Thursday, 23 December 2010

Chestnut and Cranberry Festive Ring (or Loaf)

I found this recipe in a BBC Vegetarian magazine in 1999 and I have made it every Christmas since as it is so good. Originally I made it as a ring, but last year I started making it in 2 loaf tins. The recipe is sufficient to fill a 1lb loaf tin and a 2lbs loaf tin. I make the loaves in advance of Christmas and slice them into portions and freeze them individually wrapped in foil. Defrost as required and bake in foil for 15-20 minutes at 180'/190'C. Makes approx. 14 portions.


50g butter
2tbsp olive oil
oil or butter for greasing
1 large red onion, chopped
1 large leek, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
500g cooked chestnuts, peeled
225g fresh cranberries
140g fresh white breadcrumbs
15g fresh flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
3 medium eggs, lightly beaten
550g Bramley apples, peeled, cored and coarsely grated (300g grated weight)
100g soft goats cheese
565g puff pastry
1 medium egg yolk, lightly beaten, to glaze
seasoning

1. Preheat oven to 190'C. Line and grease tin(s). If using a ring mould cut a 23cm circle of greaseproof paper and cut a 13cm circle from its centre. Make 1cm deep cuts, spaced 3cm apart all around the circumference. If using loaf tins it's a lot simpler! :)
2. Heat half of the butter and half of the oil in a large frying pan and gently fry the onion, leek and garlic for 3-5 minutes until softened. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
3. In a processor, blitz the chestnuts until most are finely chopped. Heat remaining butter and oil in pan and cook chestnuts for 5 minutes until lightly browned. Add to leek mixture.
4. Into chestnut and leek mixture add the cranberries, breadcrumbs, herbs, apple and season well. Stir in the 3 beaten eggs.

5. Place half of the mixture into your chosen tin (s) and press down firmly with the back of a spoon.

6. Dot the mixture with torn pieces of the goat's cheese, then cover with the remaining mixture, again pressing down firmly.

7. Bake for approximately 30-45 minutes, until lightly browned and coming away from the sides of the tin.
8. Allow to cool in tin. Once cold remove from tin, carefully pull away the paper and invert onto a baking tray.
9. Roll out the puff pastry and cover chestnut roast in your chosen design. Brush with egg wash.
10. Bake at 190'C for approximately 25-35 minutes, until pastry is risen and golden brown. Either serve immediately or cool and freeze in slices.
Merry Christmas

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