3 Make-Ahead Meat Free Christmas Party Pies

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3 Make-Ahead Meat Free Christmas Party Pies

Christmas need not be all about big meaty dishes (as you will well know if you are Vegetarian or Vegan!); often what the Christmas table needs is a beautiful dish that celebrates the myriad flavours of fruits and vegetables, which are in particularly wonderful condition for our Australian Summer Christmases. The best part about these recipes is that they can be made-ahead of the big event. Simply bake before you want to serve, or bake, cool and freeze the day you make them, and then defrost and reheat on serving day. It couldn’t be simpler!

These Christmas Party Pie recipes will serve 4-6. To serve more people, make 1 ½ or 2 times the recipe, but ensure not to make dishes physically larger than the recipes dictate as this changes the cooking time and consistency significantly.

*Christmas Party Pie Recipes*

Potato and Goat Cheese Crustless Pie

Ingredients

4 large waxy potatoes

12 spring onions

4 sprigs thyme

150g goat cheese

10 eggs

150ml cream

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Peel and finely slice the potatoes. Remove the roots and finely slice 7 of the spring onions, leaving the other 5 long. Strip the thyme leaves and finely chop, discarding the stalks.
  3. Whisk together the eggs, cream, salt and pepper.
  4. Heat a large, heavy based, oven proof pan on medium heat. Add the oil and make sure the surface is evenly coated.
  5. Cook the potatoes until golden brown, about 6-8 minutes.
  6. Pour the egg mixture over the eggs, make sure they are distributed evenly. Sprinkle over spring onions. Bake for about 10 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle crumbled goats cheese over the frittata and bake for a further 10 minutes.
  8. Slide the frittata from the pan onto a plate and allow to cool.
  9. Will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge or one month in the freezer, if well wrapped.
  10. To reheat, slide frittata onto a lightly greased baking sheet and place in a 170 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until a little crisp and warmed through.
  11. Cut reserved spring onions into long thin strips and sprinkle over as a garnish. Cut into wedges and serve,

Pumpkin, Sage and Mascarpone Pies

Ingredients

1kg packet frozen butter puff pastry

600g butternut pumpkin

10 sage leaves

3 garlic cloves

4 teaspoons mustard

250g mascarpone

½ cup breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 egg

Method

  1. Allow 6 sheets of puff pastry to defrost until just pliable. Set 2 sheets aside.
  2. Peel and very thinly slice the pumpkin. Finely chop the sage leaves and garlic cloves.
  3. Combine the mascarpone, sage, garlic and breadcrumbs. Season to taste.
  4. Spread each sheet of puff pastry with a thin layer of mustard, leaving a 1cm gap around the edge.
  5. On two of the sheets, line the mustard with thin pumpkin slices, and then bread a thin layer of the mascarpone mixture over the top. Top with more pumpkin slices and the remaining mascarpone mixture.
  6. Top these squares with the remaining puff sheets that have been spread with mustard, mustard side down.
  7. Push out any air as you press and seal the edges of the pastry together with your fingers. Press the back of a fork all around the pastry edge to seal further and create a decorative pattern.
  8. Cut shapes with cookie cutters from the remaining pastry sheets, such as leaves, hearts etc. and press these against the pies to decorate.
  9. Cover and freeze for up to one month.
  10. Defrost completely before baking. Place frozen pie on lined baking sheet and defrost.
  11. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
  12. Brush the pies with beaten egg. Cut a tiny x in the centre of each one to release steam.
  13. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and puffed.
  14. Cooked pies will keep for up to one week in the fridge, though they will lose their crispness. Try to bake just before serving. Baked pies will keep for up to one month in the freezer.

Christmas Pies

Ingredients

500g shortcrust pastry (homemade or store bought)

3 leeks

3 cloves garlic

20 button mushrooms

2 large potatoes

1 bunch English spinach

Bunch of thyme, half reserved

100g cooked lentils

100g chestnut meat, cooked

¼ cup dried cranberries

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

100ml cream

40g butter

1 egg

Method

  1. Finely slice the leeks, finely chop the garlic. Peel and finely dice the potatoes. Remove the roots and roughly chop the English spinach. Strip the leaves from the thyme and discard the stalks. Roughly chop the leaves.
  2. In a large pan or pot, add the butter and place on medium-low heat. Cook the leeks until softened, add the mushrooms, garlic, thyme and potatoes. Stir through and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the lentils, chestnuts, cream and spinach and cook for a further few minutes. Add the cranberries. Season filling to taste with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Allow to cool.
  3. Grease a large muffin tin. Cut bases and lids to the size of the muffin cups in your tin.
  4. Line each hole with a base piece and then add cooled filling. Top with a pastry lid and press with fingers to seal top and bottom together. Press with the back of a fork all around to seal further. Cut stars from the pastry scraps and press these to the centre of each pie.
  5. Freeze and then when totally frozen, pop them out of the muffin tin and keep in a zip lock bag. Or if you don’t need the tin for anything else, just wrap the whole thing will in cling film and freeze for up to two months
  6. To bake, defrost completely and brush the tops of the pies with beaten egg. Cut a little steam cross in the centre of each star.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Decorate tops with thyme sprigs and serve.
  9. Bake pies will keep for up to one week in the fridge or one month in the freezer, but try to bake these just before serving.

once-a-week cooking

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