Christmas is my favorite time of year.
Mary: And the best part is enjoying that special meal with friends and family.
That is delicious.
Mary So I'm going to find out what my chef friends Angela and Monica serve on the big day...
This is gonna blow your Christmas mittens off.
Mary: and what my presenter pal Rylan doesn't.
Rylan: Don't normally do brussels sprouts.
That's what I'm good at, though.
Mary: And I'm sharing the secrets of my own classic Christmas Day menu.
A wonderfully stress-free and delicious, festive feast with all the trimmings... That's fabulous.
with my tips on planning... That's yet another job done.
advice on how to cook... More butter!
and when to cook.
I promise you, it works.
You just trust me.
I'll make sure your day runs like clockwork.
Don't they look good?
This is my ultimate guide to the most wonderful Christmas ever.
Mary: Ha ha ha ha!
All: Merry Christmas!
♪ The key to a successful Christmas meal is being organized.
Take a note of who's coming, what's on the menu, and make a timetable.
With careful planning, you can make the perfect Christmas meal and have plenty of time to enjoy the day.
♪ My Christmas menu starts with mini cheese and herb scones topped with cranberry.
For the main event, it has to be the traditional turkey, served with a chestnut and apricot stuffing, my foolproof twice-roasted potatoes, red cabbage, Brussels sprouts with peas and cashew nuts, and lashings of gravy.
To finish things off, my ultimate trifle, and there's always room for some Christmas pudding.
♪ The first thing I like to tick off my list are the Christmas canapes.
You can make my mini cheese and herb scones nice and early because the base can be cooked ahead and frozen.
This is one of my favorite canapes, and I can tell you, I've made one or two in my time.
I like to serve canapes before the Christmas meal.
Much easier than having a first course.
It's informal and it's fun.
Into the bowl, 1 cup of self-rising flour.
Because it's a scone mixture, it needs to rise a little bit more than, say, pastry, so you add a little extra baking powder, so 1/2 a teaspoon.
In it goes.
An 1/8 of a cup of butter.
So just rub that in... with the fingertips, as lightly as I can.
It should look like breadcrumbs.
♪ Now, to add flavor, some wonderfully aromatic sage.
These canapes are really tiny, so you've really got to pack the flavor in because you're only going to have a small mouthful.
For some bite, 1/2 a cup of finely grated Parmesan.
These are ready to be added to the flour and butter mix, along with an essential ingredient of mine-- mustard powder.
You know, mustard really does bring out the flavor of cheese.
If I'm making something like cheese straws, I would never forget to put a little mustard in it.
I'm just going to mix that together.
Little bit of pepper and salt.
All I've got to do now is to bring it all together.
One egg, a couple of tablespoons of milk, and a little bit of elbow grease is all it takes.
So there, it's come together really well.
Clear the decks and give the dough a light knead.
Not a lot.
Just get these cracks out.
If you handle it a lot, it'll be tough.
Roll it out.
I love the flecks of that fresh herb.
Now you need a little cutter.
Mine is 1 inch, which should make about 35 of these mini scones, and pop them straight onto a lined baking tray, ready for the oven.
I've been married for 54 years, I've cooked an awful lot of Christmas dinners, and the one thing I've learnt is get ahead, and there's no panic at the end.
They look like little soldiers, don't they?
I always brush the tops of my scones with beaten egg for a lovely, golden shine.
Now, those go straightaway into the oven.
They want to be risen and golden brown.
I think those scones look absolutely beautiful.
Cut in half for a nice, smooth finish, then top with a generous layer of rich blue cheese.
And remember, we put Parmesan in, so you're getting double whack-- very rich, very delicious, and a real treat.
[Lively holiday music plays] About 3 more minutes in the oven to melt the cheese, and they're ready.
Now the finishing touch.
Give these mini morsels a festive finesse.
A little cranberry and parsley will finish them off.
Don't they look good?
I certainly wouldn't be satisfied with just one.
They're very, very good.
My blue cheese and cranberry mini scones are sure to get my Christmas meal off with a bang.
Mary: Ha ha ha ha!
All: Merry Christmas!
Oh, I thought you were good at this sort of thing.
Lovely to see you all.
Are you feeling hungry?
These look lovely.
♪ They are so good.
That's Christmas in a canape--sweet and cheesy, just like me.
[Laughter] You said it, sweetheart.
Yeah, no one else.
Ha ha ha!
♪ My family have all sorts of traditions that we do every year.
Christmas Eve, it's always a wonderful fish pie, and on Christmas Day, after lunch, just before it gets dark, we're out on a walk with the dogs.
But I love hearing what other people do, especially hearing what they cook... ♪ starting with a dear friend of mine, the amazing Italian chef Angela Hartnett.
And a Happy Christmas to you.
Mary, voice-over: While I always have canapes with my family, for Angela's, there's one pasta starter that's so delicious, it's been on their festive menu for over 20 years.
Come into the kitchen, Mary.
Oh, it's looking really Christmassy.
Ha ha ha!
So what are you going to make?
As you know, I've got the Italian heritage on my mother's side, so we always make pasta for Christmas, and it's something I've made from this age, from 10 years old.
