Christmas Raised Vegetable Pie

Pies stuffed with all sorts of goodies have been a Christmas speciality since medieval times. Originally, the pies consisted of a turkey stuffed with a goose, which was stuffed with a chicken, which was stuffed with a partridge, which was stuffed with a pigeon (sounds like the budgie had a narrow escape). This was held together in a pastry shell along with hare and small game birds and seasoned with nutmeg, mace and cloves. Nowadays, the filling is mainly mixed game, but as I have ignored my vegetarian friends over previous Christmas’s, I have found this vegetarian option. Once the pie is cut, the colours inside are very festive.

Ingredients - serves 6 to 8

For the pastry:  
1lb plain flour 8oz (225g) vegetable fat (or lard for non-vegetarian)
1 teaspoon of salt 1 egg yolk & 1 beaten egg for glaze
  6 fl oz (180ml) water
For the filling:  
6 small parsnips, peeled and chopped 2 large tomatoes, sliced
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped A little spinach
8oz mushrooms, sliced 240g tin vacuum packed chestnuts
2 small onions, peeled and chopped A little olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed Knob of butter
1 large aubergine, sliced Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced ½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger


  1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre.
  2. Put the water and fat into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour immediately into the well, stirring vigorously.
  3. Add the egg yolk and beat well.
  4. Turn on to a floured board and, when it is a comfortable heat to handle, knead until pliable.
  5. Roll out two thirds of the dough to a size that enables you to line a greased 7 inch (175mm) loose bottomed cake tin. The pastry shouldn’t be too thin. You may find it easier to cut a circle and line the bottom first. The sides can then be lined with strips wide enough to form a seal with the bottom pastry and rise approx 1 inch (25mm) above the tin.
  6. Wrap the remaining pastry in Clingfilm and refrigerate.
  7. Pre-heat oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6.
  8. Place the aubergine and red pepper on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and bake for 15 mins.
  9. Boil the parsnips and sweet potatoes together.
  10. When soft, drain and mash together with a knob of butter, salt and pepper, and the grated ginger.
  11. Place the onions in a frying pan with a little olive oil and cook over a gentle heat until transparent.
  12. Add the mushrooms, garlic and lemon zest and cook for a further 5 mins.
  13. Fill the tin with layers of the ingredients starting with half the mashed vegetables, followed by half of the chestnuts, then half of the sliced aubergine and red pepper, then half of the tomato and spinach. The repeat the layers pushing down firmly on the ingredients after each layer.
  14. Fold in the top of the pastry and brush with water.
  15. Roll out the remaining pastry to cover the top of the pie with approx 1 inch (25mm) overlap. Lay on top of the pie and seal the edges of the lid by pinching the pastry together. Make a steam hole in the top.
  16. Brush with the beaten egg and place on a baking tray. Cook in the oven for 45 mins, until golden brown.
  17. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 mins before removing from the tin.

This can be eaten hot or cold. It slices better cold and goes nicely with cheeses and pickles.


Vegetable Stall

Root VegetablesVEGETABLES