1 To make the stuffing, heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and bacon until the onion is soft and golden and the bacon cooked. Add the cranberries and continue to cook until the berries ‘pop’. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the breadcrumbs, grated orange zest and juice, thyme, pecans and eggs. Season with freshly ground black pepper and stir everything together until evenly mixed.
2 Spoon some of the stuffing into the neck end of the turkey and roll the rest into small balls. Place the balls in a single layer in a shallow, greased ovenproof dish and chill until needed. .
3 Fold the loose neck skin under the turkey and tuck the wing tips under the body to hold the neck skin in place. Lift the turkey into a large, deep roasting tin and season all over with freshly ground black pepper. .
4 Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Cover the turkey with a large sheet of foil to form a tent over the bird so air can circulate around it and tuck the foil around the top edge of the tin to make a tight seal. .
5 Roast the turkey in the oven for 3 hours, basting it with the pan juices from time to time. Mix together the apricot jam, soy sauce and lemon juice until smooth. Remove the turkey from the oven and take off the foil. Brush the glaze over all over the turkey and return to the oven with the stuffing balls. Roast for another 30 mins or until the turkey is a rich golden brown and the juices run clear when the thickest part of the leg is pierced with a skewer. .
6 Leave the turkey in a warm place to rest for 15-20 mins before carving. Serve with roast potatoes, vegetables and the stuffing. .
Don’t buy a premium apricot jam to make the glaze as it will contain lots of large pieces of fruit that will need to be sieved out. If your supermarket sells apricot glaze, using for brushing over fruit tarts, this is ideal as it’s smooth. .