We all make the pasta here, and my mum and aunt sit at the table with a cup of tea and do their bit, and then my cousins are helping, and actually, it's one of the lovely traditions, and we want to carry that on with my nephews and get them doing it, so I think that's how it should be.
Well, I always do these pumpkin tortelli, so that's what we're gonna have 'cause pumpkin are in season, and then we serve them in this lovely sage butter.
And it's very much from the north of Italy, where we come from, and then we all have turkey 'cause, you know, that's what you should do.
So this is your first course?
First course, and the thing is it's about preparation, so I make these in the beginning of December, freeze them, and it's one job done.
All about organization, isn't it?
So we're gonna make pasta dough.
Mary, voice-over: Angela's using Italian double zero flour, but you could use bread flour.
For every 3/4 cups of flour, add one egg.
Give that a little whisk for me, and let's start to incorporate the flour in.
Now, you're getting your hands in there.
So you'll love this, Mary.
See, this is the stage my nonna and my mother get to, and then they expect you, as the slightly younger person-- Dear mum: "'Cause I'm not kneading anymore, Angela.
You need to knead."
So, a little bit of pressure and just pushing it away and breaking it down.
And not too much flour in-- Not too much, yeah.
That's nice and smooth now.
Mary, voice-over: It's important to let the gluten in the dough relax to ensure strong, pliable pasta, giving us time to make the filling.
So the filling I'm going to make is pumpkin and ricotta, and we're gonna finish it with sage walnut butter.
Oh, how delicious.
Mary, voice-over: Angela's roasted chunks of pumpkin with olive oil and salt for 45 minutes at 350 degrees until tender.
I'm gonna add not too much ricotta because I want the pumpkin flavor.
Mary, voice-over: For 2 cups of pumpkin, add 1/2 a cup of ricotta.
It's not difficult at all.
It's not difficult, right.
Bit like making a little cake.
[Laughs] Mary, voice-over: A sprinkling of Parmesan... Oh, and smell that cheese.
Yeah, and then one other secret ingredient... What's that?
which is very Christmassy.
These are mustard fruits.
That looks like ginger.
Well, that's like a little-- Stem ginger.
Looks like it, doesn't it?
Exactly, and these are like pickled fruits in this mustard syrup, and they serve them lots with cold meats, you know.
We have it on Christmas Day with turkey.
That's a lovely fig.
This one I know you know, Mary, 'cause I'm sure you have that.
Do you have that?
A little cocktail at Christmas?
Ha ha ha ha!
So if you can mix that in for me, Mary.
Mary, voice-over: These can be bought from specialist shops or online, or simply replace with stem ginger.
After resting in the fridge, Angela rolls out the dough, starting on the widest setting.
Just a few passes is all it takes until it's thin enough for the perfect tortelli.
Oh, let's see.
Am I seeing you through that, Mary?
Ha ha ha!
Mary, voice-over: Now it's time to prepare them.
Angela: When we make them at Christmas, my mum will be here, my Aunt Viv will be there, and then I sort of float in between.
You're the boss.
I'm the boss.
And the old-fashioned way they would do it at home is how we used to do it...
with my grandmother, is, um, she has one big spoon like this, and then, from that spoon, she uses a teaspoon to just do the filling like so, with a good thumb in between.
Look at the precision.
You can see you've done it year in, year out.
Well, I was-- Distance is perfect.
I was always told off, you see, if I didn't do it right.
As a kid, we would make 500.
We're actually working on antiques today, Mary.
So this is Nonna's board, this actual pasta board.
It's big, isn't it?
It's big, yeah.
So come on, Mary.
What mistakes have you made at Christmas that you've thought, "Oh, my God"?
I have at last, uh, learnt to not overcook the turkey.
Ha ha ha ha!
Mary, voice-over: A brush of egg wash and then fold the pasta onto itself.
And it's holding.
It's not ripping apart.
There we go.
Yeah, that's it.
Then you cup your little finger like so to get the air out.
Yours look a little bit different from mine, but you've done 500 every year...
for 20 years, so...
I think so.
I'm sure, if we did a mince pie cookoff, Mary, I think you'd beat me hands down.
I might do.
You might do.
Ha ha ha ha ha!
Then we just go like this in between.
Mary, voice-over: To make ahead, these can be frozen on open trays and then bagged up once solid, ready to cook straight from the freezer at Christmas, but I can't resist trying some now, and they couldn't be simpler.
In the time it takes to cook these, I'm gonna make the sauce.
So is that about 3 minutes?
3 minutes, if that.
So, nice bit of butter, put in some walnuts.
Just break them up.
You know, it's very last-minute.
If you don't have walnuts, use a few almonds, just something nutty.
Then we're gonna add some sage, which is fantastic.
So, they've come up.
Drain them nicely, and you've got to finish it in the pan.
Oh, look at that.
Nice hot plate, yeah.
Just spoon those right... Look at that.
And then, obviously, you finish it off with a little bit of your Parmesan.
Oh, doesn't that look good?
And that, for me, Mary, is Christmas on a plate.
♪ I can see that filling oozing out.
