Dominic Chapman provides the ultimate set of sauces for the Christmas period, or even just a Sunday roast. Older kids can take charge of many of these steps and give as a homemade gift to family and friends.
To make the apple sauce, start by peeling and coring the apples- kids will easily be able to get involved in this step. Slice the apples as thinly as possible and set aside.
Melt the butter in a pan over a medium-low heat and add the demerara sugar, water and apples. Cook at a gentle speed until the apples are soft and puréed. Add the cinnamon and lemon juice and then store in the fridge for up to three days.
To make the mint sauce, get the kids to pick the mint leaves from the stalks, reserving the stalks for later. Blanch the leaves in boiling water for a few seconds, before plunging in iced water to refresh. Get the little ones to squeeze out any excess water and finely chop.
Combine the water, vinegar, caster sugar and mint stalks in a pan and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Pour the mixture over the chopped mint leaves, then pour into a jar before storing in the fridge for up to three days.
To make the cranberry sauce, add the zest and juice of the orange and the spices in a large heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half.
Add the cranberries and reduce to a low heat. Slowly stew, stirring occasionally to ensure they don’t stick or burn in the pan. There’s no reason an older child can’t take charge of this step under supervision.
When the mixture is jam-like in consistency and loose, add the brown sugar to the pan and bring to a boil.
Turn down the heat again and simmer for 10 minutes more, again stirring to avoid burning. Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool a little.
When cool enough, taste the mixture to make sure the balance of sweet and sourness is correct. If you want to keep the mixture for more than 3 days, freeze the mixture. If not, transfer to a jar and refrigerate for up to a week.
Make the bread sauce by blitzing the white bread in a blender until you have chunky breadcrumbs. Alternatively, get the little ones to tear up the bread themselves.
Stud the onion with a clove and place in the pan with the milk and bay leaf. Bring it up to a gentle simmer and then strain it into a bowl.
Add the breadcrumbs and stir until the bread has softened. Then add the cream, nutmeg and seasoning. Leave to cool and then chill before use, or freeze in an airtight container until required.
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Fresh cranberries may be available in limited stores.