Christmas is fast approaching. Father Christmas is dusting off his boots, turkeys are quaking in theirs and stockings are waiting to be filled.
To help you get in the festive spirit and sample some global traditions, we’ve been listing our favourite international festive recipes in the run up to the big day.
In Part One we explored Christmas treats from Puerto Rica and Canada, while in Part Two we explored some traditional dishes from Greece and Germany.
For our final look at festive recipes we’ll be travelling to Mexico and the USA.
Ponche Navideno – Mexico
This zesty, fruity and rather boozy punch is a staple in Mexico at Christmas and will certainly leave you feeling merry!
5 litres Water
10 Tejocotes (Mexican Hawthorn )
170g Apple (Cubed)
5 Oranges (Juiced)
8 Guavas (Chopped)
4 Sugar Canes
280g Prunes (Roughly Chopped)
3 Sticks Cinnamon
In a very large saucepan, bring the water to the boil and add in the cinnamon sticks, cloves and tejocotes.
After 10 minutes remove the tejocotes from the water, peel and trim hard ends. Cut in half, deseed and return to the water.
Add in the guavas, apple, sugar cane, prune and orange juice.
After simmering for 30 minutes remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves. Add in the sugar and brandy.
Stir until all the sugar is dissolved and serve warm.
Russian Tea Cake – USA
In spite of its name, the Russian Tea Cake actually originated in the USA and is now a popular snack during the holiday season.
75g Icing sugar (plus extra for coating cookies)
2 tsp Vanilla extract
300g Plain Flour
¼ Teaspoon Salt
150g Finely Chopped Pecans
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C
Beat the butter in a large mixing bowl until soft then add in the vanilla essence and icing sugar.
Once the mixture is light and fluffy add the sifted flour and salt and mix.
Add the pecans and combine thoroughly.
Shape the dough into balls roughly 5cm wide and place on baking trays lined with greaseproof paper.
Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand and then bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Once removed from the oven roll each cookie in icing sugar while still warm.
Roll in icing sugar again before serving and enjoy!
Where ever you are in the world and whatever you happen to be eating, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!