That bright orange color.
And I love it with the walnuts because the nuttiness, I think, as you say, that's perfect, and that's Christmas.
And didn't take us that long.
Oh, it's so good.
Don't relax, Mary.
Don't think you're going anywhere.
We've still got another 50 or 60 to make.
Well, I'll try to get a bit quicker.
Ha ha ha ha!
Mary, voice-over: While Angela prepares hundreds of these little tortelli, you'll only need one of my gloriously rich Christmas puddings at the table.
Laden with fruits, nuts, and laced with brandy, it's an old-age British tradition... ["Santa Baby" playing] historically studded with silver coins for good luck.
Female singer: ♪ For me ♪ This is my tried and tested Christmas pudding.
Some people make it a year ahead, but for me, a week before Christmas is perfect.
I start off by putting the dry ingredients in the bowl.
It's blissfully simple, starting with 1/2 a cup of self-rising flour and 2/3 of a cup of fresh breadcrumbs.
Do you know that breadcrumbs are what makes a lovely texture and it makes it quite light?
Almonds, blanched with no skin, chopped fairly coarsely.
I like to come across a little bit of bite of those nuts.
[Lively big-band music playing] And for extra depth, 1/2 a cup of light brown sugar.
Years ago when I used to make this recipe, I used caster sugar, but I love the flavor of a natural sugar, also helps with the color.
A teaspoon of pumpkin spice.
Opening this bottle here, it just makes you think of Christmas.
My pudding is cram-jam full of fruit, starting with 1/4 cup of halved glace cherries, 1/3 of a cup of currants, and 1 cup of golden sultanas-- nice, juicy, fat ones-- and then raisins, so I think we have a nice balance here.
Add the zest of a lemon and orange.
Christmas pudding is always improved by a little bit of citrus, and the actual zest gives a lovely flavor.
When the children were young, we used to stir it and make wishes, and they absolutely loved it.
I'm going to give this a good stir to mix it.
This is when the children are involved, and then they start dipping their fingers in when it's all made.
With all those fabulous, festive flavors well-mixed, it's time to bind them all together with the wet ingredients.
♪ Got a couple of eggs here, and then the melted butter.
Just 1/3 of a cup is all I need.
That just smells of Christmas.
My foolproof technique means there's no Christmas Day panic about the pudding turning out in my house.
First, take a 1.5-quart bowl.
I want to be assured that it turns out beautifully evenly, so I generously buttered the bowl.
I then put a square of foil there.
Very firmly press down so you won't notice any impression on the top of the pudding, but I know that it'll turn out.
Make sure the foil is well-buttered, too, then in it goes.
Press the mixture down evenly.
Don't want any air pockets.
To get this ready for the pan, cut a circle of baking paper, then cover with foil.
Fold the center to create a pleat.
This will allow the foil to expand as the pudding rises up.
Make sure that's absolutely center, and then tuck your hand on top and turn it round all the way.
I'm going to boil mine in a pan of water, and I have a nifty trick that makes light work of lifting out the pudding when it's cooked.
Fold a piece of foil into three and use it as a handle.
Just put that, and you can lift it into the pan and out of the pan.
Another top tip is putting a metal lid from an old jar into the base of the pan.
If it boils too rapidly, you could crack the bowl.
I have done it, so just put that so it doesn't touch the bottom.
Fill the pan halfway up with water, bring to the boil, and simmer for at least 4 hours.
Check the levels every half-hour and top up if it's needed.
The longer you cook it, the richer and darker it will be and the whole house will smell of Christmas.
Who needs a candle with smells like this wafting through your home?
Make a few holes with a skewer.
It really is wonderful.
Then add the final ingredient-- brandy.
I love that glug.
I suppose that's about 3 tablespoons, something like that.
Cover it with foil, and this little parcel will be a lovely treat to unwrap and enjoy on Christmas Day.
♪ [Choir vocalizing] Mary: Christmas Eve is always a busy one in my house.
I like to get all the food for tomorrow sorted, starting with the star of the show... [Vocalizing continues] Mary: my succulent roast turkey, enriched with lemon and fresh herbs.
The first job for me Christmas Eve is preparing the turkey.
I like to get up early so nobody's in the kitchen, telling me what to do, turn the radio on, and I rather enjoy doing it.
I've got a nice, plump bird here.
It's about 6 kilos, and that'll serve about 12 to 15 people.
If you have a frozen bird, make quite sure that it's fully thawed.
Turkey, thyme, and lemon are a match made in heaven.
I find putting them under the skin, as well as in the cavity, ensures a wonderfully juicy bird.
Few slices of this, fairly thin.
Now I'll do a bit of de-pipping.
Wouldn't be so fussy if it was going in my gin and tonic.
Add the lemon and 2 chopped onions, skin and all.
All that will go straight up through the bird and add to a wonderful turkey.
[Lively pop music playing] Mary: Adding fresh sage, a few bay leaves, and thyme into the cavity will make the meat absolutely scrumptious.
I think I'll fit it all in.
So that's the flavoring vegetables in there.
Now to the breast.
