7 classic dishes for instant Christmas flair

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Christmas is sneaking up on us very quickly and excitement is building about all the scrumptious foods that we associate with this time of year.

Here are seven of the snacks, meals and entrees that you’ll see during Christmas parties and dinners this year – or if you’re throwing a party at your house, don’t forget to include at least a few of these!

Pavlova

The traditional pavlova was invented to honour Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova when she visited Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. Whether it was Australia or New Zealand that came up with the dessert is a contentious question, but there’s no doubt about this light, fluffy treat being a favourite across both sides of the Tasman.

When you’re making it, be sure to fluff your egg whites in a clean, dry, glass bowl for the best results. Also, this is a great time to use those older eggs, as fresh ones don’t tend to work as well!

Glazed baked ham

Just that heavenly smell of a glazed ham roasting in the oven is enough to  conjure up images of Christmas morning preparations for a big family lunch. It’s often the table centrepiece and is traditionally served with applesauce and/or a variety of mustards.

Be sure to store the leftover ham in the fridge in a ham bag or clean cotton pillowcase to help it keep for longer so that you can cut off slices for leftover sandwiches for days to come.

Christmas cake with marzipan

A traditional Christmas cake is typically a simple fruit cake that’s been baked with all sorts of flavoursome spices, fruits, and a generous helping of brandy or other liqueur.

Fortunately, this is one of those tasks that you can do well ahead of time, and in fact, a Christmas cake is often best when it’s had one to two months to sit. Top with almond icing (marzipan) and a layer of sweet icing.

Roast turkey

A roast turkey is another Christmas hallmark, and one that often even sits next to the ham on the table to give guests a choice of meats – although, most will simply enjoy a serving of each!

For the best results, take the turkey out of the fridge a few hours before you begin to bake it to ensure even cooking. Once you’re finished cooking, give the bird 15-20 minutes to sit before cutting.

Fruit mince tarts

Fruit mince tarts are a staple in many Australian baking tins around Christmas time and make for the perfect treat when friends stop over for coffee.

Remember that if you don’t have the time or don’t want to add pastry to the top for decoration, a simple sprinkling of icing sugar looks perfectly sophisticated and polished.

Prawn cocktail

A fresh, cool prawn cocktail is the perfect starter, especially for those hot summer days throughout Christmas.

Include fresh lettuce and a cocktail sauce to achieve the perfectly seasonal red, green and white colours of Christmas.

Chocolate dipped strawberries

It may be simple, but there are few snacks more sweet and delicious than a strawberry dipped in rich chocolate at Christmas time in Australia.

By late December, these luscious berries are usually highly affordable, and dipping them in dark, milk, and white chocolate is a fun activity for the kids to help with as you do your Christmas preparations.

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