This recipe comes from Rose Elliot's Vegetarian Christmas, which is a wonderfully festive book filled with more recipes than just the traditional nut roast for veggies (seeing as how I don't like nuts). My copy was published in 1993 and seems to be out of print, and although I can find other vegetarian Christmas books by the same author, the picture on the front and blurb is a wee bit different, so I'm not sure if it's the same republished book or a different, later version. She's worth checking out if you're veggie or interested in veggie recipes, though. She can tend to the brown rice and lentil end of the spectrum, but she has some lovely, easy ideas; is accessible and easy to understand; and has lots of vegan recipes too.

I also love the mushroom pate from this same book, which is also very easy and tasty to make and is utterly scrummy, as [livejournal.com profile] terimaru will vouch as she demands I make it for her every time I visit ::g::

This recipe is ideal for Christmas Day for the non-nut loving veggies among us. It's not only tasty, but it's creative, decorative, festive and very, very easy to make. Nibble loves helping me decorate it, for example, even if he has not yet discovered the marvel that is mushrooms. And the best thing for the stressed is that you can make everything the day before (both the pastry and filling need to be chilled before you cook anyway) and then come Christmas Day you just roll out the pastry, cut out the Christmas Tree shape, and make it and bake it.

I've had it almost every Christmas since I bought the book, including the year that my tennis elbow was so bad that I had to trek to my Mum's for Christmas dinner with it all ready in containers so that she could roll it out for me because I couldn't.

Now that's dedication ;)

Flaky Pastry Mushroom Christmas Tree

Pastry

250g / 9oz strong brown flour
1 tsp salt
250g / 9oz cold butter
150ml / 5 fl oz ice cold water
squeeze of lemon juice
egg yolk

1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl.
2. Dice butter and add to the flour. Mix into the flour using a knife so that the pieces just get covered with flour and are well distributed.
3. Add the water and lemon juice and mix firmly to form a firm, soft dough.
4. On a floured board, roll out into a rectangle, then fold the top over and over again.
5. Turn a quarter clockwise, roll again. Repeat several times.
6. Cover and chill for at least 30 mins. Can be frozen.

Filling

25g / 1oz butter
1 onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
450g / 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
75g / 3 oz cooked rice
75g / 3 oz cream cheese
1 tbls chopped parsley
1 tsp grated lemon rind
2-3 tsp lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Melt the butter. Add onion and cook for 5 mins, then add garlic and mushrooms.
2. Fry until the mushrooms are tender and any liquid has gone - approx 30 mins.
3. Add rice, cream cheese, parsley, lemon rind and juice, salt and pepper. Mix well.
4. Chill.

Making the tree

1. Fold a piece of card 12 inches by 8 inches in half lengthways and cut out a Christmas tree template so that when you unfold it, you have a Christmas tree shape.
2. Halve the chilled pastry and roll out into a rectangle of 12 inches by 8 inches. Using the template, cut out the shape of the Christmas tree. Any extra pastry can be used to trim the tree.
3. Roll out the other half of the pastry. The recipe says to the same size, but I generally cut the pastry about an inch from the edge of the template - that makes the top a little bit bigger than the bottom, and you will need this extra room because I find that there is so much filling that otherwise you're stuck trying to fit it all in. This gives you some wriggle room.
4. Put the smaller tree onto a damp baking sheet and spoon the filling into it, leaving a gap of about 1/2 inch all the way around the outside.
5. Dampen the edges and place the other Christmas tree shape over the top, pressing the edges together to seal.
6. Prick lightly then decorate with the left over pastry just as you would trim a tree.
7. Brush over with the egg yolk.
8. Bake in an oven set at 200 C/ 400F/ Gas Mark 6 for 30 mins or until the top is golden brown.

It's wonderful hot, served Christmas day with all of the trimmings and even better eaten cold afterwards.
Tags:

From: [identity profile] thecomfychair.livejournal.com


ooo, that sounds delicious! I'm always looking for new festive vegitarian recipes.

From: [identity profile] terimaru.livejournal.com


That sounds scrumptous and you mean thing! Now I'm craving mushroom pate!! :D


From: [identity profile] cetpar.livejournal.com


I love mushrooms, so this sounds great.

Question though: What is "strong brown flour"? Is it whole wheat flour? Unbleached bread flour?

From: [identity profile] cetpar.livejournal.com


Thanks for the info. I'll have to look here to see if we have the brown flour. I've seen a lot of the other specialty flours in the stores here, but no that one. I may have just missed it as I wasn't looking for it specifically.

I've done all my bread-making to date with a bread machine. I love it, but I've finally decided to start making bread without one. I've even built a sourdough starter so I can try making that as well. The starter is ready to use, but I haven't had the time to try it yet. Hopefully, I'll be able to attempt it next week.

Thanks for the recipe and the info! (I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't even think to google it first. I should have my internet license revoked....)


From: [identity profile] moth2fic.livejournal.com


Thanks - that sounds lovely! I have (somewhere) a similar recipe, but the instructions on making the 'tree' are what make this so special!!
.

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