I'm going to loosen the skin up this end really, really gently because you don't want to push your fingers through the skin.
Then generously spread underneath with softened butter, 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, and the slices of lemon.
Just tie the legs up.
There we are, neat and tidy, and then more butter.
This is Christmas, so just spread all over with butter.
A little bit of sea salt over top, and that's all ready for Christmas Day.
Another thing to tick off the list.
That's not the only thing I'm getting ahead with today.
My classic apricot and chestnut stuffing can be made up to 3 days before, and it's a dish my family and I absolutely adore.
I've tried all different stuffings.
My favorite certainly is this chestnut and apricot, and if there's some left for Boxing Day with the cold cuts, I'll be very pleased.
My first task is to chop up the apricots, and these are ready to eat, dried.
1 1/4 cups gives just the right amount of fruity flavor.
I usually cut these in about 4.
I like these bigger pieces so you can actually see it.
I don't want it to just be a mash, and the joy of doing it in an open dish means that it's all beautifully crisp.
There we are.
These need 5 minutes to simmer in 2 1/2 cups of water, along with 2 roughly chopped onions and 4 sticks of celery, finely chopped.
Once lovely and soft, strain and leave to cool.
So my next job is to do these chestnuts.
These are frozen.
I find them brilliant because they have real crunchy texture.
They're very easy to chop once they're thawed.
There we are, roughly chopped into fairly big pieces.
Now, those have got to be fried.
Melt 1/2 a cup of butter.
I'm using half to fry my chestnuts, and the other half will go into the stuffing mix.
And in goes the chestnuts, all in one go.
[Sizzling] Gently fry that and brown it.
While that's browning, I'm going to chop some parsley.
I love Christmas Eve, making the labels, wrapping parcels, and I, as Mum, has to have a drawerful of extra paper.
There's always people: "Mum, I didn't have time to do the parcels.
Have you got any wrapping paper?
Have you got any string?"
And they're much better at tying the bows than I am.
So chop this fairly coarsely.
It gives me such pleasure in my old age to do coarsely chopped parsley.
For my training, we always had to do it very finely, and really, it's much nicer to have it in pieces that you can see.
That's all the ingredients prepared.
Now, to simply bring it all together, first add 2 cups of white breadcrumbs, the apricot-onion-celery mix, and a tablespoon of thyme leaves.
["We Wish You a Merry Christmas" playing] Mary: Then the parsley, coarsely chopped, that big, bright green.
Then we've got the chestnuts-- now, they really are the most lovely color-- and the remaining melted butter.
The butter binds it all together and, of course, that'll be what will make the breadcrumbs crisp.
A little salt there, pepper, then mix it all together, and that's it.
Tip that glorious mix into a well-buttered baking dish.
It is a delicious stuffing.
I can tell you, it's a very nice feeling.
That's yet another job done, ready for Christmas Day.
♪ Mary: My turkey and stuffing is being served with all the trimmings, and that has to include some Christmas vegetables.
I'm at Tolhurst Organic Farm to persuade a very special and funny friend of mine to eat his festive veg.
Uh... like, can we not--no?
Mary: Presenter Rylan's a self-confessed fussy eater, and there's one Christmas staple he refuses to have on his plate-- Brussels sprouts.
In the UK, we eat more Brussels sprouts than any other country in Europe, consuming over 700 million of them at Christmas.
I just need to persuade Rylan to eat one, and we're starting off with picking them.
I don't even know what half of this is.
Well, those are cauliflower, and in the distance, sprouts.
Rylan: That's how they look?
They look like little palm trees.
Mary: They're all right there.
All right, come then.
Let's do this.
I'm going on the hunt.
Careful as you go.
And they're all lovely, but I've got to get the best for Mary Berry, haven't I?
There's a wonderful one here, a really big one.
So why have you sent me all the way in here?
'Cause I want it all checking out.
Ha ha ha ha!
And take all the leaves off.
That's snapping them off at the end.
No, no, no, not the tops.
Press them down like-- Press them down?
That all right?
[Crisp snap] All right.
Shall I just cut it?
Get your legs out of the way--that's it-- and then saw at the bottom.
Feel like I've won a prize.
You have won a prize.
Mary, that's the most work I've done in about 10 years.
That's called manual labor.
Ha ha ha!
Think I've done well there.
I think we might need a few more.
You've got the hang of it now.
I'd better like these.
Mary, voice-over: I've got faith my Brussels sprouts cooked with shallots, cashew nuts, and peas will convert him from a loather to a lover.
Rylan: Well, this is a nice little set-up you got going on.
I've got that.
Well, what we doing, Mary?
Do I just pick these off?
You're going to pick those off, so sort of hold it up and pull it down.
And now you've got the hang of it, you can't stop, can you?
I'll have my own farm within a week.
That's a good start.
Now I'm going to prepare them.
Mary, voice-over: Simply trim off the ends and remove the outer leaves.
You just cut them in half, and you see the structure of them.
They're so neat and beautiful and-- and as you can imagine, because we've split that, it will cook in half the time.
So, who's cooking on Christmas Day in your house?
It--it's my job.
Christmas Day and Boxing Day I like to do.
