2020 Vision - Christmas Cheers!

For the final chapter in our 2020 Vision series, we wanted to end with a sprinkling of Christmas cheer! So we asked caterer extraordinaire, and queen of the canapés, Milli Taylor, to share a couple of her favourite festive recipes. (Some of you may well have already made her delicious Brown Butter Banana Bread which was somewhat of a lockdown sensation.)

Milli's Christmas recipes:

Normally at this time of year, Christmas parties would be in full swing with everyone in excited anticipation for Christmas itself. 

This year, we have to do things a bit differently and I know it will be challenging. However few of you there are, there is still so much fun to be had, I promise.
A dance around the kitchen to your favourite tunes, baking something delicious, (made with love) for others or for yourself, can be such a joy. 
So whether you're making mince pies for the family, or dropping some to a neighbour or friend, I hope you'll try my recipes. 
Keep things stress free this Christmas and prep some things in advance so you can enjoy the day with a glass of something special in your hand and have time freed up to connect with each other over a zoom call! I make these dates all the time, they can be enjoyed before a meal as a canapé or after with a cheeseboard and not only can you make them in advance and just pull them out of the fridge when you're ready, if you are dropping off edible gifts to loved ones, this one works a treat! 


Dates stuffed with goat’s cheese, pistachios and pomegranate

20 pitted dates

80g soft goats cheese (no rind)

2 tbsp slivered pistachios

grated zest of one orange

2 tbsp pomegranate seeds

 Split the dates in half lengthways and fill them with the goats cheese.

Sprinkle over the pistachios, orange zest and pomegranate seeds. 


 Shallow Mince pies

I love a short, crumbly pastry, a little mincemeat and an orange zest frangipane lid. I cheat, and buy a good quality jar of mincemeat. 
Makes 12 -14 shallow mince pies
If you like a deeper filled mince pie, the recipe will make less than above

For the pastry
150g plain flour
80g butter
1 medium egg yolk 
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
25g caster sugar 
1 - 2tbsp splash of milk/water

For the Frangipane topping
100g ground almonds
100g butter
100g caster sugar 
1 medium egg
zest of 1 orange 
pinch of salt
I heaped tbsp plain flour 

Jar of mincemeat 410g
Icing sugar for dusting

You’ll need a 12 hole mince pie/muffin tin and an 8cm scone cutter 

180c (160 fan) 


Add all the ingredients for the pastry into the food processor and pulse until the mix appears as damp breadcrumbs. Tip out into a large bowl and bring together with your hands until it is in a ball. It will come together well as the dough relaxes in the fridge. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for an hour.

In the same bowl of the food processor, you can make the frangipane. Add all ingredients and whizz until you have a smooth paste. Scrape the frangipane out into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for an hour. 

Take the pastry out of the fridge and work it a little in your hands into a ball and then flatten the ball in-between two sheets of greaseproof paper. Roll out until 3mm thick and then cut out rounds with the scone cutter. Bring the leftover pastry together and roll out again to cut more rounds. 

Place each disc of pastry into the tin and press gently into the tin. Spoon 1tsp of mincemeat into each pie allowing room on top for the frangipane. 
Spread the frangipane on top with a small spatula or knife and then bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until nice and golden brown. 

Allow to cool slightly before dusting with a little icing sugar. 

Follow Milli and see more of her incredible creations here: @millitaylor