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Christmas Tree Custard by Josh Whitehead


Josh Whitehead, Executive Chef at Harewood Food and Drink Project, shares a recipe that can turn this years leftover Christmas tree in to a delicious dessert.

  • 1400ml whole milk
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 9 tbsp cornflour
  • 400g caster sugar
  • Two handfuls of Douglas Fir or other edible Christmas tree branches

Begin by removing the pine needles from the stem with scissors.

Combine the pine needles and sugar in a bowl and blend in a food processor to break down the pine, the sugar should turn a light green colour and give off a lovely resinous aroma. Tip this out on to a tray and leave to dry for 1 hour.

Place a heavy saucepan on the hob and heat the milk and cream with the pine sugar added.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolk with the flour until smooth and light in colour.

Once the milk mixture is hot, but not boiling, add one ladle at a time to the egg yolks, whisking whilst you do so, until you have used up half of the pan of milk.

Return the mixture to the pan and cook gently on the hob until thickened, strain the custard to remove the pine. Allow to cool or serve immediately over puddings, mince pies or, if you’re like me and inclined to do so, drink it by the pint!