So I'll do the turkey, the potatoes.
I'll be honest; I don't normally do Brussels sprouts, so-- That's what I'm here for.
Mary, voice-over: Overcooking can make them mushy and bitter, so boil for about 3 minutes and add frozen peas in at the end.
Peas and sprouts go well together.
Do they work well?
Are they friends?
I think best friends.
Let's strain these off, shall we?
Mary, voice-over: Now, to make these sprouts really irresistible, first some shallots fried in butter.
That wants to just go until they're beautifully tender.
So, I mean, you're very good when it comes down to preparation.
All of this you would do on the day, wouldn't you, frying off?
Frying off, yes.
I would have prepared the shallots and halved the sprouts.
So that's all ready to go, then.
All ready to go.
So, on the day, chuck it all in.
And also, I do myself a timetable.
Oh, you're so organized, Mary.
And you're going to be 'cause you're the cook.
Ha ha ha ha!
Do you know what it reminds me of?
It reminds me of, like, being at the fair as a kid, that smell with the hot dogs.
You like going to the fair, do you?
Do you want to go to the fair?
Let's do it.
That's absolutely perfect.
Mary, voice-over: For some crunch, I'm adding 1/3 of a cup of cashew nuts.
They can be salted or unsalted, just whichever you like.
Just turn them round so they're hot.
I know you're looking forward to getting me to try this, but I have to say my favorite thing on my Christmas dinner is the stuffing.
That is always my go-to.
I've got two favorites.
One is the dark meat on the turkey and the trifle.
See, I knew you'd get along with my mum.
That's her favorite.
Mary, voice-over: Finally, add in the cooked sprouts and peas.
Look at that.
Now, look at this.
Look at that color!
Uh, a little pepper and salt, now straight into the dishes.
I mean, the proof's gonna be in the taste, isn't it?
Let's see if you've done it, Mary.
A little bit of everything.
No avoiding the sprout.
I'm so annoyed.
You've made me like Brussels sprouts, haven't you?
Well, I'm chuffed to bits.
Ha ha ha!
I can't believe you've done it.
That taste, there's so--there's such a lovely bite to it.
The cashew, as well, gives a little bit of sweetness in there with those shallots.
Now, if you can convert me, I think you could convert others, so I've sent you a little challenge.
I've invited some of the local kids out to come and try this dish.
I've been hiding 'em.
I've been hiding 'em.
♪ They're all looking very Christmassy.
You guys, do you like Brussels sprouts?
Rylan: No, no.
Mary: Oh, but I want you to try 'cause they're lovely and buttery.
Rylan: There you go, sweetheart.
Mary: So what do you think?
Rylan: That nice?
That one's good.
Well, did you eat this?
Boy: I think it was really good.
Do you know what I've noticed, Mary?
An empty bowl here.
Where did that all go?
It has gone right in the tummy.
So what did you think about it?
It was very yummy and chewy.
Rylan: And what about you?
Do you like it?
Yeah, but I don't-- but the Brussels sprouts were a little bit hard.
Oh, ha ha ha ha!
Boy: I don't like Brussels sprouts.
You didn't like Brussels sprouts?
Well, never mind.
That's 6 out of 7, so that's not too bad, is it?
Do you want some more?
Put it there.
It's a winner.
Merry Christmas, gorgeous.
And very happy Christmas to all of you.
Mary, voice-over: Brussels may split opinion, but there's one vegetable that's always a crowd pleaser.
My failsafe recipe for perfect potatoes involves double-roasting for extra crispiness, a simple twist that makes all the difference.
I always roast my potatoes on Christmas Eve and then re-roast them till they're beautifully crisp on Christmas Day.
Start by parboiling for 5 minutes, then drain.
I'm going to give the pan a shake, and it'll be slightly roughened up.
For fluffy roasties, use a floury potato, like russet.
Already, you can see there's lots of texture there.
And for a crisp exterior, add 1/4 of a cup of coarse farina flour.
It does give a lovely result.
Give it another shake.
I think that's pretty well done.
Very important to have hot fat to roast them in.
I've got goose fat here.
I think it's the best one.
So about 4 tablespoons.
For vegetarians, vegetable oil is a good alternative.
Get the fat smoking hot.
It will make these potatoes extra-crunchy.
I know it sounds a little bit odd, cooking the roast potatoes on Christmas Eve, but I promise you, it works.
You just trust me.
Don't leave them out on the worktop because if you do, I know my son would pinch them a day ahead, and I'd be left with very few.
These are all perfectly coated now, and I'm going to put them back into the oven to roast.
Once golden-brown, take them out and set aside.
I'll just reheat these for about 20 minutes on the day, before serving.
♪ [Festive music playing] ♪ Mary: It's so important that those potatoes are crisp.
Just listen to them here.
I can hear them already.
[Clinking] Yes, that is so crisp.
You just put them back in the oven to re-crisp.
Angela: I didn't even know you could do that a day ahead.
That's really good.
This is truly the miracle of Christmas.
It's a Christmas miracle!
Ha ha ha ha ha!
♪ Mary, voice-over: I've admired talented chef Monica Galetti for years, and I'm delighted to call her a friend.
