Christmas in July, Yummies for Your Tummies

July 14, 2018

I don’t know about you, but Christmas is my favourite time of year. Unfortunately, it only comes once a year and it’s never the white, snowy season the movies suggest it will be when you’re living in the Southern Hemisphere. My solution? Christmas in July! Break out the red felt hats, dig up some wrapping paper and get ready to be busy in the kitchen. To get your perfect feast planned and prepped I have compiled a short-list of my favourite Christmas in July recipes, following are two of my favourite winter warmers. So if you’re after a few new, ‘works-every-time’ options for your winter Christmas season then look no further.

Apple Crumble – Breakfast (or Dessert, or both!)

I love apple crumble. My mum taught me to make it when I was about six years old after we had moved to China. The first time we managed to make it over there, disaster struck. It was all cooked, golden brown and beautiful, but the pan we cooked it in was glass. And heavy. I, being six and not very strong, dropped it on the tiled kitchen floor. Needless to say, the pan did not survive, and neither did our apple crumble. Since then, apple crumble has been one of my favourite breakfast and dessert options.
This recipe is an old favourite.

Ingredients Method

  • 5 larges apples (about 1kg)
  • ¼ cup raw sugar
  • ¼ cup water

  • Grease ovenproof dish (medium size allows for thicker layer of apples under crumble).
  • Peel, core and cut apples into small pieces.
  • Combine apples, water and raw sugar in large saucepan, cover; cook over low heat until apples are tender (approx. 10 minutes).
  • Drain apples, discard liquid.
  • Spread apples evenly over bottom of prepared dish.

  • ¾ cup flour
  • 2-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 80g soft butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed

  • Combine flour and cinnamon in bowl.
  • Rub in butter with fingers or fork.
  • Add sugar
  • Mix well

  • Sprinkle crumble evenly over apple mixture.
  • Bake in oven at 180°C until golden brown (approx. 30 minutes).
  • Serve hot, or cold after refrigeration.
  • Serves 4 to 6
  • Store covered in refrigerator.
  • Do not freeze.
  • Apple ca be supplemented with rhubarb, berries or apricots.
  • Serve hot, or cold after refrigeration.

10 out of 10! I recommend this scrumptious crumble for a nutritious breakfast before the rest of the fun begins . A lovely balance of healthy apples and cheeky sugar for the morning. Throw together and cook a day or two before, then microwave for 30 seconds to one minute in the morning and enjoy. For a little something extra, add a small dollop of thickened cream, custard or a yogurt of your choice. 

Hot Apple Cider

This apple cider recipe was taught to me by a friend when I was about eight years old. She was an American lady who would kindly bake with me and teach me things about cooking. She would make this apple cider every Christmas and it would fill the house with the most incredible smells. A single sip would warm up your insides till you were all toasty which was very key when living overseas and there was snow falling outside.

These days it’s definitely still a favourite to be sipped while celebrating a July Christmas, wrapped up in your comfiest blanket.

Ingredients Method
  • 2-3 litres of apple juice
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 small orange pierced with 12 or more cloves
  • 1 nutmeg nut, partially crushed
  • Small handful of crystallised (or candied) ginger
  • Optional: one apple in tiny slices.
  • Add other solid spices to taste.
  • Pour juice into a large pot.
  • Add spices; stir.
  • Allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes; stirring regularly; taste.
  • Remove from heat; allow to cool.
  • Serve hot, or decant to jug and place in refrigerator to chill for 2 hours (or overnight).
  • Optional: freeze some apple juice or cider with small apple pieces into ice-cubes.

To give your cider a slightly cloudy appearance (as found in traditional cider), simmer 6-10 chopped and peeled apples in 1 cup of water or apple juice, for 10 minutes. Strain the apples before adding the juice into the cider. Puree the remaining apples; add into cider mixture. Stir. Enjoy!

I do not often puree my apples etcetera. Instead preferring to use the quicker way of straight apple juice, but feel free to try both!

I hope these recipes inspire you to celebrate Christmas in July and spice up your feasting. Happy cooking!

Author: Mikaela Southey
Images: Mikaela Southey

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