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Chestnut & Cranberry Christmas Ring


Serves 6

50g butter
2 tbsp Olive oil + extra for greasing
1 large red onion chopped
1 large leek trimmed and finely chopped
4 Garlic cloves crushed
500g Chestnuts cooked, peeled
225g Fresh cranberries
140g Fresh white bread made into crumbs
15g Fresh flat leaf parsley finely chopped
2 tbsp Fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp fresh rosemary + extra to garnish chopped
3 Medium eggs lightly beaten
550g Bramley apples peeled, cored & coarsely grated (330g grated weight)
100g Soft goat’s cheese
565g Ready-rolled puff pastry thawed if frozen
1 Medium egg yolk lightly beaten to glaze
Bay Leaves to garnish

Method and cooking times

1.Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas 6 / fan oven 180C a) Cut a 23cm / 9in circle from a piece of non-stick baking parchment. Cut a 13cm / 5in circle from the middle, to make a ring shape (use a desert plate and saucer as guides if necessary). Make 1cm deep cuts, spaced 3cm / 5 in apart, all the way around the inside and outside edges of the ring. b) Brush a 12 Litre / 2 pint non-stick ring mould with oil and use the paper ring to line the base. Brush with a little more oil.
2.a) Heat half the butter (25g) and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan until the butter is foaming. b) Gently fry the Onion, Leek, and Garlic for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened c) Place the chestnuts in a food processor and process until most are finely chopped but some slightly larger pieces remain.
3.a) Transfer the onion mixture to a large mixing bowl b) Return the pan to the heat and melt the remaining butter (25g) and oil (1tbsp) c) Add the chestnuts and cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously, until lightly browned.
4.a) Tip the chestnuts into the bowl with the onion mixture and stir in almost all the cranberries, reserving some for decoration, the breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme, rosemary, eggs, grated apples and plenty of seasoning. Mix well b) Spoon half the mixture into the prepared tin, pressing it down with the back of a spoon. c) Dot with pieces of cheese then cover with the remaining chestnut mixture.
5.a) Bake for 40-45 minutes until the ring is lightly browned and starting to come away from the sides of the tin. b) Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Oil a baking sheet c) Loosen the edges with a round bladed knife and turn out onto an oiled baking sheet d) Discard the Lining paper and leave the chestnut ring to cool for 1 hour until cold.
6.a) Unroll one pack of pastry onto a lightly flowered surface. Using a sharp knife cut out 2x20cm strips reserving the leftover pastry. b) Arrange the pastry strips over the chestnut ring, tucking in the edges with a round bladed knife as you go.
7.a) Re-roll the reserved pastry (Cook tip 2) to about 2mm thick. Cut leaf shapes from the pastry and mark on veins with a knife. b) Brush the pastry strips with egg yolk (Cook tip 1). Then attach the pastry leaves, curling and overlapping them to form a number of flower shapes spaced evenly around the ring. c) Shape several small balls of pastry and attach three to the centre of each flower with a dab of the egg yolk. (Cover and chill the remaining egg glaze) d) Cover with cling film and chill for at least 45minutes.
8.a) Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas 6 / fan oven 180C b) Brush the pastry decorations carefully with the reserved egg yolk. c) Bake for 40-45minutes until the pastry is risen and golden brown. If necessary cover the top of the ring with foil if it begins to over-brown before the sides are cooked.
9.a) Remove from the oven and slide gently onto a warmed serving plate. b) Garnish the ring with the remaining cranberries, the extra rosemary sprigs and the bay leaves. c) Serve with a rich sherry gravy and vegetables of your choice.