This festive season, as well as running her successful restaurant, she is also hosting her own family Christmas.
I'm curious to find out what's on the menu, so I've come to Mere, named after her mother, where I should feel right at home.
Mary: Hello there.
You made it!
Monica, this kitchen sparkles and shines, just like you.
That's how I like it, and I think you'd be the same, no?
I hope so.
Can I come round and join you?
Yes, please, please.
We're ready for you.
♪ Mary: So what does Christmas mean to you?
Christmas, for me, it's all about family, uh, and your loved ones.
I'm from Samoa, in the Pacific Islands, and then grew up in New Zealand, so I have a huge family.
You know, we love a turkey and then a roast ham, but in New Zealand and Samoa, it is hot weather, so we tend to have maybe a big barbecue.
But this year's very special 'cause my dad's coming over, and I've been here over 20 years.
It's the first time he's come over for Christmas, so I'm very excited.
I bet you are.
What are you going to give him?
Well, this is one of the dishes I'm going to make for him.
In Samoa, there's a dish we call palusami.
What was that again?
And, um, traditionally, it's made with taro leaves.
What is a taro leaf?
I've never heard of it.
Looks like a large spinach leaf, but more flavorsome, tastes more of a cabbage.
But I'm using cavolo nero, or kale, chopped onion.
In goes the coconut milk and then into the oven.
That is in no way complicated.
Not at all.
And all ingredients to hand.
It's very simple, but delicious.
This is gonna blow your Christmas mittens off.
[Both laugh] Mary: So, Monica, where do we start?
So, if you start off picking the kale, it's been washed, but we just need to strip down the leaves.
I think that cabbage is very underrated.
I tend to agree.
I-- you know, it's such a versatile vegetable.
And it's a nice feel, isn't it?
I like it.
And will you be having a big Christmas, Mary?
We're just having family Christmas, and it'll be really classic because we're doing a proper turkey.
And I like the leftovers.
The leftovers are the best part, I think.
Mary, voice-over: Monica cooks down chopped onions until translucent... Just don't let it catch.
Keep an eye on it.
Keep an eye on it.
Mary, voice-over: then grates in peeled garlic.
Sensible to put it in at the end, 'cause if you put it in at the beginning, it'll burn.
It would burn, very easily.
Mary, voice-over: And a flavorsome special ingredient.
My dad's tip is the curry powder.
It smells amazing.
In Samoan food, we love curry, but we don't do a lot of spicy curries, so it's more a flavoring, an essence of curry in there.
So in goes our prepped kale.
So that's wilting down?
Yes, it is.
And of course, this can all be made ahead?
Yes, absolutely, and then it's just finishing off.
In goes our coconut milk.
What consistency are we aiming at?
Very thick and creamy.
Mary, voice-over: Monica decants the vegetables into an ovenproof serving dish, ready for baking, and then finally adds chunks of smoked haddock to elevate this to a more hearty meal.
I love smoked haddock.
We always have a fish pie on Christmas Eve, but this looks so tempting.
You could do it in a big dish?
That's how we do it at home.
Now we're gonna put it in the oven until... And now it's going in the oven.
it's a bit creamier... Yeah.
and-- And it will thicken up and it--almost set.
Well, come on, now get it in the oven.
I want some.
Mary, voice-over: These are baked at 375 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.
Monica's generous, creamy bake brings a taste of Samoa to her Christmas table.
I can't wait to dig in.
Monica: Are you ready?
Mary: Yes, this is what I've been waiting for.
You've been very patient.
Gosh, that smells wonderful.
I know you like your smoked haddock... That's lovely.
so to start.
♪ I promise you, that is absolutely divine.
You really like that?
A bit nervous there.
This is a very nice alternative to fish pie.
It's a pleasure.
I certainly will be making it again.
Happy Christmas, Mary.
Cheers, and a very happy Christmas to you.
♪ Mary, voice-over: Monica's recipe has inspired me to update my Christmas Eve fish pie, but there's one classic dish I won't be changing-- my sublime ruby red cabbage.
It's a glorious color.
Now, when it has long, slow cooking, it goes much darker, and I'm going to get as much flavor into it as I can.
First remove the core, then finely shred.
Not only does it taste good, it's a real bonus that you can make it well before Christmas and put it in the freezer, and all you've got to do is reheat it.
That looks lovely.
Makes a lot, doesn't it, from one cabbage?
So it's on with the cooking.
Add olive oil and butter to a hot pan... Can you hear it sizzling?
followed by the shredded cabbage.
I like to cook my red cabbage slowly, then it absorbs all the wonderful flavors, and the cabbage will be beautifully shiny and full of flavor.
Stir in roughly chopped onion and an apple.
You don't have to cook this for long at this stage because it's going to have that long, slow cooking in the oven.
I'm then going to add some apple juice... and some redcurrant jelly, about 4 tablespoons.
It not only gives it flavor, but it also gives a nice shine to it.
And finally, some festive spices: cinnamon stick, a few bay leaves, and some nutmeg.
[Festive music playing] Put the cabbage into the oven for 3 hours at 275 degrees.
