Roast turkey with cider and apple


5.5kg/12lb oven ready turkey, thoroughly thawed if frozen
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, peeled and cut into wedges
4 garlic cloves
450ml/¾ pint medium dry cider
25g/1oz softened butter or margarine
25g/1oz flour
4 tbsp half fat crème fraîche
fresh mint sprigs to garnish
For the stuffing:
1 tbsp oil
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 Bramley cooking apple, peeled, cored and chopped
175g/6oz fresh white breadcrumbs
75g/3oz ready to eat dried prunes, chopped
2 tbsp freshly chopped mint
1 medium egg, beaten


1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5, 10 minutes before cooking.

2. Wipe the turkey inside and season the body cavity. Put on one side while preparing the stuffing.

3. Make stuffing by heating the oil in a pan and sauté the onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until softened.

4. Stir in the apple, remove from the heat and add remaining stuffing ingredients with seasoning to taste and mix well to form a stiff consistency.

5. Stuff the neck cavity only with the prepared stuffing then fold the neck flap over and secure either by sewing using fine twine and a trussing needle or with skewers.

6. Place the onion wedges and whole garlic cloves in the body cavity.

7. Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time allowing 18 minutes per 450g/1lb.

8. Roll any remaining stuffing into balls and cook round the turkey for the last 20 minutes of cooking time.

9. Place breast side down in the roasting tin, pour over 150ml/¼ pint of the cider then place in the oven and roast in the oven for the calculated cooking time. (By cooking the turkey upside down, the natural juices will baste the turkey as it cooks.

10. Twenty minutes before the end of the cooking time, turn the turkey over, pour over a further 150ml/¼ pint of the cider and continue to cook for the rest of the cooking time. If the turkey is browning too quickly, cover loosely with tin foil. Check the turkey is thoroughly cooked by inserting a long skewer in the thickest part of the thigh. If after 1 minute the juices run clear the turkey is cooked.

11. Remove from the oven, place turkey on a serving plate, loosely cover with tinfoil and stand for 20 minutes before carving.

12. Strain 300ml/½ pint of the juices from the cooked turkey into a saucepan and stir in the remaining cider, bring to the boil.

13. Cream the butter or margarine with the flour then gradually whisk into the cider mixture.

14. Cook for 2 minutes, adjust seasoning and stir in the crème fraîche. Heat gently for 1 minute then serve with the cooked turkey, garnished with fresh herbs