The Christmas Menu: Pumpkin, Sage & Marscapone Pies

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We are adding some delicious meat free Christmas fare this year for your table.  It 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 Christmas.

The best part about this recipe is that it can be made-ahead of the big event. Simply bake before you want to serve, or bake, cool and freeze the day you make it, and then defrost and reheat on serving day. It couldn’t be simpler!

This  recipe 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.

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.

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