♪ It's had its 3 hours, and I'm going to just fish out the...bay leaves-- there we are-- and the cinnamon stick.
I'm taking out the cabbage because I want to reduce this liquid, and I want it to be intense and full of flavor.
Scoop out the cabbage with a slotted spoon, then reduce with a teaspoon of butter until the sauce is thick and syrupy.
Those final juices, when they're reduced, give it a really lovely shine.
There we are.
That's ready to freeze, and then you thaw, ready to serve on Christmas Day.
I can't resist a taste.
♪ I can taste all those wonderful spices and flavor.
It's a real treat.
One more thing ticked off.
♪ Being organized really pays off.
With all the food prepped and ready to go, I can enjoy setting the table and making sure everything's ready for my guests tomorrow.
[Festive music playing] Christmas Day has finally arrived.
On Christmas morning, all your hard work pays off.
With all that preparation done, the cooking is easy.
First, take the turkey out of the fridge for an hour to bring it up to room temperature, then put it straight into the oven.
It's as simple as that.
I cook mine for about 2 1/4 hours at 325 degrees, until the skin is beautifully crisp and brown, and a thermometer reads 165 degrees and the juices run clear.
[Thermometer beeps] I think it looks rich and golden, this dark, conker color.
I can see the lemon just coming through, still the herbs.
Once the turkey's cooked, you'll need to let it rest.
Wrap in foil and cover to keep hot.
The resting is very, very important because, in fact, it is going on cooking, and up to 3 hours, it will stay hot, I promise you.
With the turkey resting, the oven's empty and ready for business, so in goes the stuffing, and my golden potatoes can get their second roasting.
I'm also throwing in some carrots and parsnips that can cook at the same time.
A drizzle of honey for their final 5 minutes will make these beautifully glazed.
While the oven does the hard work, I can get on with the gravy.
It couldn't be easier.
There's nothing like a good gravy.
I've cooked the giblets to make a nice stock.
If you haven't got the giblets for the bird, you can just use a stock cube if you prefer.
So I'm going to put-- first of all, melt the butter.
Butter will make a jolly good gravy.
Once the 1/4 cup of butter has melted, add 1/2 a cup of flour and combine to make a roux.
In goes the hot giblet stock... [Sizzling] a little at a time, and give it a good beat in between.
[Festive music playing] As a family, we all simply love gravy.
We're gravy people.
Now, I've got those wonderful juices from the bird, and I've skimmed off the fat.
Just pour that in.
All these little crusty bits from the bottom are good in flavor, so let's include them all.
Season with a little pepper and salt and a dash of Worcester sauce to deepen the flavor, then bring it to the boil.
And that's it--delicious but simple gravy, ready in minutes.
How's that for a stress-free Christmas meal?
My roast turkey... twice-roasted golden potatoes... with all the trimmings.
♪ ["Deck the Halls" playing] [Snap] Rylan: Hey!
Angela: Mary, this looks stunning and smells delicious.
Singers: ♪ Mary Berry Christmas ♪ Mary: Well, it's the treat of the year, isn't it?
Angela: Indeed, it is.
Monica: This is a good one.
"Who is Santa Claus married to?"
Ha ha ha ha!
Singers: ♪ Mary Berry Christmas ♪ I'm gonna get some of that stuffing.
[Singing continues indistinctly] Angela: Oh, I love this, Mary.
Singers: ♪ Mary Berry Christmas ♪ Mary, this stuffing is beautiful.
My mum always does the stuffing.
That's the one thing she brings round.
Are you gonna try and make it this year, Mary's recipe?
I will be making this... Yeah.
but Linda will still be making hers.
Of course, yes.
Mary: I don't know what Linda's--you'll have to put them out and have other people tasting them and say which is the best.
Mine might win.
You've won, you've won.
Ha ha ha!
What a fun day.
♪ Mary Berry, Mary Berry Christmas ♪ Mary, voice-over: And it's not over yet, so make sure there's room for dessert.
[Whines] My Christmas pudding simply needs to be reheated, then it's ready to turn out.
It's a bit hot, but I've got tin hands.
That was easy-peasy, and there it is.
When I was little, you used to put in the mixture a sixpence, and whoever got it could have a wish, and so what I do is put 20p pieces, and I sterilize them by putting them in boiling water, and once I've turned it out and nobody's looking, I just slip those in, and I know that the grandchildren would like a coin.
I know where they are, and I can give them a slice, and I can watch that the child doesn't swallow them.
And there it is.
My pudding is full of good luck.
Set it alight with some flaming brandy, and this decadent dish is ready to serve.
But it's not the only dessert on my Christmas table.
In my family, there'd be an uproar if I didn't make a very special trifle, too, and my foolproof recipe couldn't be more straightforward.
Using ready-made custard and canned pears, it won't break the bank.
This trifle is as fuss-free as it is festive.
This is Christmas, and this is special.
First of all, I've drained my pears.
Now, I'm not using fresh pears.
The canned ones are perfect.
And then I've got some cherries here.
They're maraschino cherries.
They're the sort that come in a little jar and you often pop them into a drink.
