Get out of the house this Christmas and enjoy the sunshine with this beautifully simple and festive picnic.
No-one wants to spend their Christmas washing up a pile of dishes. Pack up the kids, get out of the house and head to your local park to enjoy a simple yet splendid Christmas picnic that will appeal to kids and adults alike. Better still, you can make everything the day before so there’s no cleaning up to be done on the day!
Ham and cherry tomato tart
- 1 box of sour cream short crust pastry
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup of sour cream
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- 100 grams of ham, sliced into small squares
- 1/2 cup of grated cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Roll out the pastry to 3 millimetres thick and line a pie tin with the pastry. Bake blind for 15 minutes or until it just starts to colour.
- Whisk the eggs together with the sour cream until combined well. Stir in the cheese and the ham, then pour into the baked pie crust.
- Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and place in a circular pattern into the eggy mixture.
- Bake the tart for 20–30 minutes or until the centre is set and the top has browned slightly.
Adapted from Lady Florence Bjelke-Petersen’s original recipe.
- 3 cups of self raising flour
- 50 grams of chilled butter
- 1/2 cup of buttermilk
- 2/3 cup of cooked and cooled mashed pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (or mixed nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice)
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Grease and flour a square cake pan and set aside.
- Place flour, spices and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Rub in chopped butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. You can use a food processor to do this for you if you have one.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour then pour in the buttermilk and the mashed pumpkin. Use a knife to stir the mixture until a raggedy dough forms.
- Gently knead the dough, handling it as little as possible until it comes together. Press it out on a floured board with your fingers until it is about 3 centimetres thick. Square off the edges with a sharp, floured knife.
- Cut out the scones into 16 squares using the knife. Place the scones in the cake tin so they are nice and snug then bake for around 15 minutes or until they are golden and hollow sounding when you tap their tops. Serve with onion jam or butter.
Summer berry upside down cake
Adapted from Donna Hay’s raspberry upside down cake recipe.
- 200 grams of butter, softened
- 200 grams of caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 200 grams of self raising flour
- 1/2 cup of almond meal
- 2 tablespoons of milk
- 300 grams of frozen raspberries
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- First, defrost the rasperries in a single layer on some paper towels. At the same time, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line a round 20-centimetre cake tin with baking paper.
- Beat the butter and sugar until it is light and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, ensuring all the egg is combined well.
- Stir in the self raising flour and the almond meal. If the mixture is too thick, add two tablespoons of milk until it can be spooned easily into the cake tin.
- Place the raspberries in the tin first, then drizzle with honey. Spoon over the cake mixture then bake for an hour or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the tin before turning out onto a serving tray. Serve with fresh berries and a dollop of cream if desired.
Sparkling summer punch
- 2 litres of sparkling apple juice
- 1 litre of sugar-free cranberry juice
- 1/2 cup of lime juice
- A handful of mint leaves
Bruise the mint leaves and toss them into a large jug or bowl. Pour in all the other ingredients and stir well.
If you’re taking this on a picnic, simply pop one mint leaf, a squeeze of lime and a splash of cranberry juice in a cup before topping with sparkling apple juice.