Bring Us Some Figgy Pudding

Simple and elegant holiday brunch ideas

Story and Photographs by Rose Shewey

Festive meals among family and friends are the most magical of holiday traditions. Give me a Christmas brunch and I’ll be as joyful as the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Land of Sweets.

If you are blessed with young children on Christmas morning, you know that an early pot of coffee or a cup of tea is the most you’ll have time for until the presents are unwrapped and ooohed and aaahed at. Or, if you’re celebrating among grown-ups, an unrushed, peaceful start to the day can be a grand idea. All of which makes Christmas brunch an excellent choice on one of the brightest, most colorful and cheerful days of the year.

To spend less time in the kitchen and more time in the moment, with the people you love, gather inspiration from these simple, eye-catching dishes that require few ingredients and even less time to prepare.

Gingerbread Doughnuts with Amaretto Chocolate Glaze

Doughnuts should be a staple in every brunch spread, no doubt about it. A basic doughnut recipe can be adjusted easily to feature the flavors of the  season. To transform ordinary doughnuts into a winter holiday treat, simply add gingerbread spice mix to the dough and, once baked and cooled off, dip in melted white chocolate infused with amaretto. Sprinkle with crushed almonds and sparkling sugar to add a touch of winter magic to your buffet.


Eggnog Chia Parfait

A spectacular make-ahead option for Christmas morning is eggnog chia parfait.
Nothing says Christmas more than eggnog for breakfast! To every one cup of liquid, add 1/4 cup of chia seeds; allow to rest for a few minutes, stir and refrigerate overnight. Layer with müesli, chopped nuts, seeds, chocolate mousse, compote, jam or fresh fruit of your choice and top with whipped cream.  The possibilities are endless, so let your creativity run wild.


Yorkshire Pudding Breakfast Bake

A take on the traditional Yorkshire pudding (which is similar to the American popover), this is a simple yet striking — not to mention scrumptious and satisfying — dish to serve your family and friends on Christmas morning. The base is made with just eggs, flour and milk, and takes minutes to whip up; add any breakfast ingredients of your choice, such as bacon, sausages or tomatoes and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the egg mixture is cooked through.


Green Shakshuka with Poached Eggs

Traditional shakshuka is not just a feast for the eye, it’s an incredibly aromatic dish for all those who have a penchant for Mediterranean spices. To mix it up, try a green version of shakshuka.  Instead of the tomato base, use layers of green vegetable, such as leafy greens, zucchini, broccoli and peas, then season with green harissa, paprika and cumin. Finish by cracking eggs right into the skillet and cook until the whites are set. Serve with toasted bread.


Potato Waffles with Smoked Salmon

Potato waffles are a fabulously sophisticated alternative to ordinary hash browns. To save time preparing a hash brown mixture, you can use previously frozen potato puffs or even a leftover mashed potato mix. Potato waffles will cook in minutes and make a hearty base for a variety of toppings. Smoked salmon with a dollop of crème fraîche garnished with capers and roe is a holiday-worthy combination. Or, you might find your own favorite mélange.


Winter Pavlova with Clementines

Pavlovas are quite the showstoppers and require few ingredients to make, mainly just egg-whites and sugar. While pavlovas can be a bit temperamental (you want to beat the eggs just right), they are exquisitely light and airy compositions that can be made a day in advance and dressed up with cream and fruit right before serving. Top your pavlova with whipped cream, curd and any seasonal fruit of your choice, such as clementines, oranges, figs, pomegranate or pear. PS


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