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Creating the Ultimate Christmas Feast... It's Easier Than You Think

A deceptively lavish festive lunch that’s really quite simple

From decadent duck to evocative cardamom and a stunning way to serve roast pumpkin, here are three of our favourites from The Ultimate Feast — a 10-dish menu from Pams Christmas Menus that provides a blueprint for an indulgent lunch that’s all too easy to execute... and will feed the whole family. To make things even easier, you can download the shopping list too.


Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Makes: 12 side servings

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  • 1 Pams Organic Pumpkin, around 1kg
  • 2 eggplants, sliced into 1.5cm thick rounds
  • 70g packet Pams Hazelnuts
  • 1 tub Pams Finest Ricotta
  • 2 red chillis, finely sliced
  • 3 handfuls of fresh basil


Slice the pumpkin into crescent moon shapes and scoop out the seeds.

Brush both sides of the pumpkin with olive oil, season, and place on a baking tray and roast in the oven at 200°C for 40 minutes, or until caramelised and tender.

Place the eggplant onto another flat baking tray, liberally coating both sides in oil and salt. Bake the eggplant for 30 minutes, or until soft and golden.

Bake the hazelnuts in an oven-proof dish alongside the pumpkin and eggplant for 10 minutes or until toasted.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool then chop into halves.

Blend the ricotta in a blender or food processor with a good lug of olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Layer eggplant and pumpkin on a large serving platter, then spoon over the ricotta mixture.

Finish by sprinkling over the hazelnuts, chilli and basil.



Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours
Makes: 12 servings

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  • 1 Pams Finest Whole Duck
  • ½ cup Pams Malt Vinegar
  • 400g Pams Cherries, pitted & quartered
  • 1 cup Pams Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Pams Whole Grain Mustard
  • 4 large beetroots, chopped into quarters


Pat the duck dry with paper towels, then score the duck on the breast side, through the skin but not into the meat.

Season all over with salt and pepper, then place onto a large roasting pan on top of a rack, to allow the fat to drip below the duck.

Place in the oven to roast at 180°C for the first 1 ½ hours.

Place the beetroot quarters into another baking dish, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper, then place into the oven with the duck for 45 minutes.

To make the cherry glaze, add the vinegar, cherries, brown sugar, and wholegrain mustard to a pot. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes, or until reduced by half.

After the duck has been in for the first 1 ½ hours, remove from the oven and baste with ¾ of the cherry glaze, ensuring to cover the entire duck.

Place back into the oven for a further 1 ½ hours.

Remove the duck and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Serve on a platter alongside the roasted beetroot and drizzled with the remaining cherry glaze.



Prep time: 20 minutes + cooling time
Cook time: 30 minutes
Makes: 12 servings

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  • 2 sheets Pams Sweet Short Crust Pastry, defrosted
  • 1 tin Pams Black Doris Plums
  • 1 tub Pams Finest Coconut Vanilla Custard
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • ¾ cup Pams Caster Sugar


Use the pastry sheets to line a standard size tart tin, trimming away any excess, then prick all over with a fork. Chill in the fridge briefly.

Drain the plums, removing any pits, place on a lined baking tray and sprinkle with the cardamom.

Remove the tart shell from fridge, then place a piece of baking paper over the top. Fill with rice, dried beans or baking weights to blind bake.

Place the pastry and the plums in the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes. If the pastry is browning too quickly, cover with a bit of tin foil.

Meanwhile, make your toffee shards. Line a baking tray with foil, then mix the sugar and 4 tablespoons of water in a pot over a very low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.

Once dissolved, stop stirring and increase the heat to medium-high, simmering until golden.

Pour onto the tray, tipping to spread the toffee thinly, before setting aside to cool completely. Once cooled, break into shards.

Place the tart shell onto your serving platter and press a layer of plums into the bottom. Fill to the top with the custard.

Chill in the fridge until ready to serve, then decorate with leftover plums and the toffee shards.

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New Zealand Herald

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