A bowl of sautéed Brussel sprouts
15 British Food Traditions Around Christmas
Mince Pies
Despite their name, mince pies don’t contain ground meat. They are made from rich pastry filled with dried fruits flavored with cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg.
Most mince pies are a three-to-four-bite treat. They can also be made with suet pastry, made either from beef or vegetarian fats or butter.
Christmas Cake
This heavy fruit cake is made well in advance of the big day. Once baked, it’s fed with brandy, then covered with a layer of marzipan and topped with fondant icing.
Its original form, which was designed to sustain those who would spend the day fasting, has since morphed, first into Christmas pudding, and then onto the cake.
Christmas Pudding
Christmas pudding — aka plum pudding — contains suet, dried fruits, and brandy. It's steamed for many hours and then served with brandy butter or custard.
Its lowly 14th-century predecessor was made from grains, milk, and bread. As dried fruit became more widely available, it morphed into today’s stodgy, but delicious, melange.
A sumptuous dessert, the trifle is assembled from a customizable combination of Swiss roll, custard, fruit, chocolate, berries, cream, jam, and jelly (or Jell-O).
Those who prefer a boozy trifle can add a generous splash of brandy to soak the Swiss roll. Unlike other Christmas treats, this eccentric mix of textures is served all year round.
Yule Log
Making a Yule log is no easy task. A sponge slab is covered with thick cream, then it's gently rolled up and drizzled with melted chocolate, or frosted, to look like bark.
The cake originally symbolized the pre-medieval Scandinavian or Germanic festive period tradition of burning the Yule log, which was a log leftover from the previous year.