When I was growing up we almost always spent Christmas abroad, so there are some Christmas traditions that we never really did. Though we always had a Christmas dinner, it was usually a week or two before the 25th and the actual Christmas dinner we ate would depend upon where in the world we were. I suppose you could say that I didn’t even realise some foods were festive until much later – for example, a Christmas ham, which has apparently been a British tradition for centuries.
Now I’m not claiming that this Maple Glazed Tofu recipe is a direct substitute or trying to mimic the flavour of ham at all, but if it’s something you used to have at Christmas then this dish may fill that space on your plate. Or, as in my case, it’s just another delicious vegan Christmas recipe to add into the festive mix!
I got thinking about all of this when Schwartz challenged me to recreate one of their recipes with my own twist on it. There were so many tempting options, but I quickly realised that whilst a mulled wine or a braised cabbage recipe (the ones that caught my eye at first) still has some scope for adaptation and would certainly be delicious, it wouldn’t be much of a challenge. What did unexpectedly catch my eye however was their honey glazed gammon recipe.
It goes without saying that my first step was to decide on a replacement for the gammon and tofu was an easy choice. The original recipe boils the meat before roasting it so my first challenge was working out how to get the flavour from the bay leaf and other spices whilst skipping this step. I also decided to make this a vegan version so swapped out the honey in favour of maple syrup to create maple glazed tofu; naturally, you can use still use honey in the recipe if you’d prefer.
Half of my spice rack at home is already filled with Schwartz spices and for this recipe I used a few spice collection staples that you should hopefully already have at home: the aforementioned bay leaf along with ground ginger, black pepper and cloves. All of which combined give the maple glazed tofu a deep aromatic flavour and prevents the glaze from being overpoweringly sweet or anything like that.
- 400g block firm tofu, well pressed (to press, wrap the block in kitchen roll, place between two plates and place a heavy weight on top for at least half an hour then drain)
- 1tsp olive oil
- ½ white onion, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf, placed in 1tbsp hot water to infuse for a few minutes
- ½tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½tsp ground ginger
- 2tsp whole cloves
- 2tbsp maple syrup
- 1tsp unrefined muscovado sugar
- Preheat the over to 220 / 475F / Gas Mark 8.
- Slice the pressed tofu into thick pieces. Pour the olive oil into an oven proof dish or baking tray and place the tofu on top, spreading the oil out to cover the surface under the tofu.
- In a bowl, mix the onion, bay-infused water, black pepper and ground ginger. Spoon out the onion mix evenly between the slices of tofu and pour any remaining liquid over the top. Top with the cloves by pressing them into the onion mix at intervals. Place in the oven and bake for fifteen minutes.
- In the meantime, mix the maple syrup and sugar together to form a smooth paste for the maple glaze. After the fifteen minutes have passed remove the tofu from the oven and brush the maple glaze over the top and edges of the tofu. Return to the oven for a further fifteen minutes or until the edges of the tofu have become crisp and golden.
- Remove the cloves and serve.
Looking for more Christmas inspiration? Take a look at our vegan Christmas recipe collection!
This post is in collaboration with Schwartz – thanks to Schwartz and the brands who help to support this blog! See this blog’s disclaimer for more information.