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Quick and easy Christmas canapes

Christmas canapes

Are the hordes descending on you for Christmas? Whether you're throwing an all-out festive festival, a dinner party or just having the neighbours round for mulled wine, chances are you'll need to rustle up something bite-sized and delicious at some point. So, here's are our pick of the best Christmas canapé recipes - courtesy of gransnetters - for those times when Twiglets and cheese footballs just won't cut it.

 

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Stilton and plum tartlets

Peppermint brings us these delicious tarts. Make them a little smaller and they're a perfect Christmas party canape - elegant, with a punchy flavour combination.

Makes around 20 small tartlets

Ingredients

  • 90g spinach 
  • Butter
  • 200g plums
  • 125g quark, or cottage cheese  
  • 50g blue stilton
  • 1 red onion
  • Puff pastry
  • Goat's cheese
  • Fresh basil

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 200°C.
2. Cook spinach until wilted in a saucepan with a little butter. 
3. Chop the plums and heat in a saucepan on the hob until soft (approximately 30 minutes). 
4. Mix together the quark, blue stilton, chopped red onion and the spinach.
5. Roll out puff pastry and cut out around 20 small circles, place on a baking tray. Put a spoonful of the cheese and spinach mixture onto the middle of each pastry disc.
6. On top of each tartlet, add 2-3 pieces of cooked plums, a little crumbled goat's cheese and chopped fresh basil. Cook tartlets in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until pastry is golden. 

 

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Asparagus spears 

Asparagus spears

Super simple, very effective, and no need for pesky cocktail sticks! Christmas party finger food has never been easier. 

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches of asparagus
  • 10 slices of parma ham

Method

1. Remove the tough end of the asparagus spears. Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the asparagus under tender. It should take around 2 minutes.  
2. Halve each slice of ham and wrap one around the middle of each asparagus spear. 

And if you're feeling really flash, why not serve them with garlic mayonnaise or a sprinkling of cheese melted under the grill?

 

Vol-au-vents

They may be a seventies throwback, but that suits us just fine. They're simple, delicious and diverse - try this smoked mackerel filling, or these prawn treats - your party guests will love them!

For the cases: 

  • Packet of puff pastry
  • Plain flour, for dusting
  • Egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp milk to glaze

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
2. Roll out the pastry to a thickness of about 5mm, and cut out squares (around 6cm squared). Then score smaller squares inside each one. 
3. Place the squares on a lined baking tray, brush with the glaze and bake for 15 minutes until puffed up and golden brown.
4. When cooled, carefully remove and discard the central piece of pastry (it will be undercooked) from each one.

For the smoked mackerel filling:

  • 200g smoked mackerel fillets
  • 1-2 tsp horseradish sauce (depending on the strength)
  • 6 tbsp crème fraîche
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Black pepper

Method

1. Remove the skin from the mackerel fillets and flake them using a fork. 
2. Mix all the other ingredients with the fish, adding more lemon, black pepper and horseradish to taste.

 

Brie and cranberry crostini

Brie and cranberry crostini

Particularly festive and a good one for any vegetarian guests. The crostini could be topped with pretty much anything you like - smoked salmon, blue cheese, pâtés - the options are endless! 

Ingredients

  • Thin baguettes
  • Good quality brie
  • Cranberry sauce (should be thick) or chutney
  • Olive oil

Method

1. To make the crostini, simple slice the baguettes, brush the slices with olive oil and grill until hard and golden brown. 
2. Add a dollop of cranberry sauce to each crostini. 
3. Slice the brie and add to the crostini. Place under the grill for another minute or so, until the brie has melted. 

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