Christingle all the way
Now’s the time to make this festive legend of a pie at home.
We made these christingle pies a few years ago so vegetarians had something a little more inspired for Christmas dinner than a nut roast and sprouts. They’ve been a huge hit for us and, what’s more, even hardened carnivores have fallen for their charms.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large shallots, chopped
3 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
200g celeriac, peeled and chopped
A small bunch of rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
10 sage leaves, chopped
100ml dry sherry
300 ml double cream
1 tsp English mustard
1 tbsp cranberry jelly
A small bunch of parsley, chopped
200g mature Cheddar cheese, crumbled or grated
660g shortcrust pastry. See recipe below or buy some ready-made (all-butter is best)
1 free range egg, lightly beaten, to glaze
sea salt and black pepper
Heat the oil and butter in a large pan, add the vegetables and cook over a medium heat for about 15 minutes, until they are a good golden brown. Stir in the rosemary and sage and cook for a couple of minutes longer. Add the sherry and let it bubble until reduced by about half. Add the cream, bring back to a simmer and reduce by half again. Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard and cranberry jelly, followed by the parsley. Stir in the Cheddar, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Roll out the shortcrust pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 3mm thick. Cut in half and use to line 2 individual pie dishes, pushing it well into the corners of each one and letting it overhang the sides slightly. Divide the filling between the dishes and brush the pastry edges with egg.
Roll out the remaining pastry (again about 3mm thick) and cut out 2 pieces to fit the tops of the dishes. Cover the pies with the pastry, pressing the edges of the pastry to seal. Brush with beaten egg, make a small hole in the centre of each one and decorate with the pastry trimmings, brushing them with egg too. Leave to stand for 10 minutes or so. Bake the pies for about 35 minutes, until well browned. Serve up with all your favourite festive vegetarian trimmings.
400g plain flour
A pinch of salt
200g butter, cut into small cubes
About 4 tbsp cold water
Sift the flour into a bowl and add the salt. Add the cubes of butter and rub them into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Gradually stir in enough cold water to make a pliable but fairly firm dough. Knead lightly for 30 seconds or so until smooth, then wrap in clingfilm and chill for atleast 30 minutes before use.
For more pie recipes to enjoy this Christmas and throughout the year, get your hands on a copy of A Pie for All Seasons.
And if you’d rather we made your pies for you, you can get the christingle and other lovely pies from us in selected Waitrose stores, online through Ocado and here.