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Video: A trio of festive treat recipes from Alan Scott Clarke, head chef at Maryculter House

Alan Scott Clarke, head chef of the four-star Maryculter House on the outskirts of Aberdeen, shares three fun and easy festive recipes to make at home.

Alan Scott Clarke, head chef at Maryculter House, previously worked in high-end kitchens in Cullen, Edinburgh, Skye and elsewhere in Aberdeen, but it’s at Maryculter House he’s really made a name for himself, thanks to his passion for using lots of local produce and suppliers to create his showstopping dishes.

Originally from Forres, Alan believes this is a good time of year to have fun in the kitchen – and get the children involved too.

Here, he shares three recipes with us that not only look and taste good but are easy – and fun – to make at home.

There’s a turkey chowder, ideal for using up leftover turkey; gingerbread biscuits the kids will love; and strictly for the grown-ups, an eggnog drink that packs a warming punch!

Turkey chowder

(Serves 4-6)

Turkey chowder.


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 4 rashers smoked bacon, chopped into thumbnail sized pieces
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • A couple of short strands of thyme (about 10 leaves)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 50g broth mix
  • About 500g leftover cooked turkey, cut into chunks
  • About 2 soup bowls of leftover veg – carrots, turnip, roast potatoes, parsnips (all
  • chopped into thumbnail sized pieces)
  • 500ml leftover gravy
  • 1 litre of water
  • 100g sweetcorn
  • 100g grated cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices thick, crusty loaf


  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan.
  2. Add the bacon and let it brown until it’s crisp, then add the thyme, onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes, constantly stirring until starting to caramelise.
  3. Add the smoked paprika and cook for a few minutes. Add the turkey, 1 litre of cold water and stir. Add the chopped veg, gravy and broth mix.
  4. Bring to the boil then turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 60-90 minutes as it slowly thickens.
  5. Once the time is up, add the sweetcorn and stir occasionally for a few minutes.
  6. Taste, and add salt and pepper if necessary. If the mix is too thick, add a little water.
  7. While the sweetcorn is warming through, spread the cheese on top of the bread and pop under the grill until the cheese has melted slightly.
  8. Ladle the chowder into a bowl and serve the toasted cheese on top of, or alongside it.

Gingerbread biscuits

(Makes 10-12) 


  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 125g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 175g brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350F or Gas Mark 4.
  2. Sift into a bowl the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon.
  3. Rub in the butter until it looks like fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Add in the sugar and egg, and beat for 1 minute.
  5. Add in the syrup and mix well until it starts to come away from the sides of the bowl.
  6. Remove from the bowl and knead for 5 minutes.
  7. Wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.
  8. Line a couple of baking trays with greaseproof paper and set aside.
  9. After 15 minutes, dust the worktop with a little flour and roll the dough out until it’s about as thick as a mobile phone.
  10. Don’t turn it over, but keep turning it around as you roll it out.
  11. Use nicely shaped cutters, all about the same size, to stamp out the biscuits.
  12. Place these on baking trays and pop into the middle shelf of the oven for around 6-8 minutes, or until the edges are firm on the outside.
  13. Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to fully cool on a wire rack.

Next, make the icing and for this you’ll need:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 600g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp liquid glucose (available from supermarkets)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


  • Lightly whisk the egg whites until they take on a ribbon-like texture and hold their shape.
  • Add the liquid glucose in and continue to whisk.
  • Add the icing sugar in three stages.
  • Add the lemon juice, and if desired, a little food colouring.
  • Once mixed, scrape the icing into a piping bag.
  • Use the icing to pip dots, lines or shapes across each biscuit.
  • Then have fun decorating them with sprinkles, strawberry laces, Jazzies or Jelly Tots.
  • Note: Alan uses an electric food mixer but you can also make these by hand.


(Serves 4) 



  • 700ml whole milk
  • 240ml double cream
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds removed
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 130g granulated sugar
  • 200ml bourbon, dark rum or whisky
  • 300ml lemonade
  • Ice cubes


  1. Add the milk, cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla pod and seeds into a pan and slowly bring to the boil.
  2. Once boiling, remove from the heat and set aside to allow the flavours to infuse.
  3. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until combined, with thick ribbons forming when the whisk is lifted.
  4. Slowly add the milky mix to the beaten egg mix, and continue whisking until the mixture is fully combined and smooth.
  5. Add the bourbon, rum or whisky and lemonade and stir through.
  6. Pop into a jug and leave overnight in the fridge (this stage will keep for up to 3 days).
  7. When ready to serve, beat the egg whites in a large bowl or stand mixer until soft peaks form.
  8. Take the eggnog out of the fridge and remove any skin that may have formed on top.
  9. Gently fold the egg whites into the eggy mix until combined.
  10. Serve over ice and garnish with a little freshly grated nutmeg.