These fried scallop canapés with sloe gin, nutmeg and speck make a perfectly decadent starter. Try Philippa Davis' recipe to impress your guests


These fried scallop canapés with sloe gin, nutmeg and speck are so decadently rich they are perfect for Christmas day. They can be made in the morning and only need cooking for a couple of minutes before serving, meaning you can put on delicious canapés without missing any of the festivities. Make these fried scallop canapés to impress your guests, but don’t spend Christmas day in the kitchen.

Canapés are a fail safe way to keep your guests occupied while the turkey is still roasting. For more canapé recipes that are easy to make, look impressive and wow on flavour, read the three best Christmas canapé recipes. For the perfect make-ahead starter that will leave you free to entertain on Christmas day, try our potted spiced meat. It is the perfect match for cold meats and the cheese board, or save it for snacking on a slice of hot toast.


These canapés are rich and luxurious but it is Christmas! You can make them in the morning then they just need a couple of minutes cooking before serving. Speck is a smoked ham that goes very well with the sweet scallops.

Makes 16 canapés

  • 16 small scallops
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 slices speck
  • 1 dsp sloe gin
  • 1⁄8 nutmeg

To make the fried scallop canapés, in a bowl season the scallops with salt and pepper and toss through the olive oil. Cut away the fat from the speck then slice into four strips lengthways.

Wrap each scallop (leaving the flat side exposed) in the speck and skewer with a cocktail stick.

Place a frying pan on a high heat and when really hot fry the scallops each side for about 11⁄2 minutes, pressing them down gently so they caramelise.

Turn off the heat then splash in the gin and grate over a little nutmeg. Give the pan a little shake then serve straightaway.