Start of the New Year with this AMAZING Veggie Pie...
Ingredients for 6 people
1 Butternut Squash
3 Garlic Cloves
100g Cheddar Cheese
400g can Chickpeas
1tsp Cumin seed - ground
1tsp Coriander seed - ground
50g Dried Cranberries or Raisins
Bunch of Herbs : Dill / Mint
1 packet Filo Pastry
2tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 20cm/8” cake tin preferably with a loose base
- Pre-heat oven to 180°C
- Peel and de-seed the butternut squash and chop into 1½cm bitesized cubes
- Put them onto a baking tray and sprinkle with ½ tsp each of ground cumin and coriander seed. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with 1-2 tbsp oil. Toss the cubes gently until they are well coated. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until dark golden brown and soft, tossing once or twice during the cooking
- Put the cranberries into a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak for 10 minutes or so and drain them
- Meanwhile, slice the onions and fry them in another spoonful of oil in a frying pan for 5 minutes over a low heat
- Peel and chop the garlic and add this to the pan. Continue cooking for another 2 minutes or so.
- Add ½tsp each of ground cumin, coriander, cinnamon and honey
- Zest the lemon and add this to the pan
- Wash the spinach and put this in to the pan. Stir for a 6-8 minutes over a medium heat until the spinach has wilted and there isn’t much liquid left in the pan. Take off the heat. Add the juice of ½ the lemon
- Drain the chickpeas and add these with the roasted butternut and cranberries
- Chop the feta roughly into small cubes and grate the cheddar
- Chop the herbs and add these along with the cheeses. Taste the mixture and add further seasoning and/or lemon juice to taste
- Melt the butter and mix with a couple of tablespoons of oil
- If you want to decorate the pie, take one sheet of filo and brush it with melted butter. Cut it in half, and lay one half on top of the other. Cut in half again twice more. Cut out decorations with a knife and lay them butter-side down on the base
- Take another sheet of filo, brush with butter and lay in the tin, leaving the extra overlapping the edges
- Put another buttered sheet at right angles. Then repeat with all but two of the remaining sheets at angles around the tin, smoothing as you go
- Fill the pie with the mixture and press down well. Top with the remaining two sheets, butter the top and fold the edges over as neatly as you can
- Put the tin on a baking sheet
- Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes
- If the top is getting to brown, cover with foil for the last 10 minutes or so
- Leave for 10 minutes before loosening the pie with a knife and inverting onto a serving plate
- This recipe is easily adaptable for more or fewer people - use a larger or smaller tin and more filo pastry if necessary. You can also add steamed aubergine, fried peppers, courgettes, chilli, fresh coriander or mint. Adjust the amount of cheese to balance accordingly.
- The pie is also delicious just made with the onion, cheese and spinach mixture if you prefer a simplified version.
Star Biscuits with the Williams
Whether it's Christmas or not, these star biscuits are always a treat!
Ingredients (enough for 20 small glasses)
250g granulated sugar
100ml maple syrup
750ml dry white wine
½ teaspoon dried aniseed
500g dried figs
This recipe is sufficient to make one large pudding in a 2 pint (1.2 litre) basin which serves 8 - 10 people
It is suitable for vegetarians and has reduced sugar.
This version is also nut free but you can substitute 25 grams of chopped skinned almonds and use a little less mixed candied peel.
110g (4oz) vegetable suet
110g (4oz) self raising flour (sifted)
110g (4oz) white breadcrumbs
1 level teaspoon ground mixed spice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Large pinch ground cinnamon
75g (approx 3oz) soft brown sugar
330g (12oz) mixed vine fruit comprising raisins, flame raisins and sultanas
110g (4oz) currants
75g (3oz) dried cranberries
110g (4oz) mixed candied peel
1 small Cox’s or Bramley's cooking apple
Grated zest of half an orange
Grated zest of half a lemon
1 tablespoon black treacle
2 large eggs
75 ml barley wine
(or 150ml of either)
3 tablespoons brandy
NB if you do not wish to add alcohol you can used ginger beer and/or earl grey tea as substitutes
Method: watch the film above.
After steaming your pudding for up to 8 hours (depending on your steaming methods), allow it to cool and then replace the grease proof paper and foil and make a new string handle ready for Christmas Day. Keep in a cool place.
On Christmas Day steam your pudding again for about 2 hours and serve with your favourite accompaniments!
You can decorate it with a sprig of holly and if you wish add a ladleful of warm brandy before igniting it and pouring over the pudding for a spectacular effect at the table!