If you're looking for a
festive vegetarian main dish for Christmas or Thanksgiving, pies are a great option as they're beautiful, delicious, and great for feeding a crowd. This Celeriac, Leek, Chestnut and Cranberry Pie features on our Christmas courses and combines some of our favourite seasonal flavours. You can easily make this pie vegan by using a butter substitute for the pastry (the filling is already vegan, unless you add one of our optional extras like cheese or cream). It's also a very handy dish to make ahead, especially if you want a vegetarian option to take along to a feast. Just pop it in the oven and enjoy!
Celeriac, Leek, Chestnut and Cranberry Pies
Serves: 1 large pie or 4 individual pies using large (100ml) ramekins or 3 inch metal rings
Dietary: Vegan Option
For the pastry
- 300g plain flour
- 150g butter (or margarine if vegan)
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- A little water as needed
- Milk to glaze
- Olive oil to rub the pie tin
For the filling
- 1 leek, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 small celeriac, peeled and cubed into 1 cm cubes
- 100g pre-cooked chestnuts
- A small glass of white wine or dry sherry
- A handful of chopped sage and thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- Rapeseed oil to cook
- 4 tbsp cranberry sauce – either homemade or shop bought
- Optional extras: grated cheddar or vegetarian Parmesan cheese, cubes of Brie or Stilton, a splash of cream
For the pastry
- Preheat oven to Gas mark 6/200C
- Put the flour and butter into a bowl (or a food processor) and rub (or whiz) until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the mustard and stir in well, or whiz, until the mixture forms a ball. If the mixture is too dry add a little water until it comes together easily. Wrap the pastry in cling-film and leave in the fridge to chill for at least an half an hour, this can be left overnight and will keep for 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.
- Split the pastry into the number of pies you want to make and then take about 2/3 of each ball to make the pie case-the rest if for making the lid. Roll out the larger ball of pastry out to a thickness of 2mm with a rolling pin. Rub the inside of the ramekins or rings with olive oil and push the pastry gently into the dish so that it goes into all of the edges and hangs over the top. Trim off the overhang to 1cm below the top of the ramekin (the pastry will shrink when cooking). You will be left with extra pastry for topping the pies later-wrap this in cling-film so it doesn’t dry out.
- Bake the pasty blind (no filling) for 10 minutes – if you have some you can do this with baking beans on a piece of greaseproof paper. Remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for 5 minutes-the pastry should look dry; if it is wet return it to the oven for a further 5 minutes.
For the filling
- Heat a large saucepan and 2 tbsp of rapeseed or vegetable oil. Add the leeks and gently cook, with the lid on, for 10 minutes, checking that the leeks aren’t colouring as you cook.
- Add the garlic and celeriac and raise the temperature-fry the celeriac until it is starting to turn golden around the edges. Add the chestnuts, wine and herbs and stir well. If you want to add a splash of cream and/or cheese you can add it now.
- Cook for 10 minutes or until the celeriac is just cooked-you may need to add a splash of water or wine to stop it from drying out. Taste and add salt, pepper, lemon juice and more herbs to your taste.
To assemble the pies
- Carefully divide the filling mixture between the pastry cases (any leftovers are great to serve as a side dish or kept for leftovers the next day) make a hole in the middle of the filling and place in a spoonful of Cranberry Sauce and then push the celeriac filling over the top of the Cranberry.
- Brush the top edge of the pastry with olive oil. Roll out the remaining pastry and place over the top of the ramekins. Press the edges securely and press a fork around the edges to seal.
- Using a sharp knife trim off the cooked overhang and the uncooked pastry top neatly.
- If you like you can decorate the pies with shapes such as stars, holly or whatever cutters you have or shape you can cut with a knife. Stick these on with a little water and glaze all over the top of the pie with soya milk.
- Bake for 15 minutes until the top of the pies are golden. If you want to freeze or reheat the pies don’t overcook them at this stage, if you are eating them straight away bake for a further 5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and then carefully turn out the pies.
Check out our Christmas courses for hands-on festive cooking inspiration. Or browse our vegetarian Christmas recipes for more holiday recipes!
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