We’re creeping into mid-November, which means that Christmas is just around the corner. It’s never too early to start getting organised or to start thinking about Christmas presents.
More and more of us are getting into the spirit of making edible Christmas gifts, to add something of a homemade and personal touch to the season of goodwill. The good news is that making edible gifts can be easy and enjoyable. All you have to do is to start gathering together some pretty ribbons and tags and then follow a few basic rules when it comes to preparing jars and bottles.
First things first, when it comes to preparing your edible Christmas gifts, it might help you to watch this video on how to sterilize jars. Remember to sterilise your jars and bottles as close as possible to filling them. Once sterilised, your jars are ready to be filled with any number of jams, chutneys, pickles, liqueurs or dry mixes.
Edible Christmas gifts also make ideal presents for teachers. Why not try making some homemade mincemeat with a selection of dried mixed fruits, chopped Bramley apples, orange and lemon zest, sugar and a good splash of brandy? For another burst of Christmas, try a quick and easy ruby red apple and cranberry sauce – great for turkey, duck or goose. Another type of chutney that goes really well with a good selection of cheese or cold meats, or even better, a smooth chicken liver pate, is this cheeky chilli-pepper chutney.
Fruity alcohol liqueurs also make ideal gifts, making the most of seasonal fruit gluts, such as sloes, damsons and quince. Or try something a little more exotic such as fresh pomegranate. One of my favourite festive gifts to make is a pomegranate and vanilla vodka, which you make by sterilising a couple of bottles, and then adding some fresh pomegranate seeds and any juice, along with a fresh vanilla pod. Then, pour in a little sugar syrup (made with two parts sugar dissolved in one part water) and then top up with 40% ABV vodka. Give your bottles a good shake and then store until Christmas. Just remember to replace the pomegranate seeds with a few fresh seeds before giving the vodka as a gift.
‘Rumtopf’ is another easy homemade drink to make and give as a gift. Simply pour good quality rum over almost any fruit, such as berries, cherries, plums and apricots, and sprinkle over a couple of tablespoons of sugar. Make sure all the fruit is completely submerged in rum. Then store in a cool, dark place until Christmas. Other edible Christmas gift ideas could include home baked granola, or Jamie’s epic hot chocolate (simply mix together all the dry ingredients listed in the recipe) and add instructions to whisk together with hot milk. If you’re feeling extra-festive, make up a big batch of Christmas cookies or ultimate gingerbread to go along with your warming winter gift, too.