Food & Drink Brandy Butter & Bay Turkey and Gravy Recipe

18:55  18 november  2020
18:55  18 november  2020 Source:   goodhousekeeping.com

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Cooked in brandy butter and stuff with our pancetta, pistachio and apricot stuffing, it doesn't get much more luxurious than this turkey for your festive table.

a plate of food on a table: Brandy Butter & Bay Turkey and Gravy: This year’s take on the festive centre piece combines aromatic bay and Christmas favourite, Brandy butter for a subtle boozy twist. © Kate Whitaker - Hearst Owned Brandy Butter & Bay Turkey and Gravy: This year’s take on the festive centre piece combines aromatic bay and Christmas favourite, Brandy butter for a subtle boozy twist.

NB Cooking Notes: plus resting

Yields: 8 servings

Prep Time: 30 mins

Process Time: 2 hours 45 mins

Total Time: 3 hours 15 mins

Calories per Serving: 413


  • 5

    kg good quality free-range turkey

  • About 300g Pancetta, Pistachio and Apricot stuffing

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  • 2


  • 2

    bay leaves, plus extra to garnish

  • 2 tbsp.


For the brandy butter
  • 100 g

    softened butter

  • 25 g

    each icing sugar and light muscovado sugar, sifted

  • 2 tbsp.


  • Freshly grated nutmeg

For the gravy
  • 200 mL

    white wine

  • 1 tbsp.

    redcurrant jelly

  • 1 L

    good quality chicken stock

  • 1

    bay leaf

  • 2

    cornflour, mixed in 3tbsp cold water


  1. Remove the turkey from the fridge 2hr before you plan to cook it to allow it to come to room temperature. Pat the skin dry with kitchen paper.
  2. Make the brandy butter, whisk the butter and sugars together until pale and creamy, then whisk in the brandy a little at a time until incorporated. Grate in a generous amount of nutmeg and a good pinch of sea salt.
  3. Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C fan) mark 5. Starting at the neck end, use your fingers to ease the skin gently away from the breast. A little at a time, gently spread the brandy butter over the meat, under the skin, being careful not to rip the skin. Next, put the stuffing inside the neck cavity. Turn the turkey over on to its breast, pull the neck flap down and over the stuffing and secure with a skewer or cocktail sticks. Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time, allowing 30-35min per 1kg (2lb 3 ½oz). Put one of the onions, halved, the bay leaves and 2tbsp brandy into the main turkey cavity.
  4. Make a trivet in a large sturdy roasting tin with remaining onion, roughly sliced. Tie turkey legs together.
  5. Roast for 30min uncovered, then remove from the oven and loosely cover tin with foil, return to the oven and roast for the remaining calculated time, basting every 30min see tip (add a little water to tin if base is catching), and removing foil for last 30min of cooking time, if the skin needs to crisp. To check the turkey is cooked, insert a fork into the thickest part of the leg and check that the juices run golden and clear. If there’s any red tinge to the juice, return the bird to the oven and keep checking every 10-15min. Alternatively use a meat thermometer – the temperature needs to read 72°C when inserted into the thickest part of the breast or leg.
  6. Transfer turkey to a board (set aside the roasting tin for gravy), cover well with foil and clean tea towels to help keep the heat in. Leave to rest in a warm place for at least 30min or up to 1 1/4hr.
  7. Make the gravy: tip the meat juices into a large jug, allow to settle, then skim off any excess fat, using a spoon. Put tin over a medium heat on the hob, add the wine and increase heat, deglazing and scraping the base of a tin with a wooden spoon to dislodge any meaty bits. Pour this into a saucepan along with the meat juices, redcurrant jelly, chicken stock, extra bay leaf and slowly bring to the boil, simmer for 10-15min, stirring occasionally. Taste to check the seasoning, add black pepper and salt to taste. Strain, then return to the pan. Reduce the heat to low, gradually add the cornflour mixture stirring continuously until thickened. Keep warm over a low heat until ready to serve.
  8. To serve, unwrap turkey and transfer to a warm platter. Remove skewer or cocktail sticks and garnish with extra bay leaves, if you like. Serve with gravy (reheated if needed).

GH Tip:

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If your turkey is frozen, you need to allow at least 48-60hr for it to defrost slowly and thoroughly in the fridge.

Per serving:

  • Calories: 413
  • Protein: 36g
  • Total fat: 19g
  • Carbs: 17g
  • Total sugars: 9g
  • Fibre: 2g

Gallery: Best stuffing recipes for Christmas dinner (Good Housekeeping UK)

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