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Behind the Half Door Christmas Special: Baked Turnip with cheddar + Prunes

Posted by Kady O Connell on

Behind the Half Door Christmas Special: Baked Turnip with cheddar + Prunes

We have a very special Christmas treat just for you! Kady and Biddy, authors of Behind the Half Door - Stories of Food and folk cookbook are giving us a sneak peak into the Christmas section of their new book. We hope you enjoy and you can find out more about this delicious hardback book here.


  • 2 cups (500ml) vegetable stock
  • 1.2kg turnips, trimmed and peeled
  • sea salt & cracked white pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup (60ml) double (thick) cream
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme leaves, plus extra to serve
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1¾ cups (220g) soft (ready-to-eat) pitted prunes
  • 1½ cups (185g) finely grated Kerrygold cheddar


Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Lightly grease a shallow 20cm x 30cm baking dish.

Place the stock in a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil.

Cut the turnips into quarters, then cut them into 5mm-thick slices. Add to the stock with a little salt and pepper and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 10–15 minutes or until just soft but still intact and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat.

Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and add the thyme, garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir to combine, bring to the boil, then set aside to cool.

Arrange one-third of the turnip slices in a layer on the base of the prepared dish. Top with one-third of the prunes, cream mixture and cheddar. Repeat the layering 2 more times, finishing with the last of the cheddar.

Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 45 minutes or until soft enough to slice. Remove the foil and turn the oven grill (broiler) to high for the last 5 minutes of the cooking time or until the top is golden and melted. Sprinkle with the extra thyme leaves to serve. 

Kady has written and photographed cookery books for eminent chefs and clients all over the world and is obsessive in her search for new tastes. Co-author of Irish cookbook Behind the Half Door: Stories of Food and Folk, she lives and breathes food. Kady will be sharing a new recipe with us each week based on nutritional and tasty Irish flavours.