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on 10 December 2016
I can not wait to make things from this book. It has so many recipes with things that can be made all year round and traditional Christmas recipes too. There are tips on preparation on the run up to Christmas, menu ideas and shopping lists.
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on 19 March 2017
Bought this for my wife who used it all through Christmas and still refers to some of the recipes now as they are useful for celebration meals.
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on 25 November 2013
I had never heard of British food writer & television presenter Mary Berry until about a year ago when I visited my daughter in the UK, but after seeing her on UK television, watching her in The Great British Bake Off and trying a few of her recipes I knew that Mary Berry was someone whose recipes I wanted to add to my collection. I almost ordered her latest, Mary Berry's Christmas Collection, from Amazon UK, but since that involves jumping through hoops with my bank I decided to preorder here. Was I ever delighted when the book showed up a couple of days ago, a full two weeks earlier than the predicted date!

Normally I would wait until I was "done" with a book to write a review, but on the grounds that a Christmas cookbook is of little value in January, I am going to break all of my own "rules" and post my review as a work in progress.

A little bit smaller volume than cookbooks from US-based authors tend to be these days, I love the layout! Printed on good paper made from wood grown in sustainable forests, there is at least one full color, full page photo for every recipe in the book. You are guaranteed to drool! Mary presents three different Christmas Lunch (what we call Christmas Dinner over here) menus - Roast Turkey, Roast Goose and Prime Rib, recipes for every dish in all of the menus, plus many extras. Her minute-by-minute countdown to Roast Turkey dinner is invaluable and spot on. (I'm sure of this because I roast a turkey quite nearly the way that she does and serve dinner at just about the same time.) For every recipe you will find notes on how to prepare the recipe ahead of time, whether it can be frozen and so forth. Unlike many holiday cookbooks, Mary Berry's Christmas Collection is very well balanced. Yes, there are sweets but there are also casseroles, starters, unusual soups,and a generous number of interesting ways to use up leftovers.

Clearly a good hostess, one who enjoys having time to enjoy her own gatherings, Mary does not hesitate to recommend shortcuts like frozen phyllo & puff paste or shop-bought trifle sponges, though nearly everything is quick, easy and "from scratch."

I'm having a Baking Day today (though I suppose I should really call it a Cooking Day, since much of what I'm testing today is not sweet) so I will update you on the recipes I'm testing in a bit. There are, however, two I can tell you about right off the bat.

TEST RECIPE 1 - SPECIAL MINCEMEAT

My Dad adored mincemeat. It simply was not Thanksgiving or Christmas to him without a Mincemeat Pie. Most years I've carried on the tradition, using the same dehydrated block of mincemeat that Dad always used. Mince pies are BIG in the UK at Christmas time (You've seen the famous scene in Harry Potter I'm sure!) and they are everywhere. Every little corner shop has boxes of little mince pies in the same way that every little corner store in the US has Twinkies or Little Debbies and boy are they good. Mary Berry's Special Mincemeat recipe seemed a whole lot simpler to me than the ones I mucked around with years ago. Mostly dried fruit with a bit of muscovado sugar (I used the Dark Muscovado I brought back from the UK last year, but you could use regular brown sugar), some fat and the juice/rind of a lemon, topped off with a liberal dose of brandy, my first batch (went out and bought the ingredients yesterday to make more!) took just about 20 minutes to produce and OMG! I will NEVER bother with bought mincemeat again.

This is dead easy, keeps for months and is simply stunning. Once made, Mary includes a half-dozen recipes for using it up in ways that will be both different and spectacular. You'll find not only those ubiquitous bite-sized Mincemeat Pies, but also Frangipane Mince Pies, a Christmas Tarte Amandine, Ice Cream Christmas Pudding (Mincemeat and vanilla ice cream is to-die-for good!), Mincemeat Bread and Butter Pudding and a Mincemeat and Apple Caramel. My dad would be clean over the moon!

TEST RECIPE 2 - THE ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE ROULADE

One of Mary Berry's signature bakes, her Ultimate Chocolate Roulade also appears in another book that I've very recently reviewed, The Great British Bake Off: How to Bake: The Perfect Victoria Sponge and Other Baking Secrets. It's been a bare two weeks since I produced this as a Test Recipe from that book. (The kids haven't even sent the dishes back yet!) You'll find my notes on my review of The Great British Bake Off: How to Bake: The Perfect Victoria Sponge and Other Baking Secrets. Let me just say this - If you never in your life learn to bake anything at all except Chocolate Roulade, this should be the one recipe in your arsenal. Easy to make, easy to dress up, this is a glorious dessert. Done correctly it is a real show stopper. If you accidentally overbake it so that it cracks too much when you roll it, chunk it up and pile the chunks of alternating cake and cream into pretty glasses, then drizzle with a dab of fudge sauce. It will still be a show stopper.

I'm off to the kitchen! Coming up - a dead easy glamorous dessert, a couple of appetizers and a special Turkey Korma that Mary notes is great year-round made with chicken, right on time for those Thanksgiving leftovers!

MORE TO COME

Grandma's $0.02 - Mary Berry's Christmas Collection is a real gem! Highly recommended
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on 25 December 2016
I have a number of Mary Berry books all of which I use frequently. Maybe I'm just set in my ways when it comes to Christmas dinner but not many of the recipes jumped out at me to cook on the big day. That's not to say there weren't recipes that appealed - although perhaps fewer than usual. I just didn't feel tempted to cook them at Christmas.
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on 27 April 2017
Excellent. Good value for money.
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on 5 March 2017
good product
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on 14 June 2017
Fabulous book with a range of wasy but effective recipes.This one arrived on time and in good condition.
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on 16 June 2014
Mary Berry's Christmas Collection
Mary Berry
brilliant book added to my collection.
You cant beat a bit of Mary Berry :-)
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on 29 May 2017
great book
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on 16 May 2017
Excellent product and service
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