from oven + cool

serve as is or, as in our meal, with eggnog ice-cream!


From prep to clean-up and salad to desert, our low maintenance southern inspired holiday dinner held up!


Hope you all had a very merry Christmas!



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