Ahh, Christmas. The most wonderful time of year; not least because eating excessively is considered mandatory rather than gluttonous. I for one love nothing more than consuming the constant flow of mince pies, cheese, cold cuts and chocolates deemed acceptable in December.

If an unexpected knock at the door and impromptu party calls for something a little more fancy than a frozen sausage roll, fear not. We’ve found some dainty canapés that can be whipped up in a jiffy and will have your guests convinced you are indeed a domestic goddess/god.

Pear, Camembert and Prosciutto Wraps 

M-Pear Camembert and Prosciutto Wraps

During the festive season, you might find you have the ingredients for these little beauties anyway, so they are a great quick fix for last-minute catering.

Ingredients

  • 6 ripe conference pears
  • 6 prosciutto slices, halved length-ways
  • 6 small slices of Camembert cheese

Method
Lay out your six slices of prosciutto on a lined baking tray. Cut the pears into 6 equal wedges and lay on the prosciutto slices. Top each pear wedge with a slice of Camembert. Roll up the prosciutto, encasing the other ingredients, before popping into a pre-heated oven (180°C, fan160°C) for up to 15 minutes, until the pear is soft, the ham crisp and cheese lovely and gooey.

Salmon Mousse Vol au Vents

M-Salmon Mousse Vol au Vents

My sister-in-law introduced me to this quick smoked salmon mousse recipe, which is just delicious spread on toast as a decedent snack. For a speedy canapé recipe, grab some frozen vol au vant cases and fill them with lots of moreish mousse to wow your visitors.

Ingredients

  • 120g smoked salmon trimmings (can be picked for pence rather than pounds)
  • 250g soft cream cheese
  • Handful of finely chopped chives
  • Pack of frozen vol au vent cases
  • Juice of a quarter lemon

Method
Blend the cream cheese and smoked salmon trimmings with a hand blender until smooth, light and fluffy. Add a little black pepper and the lemon juice. Cook the vol au vent cases as the instructions dictate. Allow the cases to cool to warm, before spooning in the mixture. Sprinkle with chives and serve with a glass of bubbly. Deliciously festive.

Pea and Prawn Crostini

M-Pea and Prawn Crostini

Though ever so slightly more involved than the other recipes, these crostini are worth the effort. You might need about 15 minutes to make them, so make sure your guests’ glasses are topped up before disappearing into the kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 250g frozen petit pois, defrosted
  • ½ lemon, juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • A few leaves fresh mint, torn
  • 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • Baguette, sliced thinly into 12 slices
  • 36 small peeled prawns
  • Handful fresh pea shoots

Method
Put the peas, a squeeze of lemon juice, the garlic, mint, oil and seasoning in the blender and give them a good pulsing. Pop the mixture in the fridge for a couple of minutes.

Lay out the baguette slices on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and put under the grill until golden brown.
Lay the slices out on your best Christmas crockery and adorn each with a spoonful of pea purée. Rest three little prawns on top and decorate with pea shoots.

 

Ricotta, Fig and Honey Tartlets

M-Ricotta Fig and Honey Tartlets

Instead of mince pies, serve these sweet treats to guests with a nice retro glass of sherry.

Ingredients

  • 250g ricotta
  • 2tbsps sugar
  • 8 digestive biscuits
  • 2 large ripe figs, quartered lengthwise
  • Honey

Method
Soften the biscuits in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Then, use a soup spoon and a tea towel to remould the biscuits into little tartlet shells. Combine the ricotta and sugar, then spoon the mixture into the shells. Pop a pretty fig quarter on top of the ricotta and carefully drizzle honey for an extra sweet hit.
Tell us about your canapé successes and add to our party menu.

Sally Webb

Sally Webb

Sally'’s favourite things include Sunday roasts after long country walks, BBC adaptations of Jane Austen novels, all things pasta and her dog Tiggy. Sally is currently sporting a rather large ‘preggalump’ and has not just eaten all the pies.

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