Halve the cherries...
I like a nice, fruity flavor to my trifle.
and cut the pears into generous chunks.
And now we come to the sponges.
Now, these are trifle sponges.
I split them in half and fill them with jam.
If you can't get trifle sponges, you could use slices of sponge and then cut each slice in half.
[Children's choir vocalizing] And then you just sandwich them together.
Mary, voice-over: Cut the filled sponges in half lengthways.
You get a nice, clean cut like that, and if you push it to the side, you'll see it's filled, and it looks pretty good.
Then put half the pears in the base of the dish, and then you just put that round the edge and give it a push into the side like that.
Top with a second layer of sponges.
I'm just checking that I've got these lovely, jammy layers so that you can see through, and I think it makes the trifle.
Place any remaining sponges in the middle and surround with crunchy amaretti biscuits.
When they go into the trifle, they take up all the sherry and flavorings, and they'll become a bit spongy.
Next, top with the cherries and the remaining pears to create a surprise fruity center.
Now we come to the boozy part, and I've always put sherry in.
That's what Mum used to put in, and I did notice there was always a glass alongside it.
I think it helped her through the day.
If you're making it for very young children, you could use orange juice.
If you haven't got sherry, you could use brandy.
Measure 5 tablespoons of sherry into a jug and make up to 2/3 of a cup with the reserved pear syrup.
♪ You know, that, to me, smells of parties and festivities.
Push the amaretti biscuits into the liquid to soak up the flavor.
That looks great; you can clearly see the layered sponge with the strawberry jam.
So, now on to the custard topping.
I'm using a can of custard because it's thick, and then I'm going to enrich it with lots of double cream.
We're enriching everything.
It's going to be wonderful.
First, whisk 2/3 of a cup of double cream to soft peaks, then stir it through the custard...
This is beautifully creamy and rich.
and smooth it generously onto the trifle.
Doesn't that look great?
That just needs to set a bit, so pop it in the fridge for an hour or so.
While the trifle chills, I'm going to get on with the decoration.
So, to finish the trifle, I'm going to show off a bit.
Almost like spun sugar, only a little bit thicker, and I'm going to pile it up, and it'll be great when you walk in.
Follow my rules, and making caramel should be easy.
First of all, it won't work in a nonstick pan.
Gently heat 1/2 a cup of sugar and 6 tablespoons of water until the sugar completely dissolves.
Take the spoon out, and you will not need it again.
There's a huge tendency to give it a stir.
Now turn up the heat and boil until the mixture darkens.
It's beginning to make that lovely caramel color.
Once the caramel is golden, take it off the heat and let it cool briefly to thicken.
I've got some nonstick paper here.
I'm going to just zigzag it.
It's such fun to do.
It won't last for long, so you do it an hour beforehand.
As soon as moisture gets to it, it begins to soften.
Now my trifle's set, it's time for some lightly whipped double cream.
It's really rich, but it's Christmas, so why not?
And of course, my glorious golden caramel.
Just look at that.
Isn't it the best way of showing off?
You just break it up and put it on top, willy-nilly, as you want to.
Pile up the caramel shards into a glimmering crown.
This is a perfect ending to that Christmas meal.
Just look at that finish.
I think it's sensational.
♪ Here it comes.
Oh, my Lord!
Look at this!
That is stunning, Mary.
Mary: How's that for a trifle?
Angela: That is gorgeous.
I mean, that's a trifle and a half.
Angela: Ha ha!
Mary: There's a surprise in the middle... Oh!
Hey, diddle diddle.
and the surprise are maraschino cherries.
There's lots of pears in there.
This is so exciting.
Can I come every Christmas, please?
Angela: Ha ha ha!
Look at that.
Monica: And some nice textures, too.
Mary: And I know you chefs would have poached the pears.
I used canned pears.
Angela: Mary, I am gonna disagree with you.
Every time I make a trifle, I open a can.
She means beer, though.
Angela: Ha ha ha ha ha!
[Festive music playing] Mary: How about Christmas pudding for you?
Angela: I've got to try a little bit, of course, Mary.
Cram-jam full of fruit.
There might be a little surprise in here.
I did put a few coins, so you might get one.
Monica: I've never seen coins in a Christmas pudding.
Angela: I've got my 20 piece, Mary.
Mary: That's because you're special.
Have a wish.
Monica: Oh, I love this pudding, Mary, and also the textures through it.
Rylan: Smells like Christmas.
Angela: It is.
We should be doing this every day.
Every day can be Christmas Day!
Oh, thank you so much.
Oh, thank you.
This is so cute.
And lastly... Yay!
Angela: Ho ho!
I love this.
Monica: You look really good in it.
Ha ha ha ha!
Monica: You look so good in that hat.
Brussels Sprouts Head Toss.
I want you wearing that.
Aren't they fab?
They go with your hat, Ange.
Ha ha ha ha!
Oh, my gosh.
You're gonna ruin that gorgeous hair.
[All laugh] I'm never taking it off.
Angela: Ha ha ha!
[Festive music continues] ♪ Merry Christmas, ladies.
Thank you so much, Mary.
Thanks for having us.