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Christmas brunch ideas

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Rachel Manley Rachel Manley | 11:41 UK time, Tuesday, 13 December 2011

I love having people over for brunch, it’s so much more relaxed than lunch or dinner and it somehow feels so decadent (champagne for breakfast? Yes, please!). Christmas Day is the perfect time to have a full-on brunch: it will fill everyone up until the main event and if, like me, you’re not in charge of the Christmas dinner - it can be a nice way to contribute to the festivities.

I’ve put together some ideas and tips to make your Christmas brunch a stress-free affair. And why not have a special brunch on Boxing day, or even better New Year’s Day when a fry-up can be the best medicine.

American pancakes

Drinks: It goes without saying that you’ll need coffee and/or tea (a proper pot of tea always feels special). However, it is Christmas... so why not open a bottle of fizz? Good old Buck’s fizz is nice, or use blood orange or clementine juice for a festive, modern twist. I’m thinking of making a big jug of bloody Mary this year with extra Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce on the table.

Bake-ahead treats: Bake simple muffins or fruity cakes the day before for family members with a sweet tooth, and any leftovers can be eaten throughout the day. I’ll be making this moist banana bread as it keeps for a few days. You can eat it as it is, but I like it toasted with a little butter. For something with a little ‘wow’ factor, I love these almond croissants, they’re so easy and are made with stale croissants. Or you could go all out and make Danish pastries.

Bloody Mary cocktail

Piles of pancakes: Pancakes are real breakfast treat for me and I love that they can be made in advance, just keep them warm under a clean tea towel while you make the rest. These American pancakes are endlessly adaptable - try adding a handful of blueberries or substituting some of the flour with dessicated coconut. Top with maple syrup, lemon and sugar, golden syrup or even a little melted jam.

Pimp your fry-up: For something simple to make a traditional fry-up a bit special, try these cheesy muffins or sweetcorn fritters, both of which can be made in advance and warmed up in the oven. Speaking of which, if you’re doing a full English and are worried about the logistics, Jamie Oliver takes you through it step-by-step. Unless you want to be chained to the stove, try to avoid making eggs for lots of people. I usually just don’t offer them, or as a last resort, I poach a load of eggs beforehand. Keep them in iced water, then reheat in boiling water for 30 seconds when you’re ready to serve. If it really doesn’t feel like breakfast without eggs, try baked eggs, frittatas or strata. If there are only a few of you, then I would make Sophie Dahl’s blinis with smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for a real treat.

Buckwheat blinis with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon

More brunch ideas.

What will you be eating on Christmas morning- chocolate and oranges from your stocking? Savoury fry-up or sweet treats?


  • Comment number 1.

    Never had a brunch on Christmas morning, but great inspiration. Maybe I'll invite a few people over this year?

    Oh - and the pancakes look delicious!

  • Comment number 2.

    We always have a light breakfast on Christmas Day in preparation for the big meal which we eat around 2 or 3pm. Usually a croissant, brioche or even a piece of toast with good jam. I do love a good brunch on Boxing Day though. Sometimes it's a full English style fry up for the family. But I love the look of the smoked salmon blinis with scrambled eggs - might give that a try!

  • Comment number 3.

    @MartinLA those pancakes are my favourite pancake recipe by far, especially with a handful of dessicated coconut thrown in.

    @cooksalot I made the blinis for a special breakfast this weekend and they're as delicious as they look - a real treat!

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    I tried this recipe and it was a crashing disaster. Something about the cheddar and the buckwheat meant it first burned, and then became very oily and not fluffy at all...I tried many times (the batter did taste quite wonderful, but the texture and look was shocking) before retreating to Stephanie Alexander's recipe for pikelets, minus the sugar. Success!

  • Comment number 6.

    I aggree with @cooksalot but don't forget to keep mineral water in your refrigerator; if you eat more than usual, it may help you to keep your stomach relaxed.


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