We're continuing our Christmas Countdown with a third week of treats. Be sure to keep checking back as we add more and more fun and festive recipes to enjoy.


Maple Carrot & Parsnip Tart 

Thanks to @the_bare_scientist for this tasty dish!

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Serves: 6-8 people | Total Prep & Cooking Time: 1hour 45mins | Vegan and Vegetarian friendly.

INGREDIENTS:

(to fit an 8-9 inch fluted tart in)

For the pastry:

  • 220g of plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting the surface
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 115g cold dairy-free butter

For the tart filling:

  • ½ cup or 110g (dry weight) green speckled lentils
  • 2 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large shallot (approximately 10cm in length or 60g)
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 2 medium vine tomatoes
  • 3 large carrots
  • 3 large parsnips
  • Sea salt
  • Course ground pepper 
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 7g thyme (sprigs included in weight)
  • 10g sage (stalks included in weight; approximately 10-12 large leaves)

METHOD:

  1. Weigh out flour and mix with salt and dried mixed herbs in a large mixing bowl
  2. Add in cold dairy free butter and use a spoon or knife to “cut” the butter into the flour, until reaching a crumb-like consistency
  3. Form into a rough ball and tip out onto a lean, lightly floured surface. Proceed to roll the dough to incorporate butter well. Roll into a smoother ball and wrap in cling film. Place into the fridge for 20 minutes to chill
  4. Meanwhile, weigh out and prepare the ingredients for the first part of the pastry’s filling
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (fan oven, or mark 6 for gas oven) and place washed vine tomatoes and garlic cloves onto a small baking tray. Evenly coat them with a teaspoon of olive oil and roast for 15 minutes or until they are starting to brown and have softened. Leave the oven on, but you can slightly reduce the heat whilst prepping the next steps  
  6. Add washed lentils to a small pot of boiling water and cook until for approximately 20 minutes on a rolling boil until the lentils are soft
  7. Once cooked, drain the lentils and leave them to one side in a sieve. Rinse and dry the pot used for the lentils and place back on a medium heat, adding a teaspoon of olive oil
  8. Roughly chop half a large shallot and quickly sauté for a minute or two, adding in one of tomatoes and two of the garlic cloves, followed by the lentils. (Leave one of the roasted tomatoes and garlic cloves to the side for later use). Leave to cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes, adding in 5 – 6 of the sage leaves, that have been finely chopped. Season the mix with half a teaspoon of salt and half a tablespoon of coarsely ground black pepper, checking for taste and adjusting as required
  9. Transfer the mix above from step 7 into a blender and blitz into a rough paste. If the mixture is sticking to the sides, scrape back down with a spatula and re-whizz. If a little liquid is required, add a very small drizzle of olive oil or about 10ml cold water as you want as dry a mix as possible, so do not add much liquid at all
  10. Remove the pastry dough from the fridge and on a clean and lightly floured surface, roll out into a large rough circle, to the approximate thickness of a £1 coin. Very lightly grease the tart tin and using the rolling pin, ease the furthest edge of the dough from you over the rolling pin, gently easing and lifting the dough over the rolling pin towards you to ease it off of the surface. Place the dough over the tart tin, gently manoeuvring into place, using your knuckles to firmly press into the tin grooves. Trim off any excess dough (you can use this dough again to make a few very rustic crackers if you do not wish to discard)
  11. Pierce the bottom of the pastry case with a fork and place back into the fridge for ten minutes to chill. Make sure the oven if back on 180°C if you reduced the heat earlier. Once the pastry is chilled, use a large enough sheet of scrunched up parchment paper to line the pastry case, adding in baking beans on top of the parchment paper
  12. Blind bake the pastry case for 15-20 minutes, proceeding to remove beans and parchment and baking for a further 5-8 minutes to further crisp up the pastry and leave to one side once ready
  13. Whilst the pastry is baking in step 12, wash, then chop off the tops and ends of the carrots and parsnips and peel. Shave long ribbons using either a mandolin or a y-peeler. Use two separate side plates; one for the carrots and one for the parsnips to place ribbons on as you peel
  14. Take the remaining tomato, garlic clove and other half of shallot and blend into a rough paste with half of the thyme buds. Pour into a small mixing bowl and add in 1 tablespoon of course black pepper, half a tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and ¼ cup of maple syrup. Thoroughly whisk all ingredients together and leave to one side
  15. Take the lentil and tomato paste prepared earlier and thinly layer over the base of the pastry case. Pat into place with the back of a spoon
  16. Starting from the middle of the tart, place the carrot and parsnips in an alternating fashion. It is advised to tightly roll a few ribbons first to make it easier to place in the middle. Keep placing the ribbons round and round, packing as tightly as possible until you get to the outer edges. If necessary, you can slot in more ribbons delicately, wherever you see fit
  17. Using a pastry brush, liberally coat the tart with the maple paste made in step 14, getting into all of the folds as carefully as possible. You want the mixture to really coat the ribbons from top to base
  18. Bake in the oven on 180°C for 25 – 30 minutes or until the top starts to darken slightly. If you find that when you test the veg by piercing with a fork, and they are slightly too firm for you, either reduce the heat and cook for a little longer or tent the pastry with some foil to cook for a further 5-10 minutes to further soften the veg so that they do not burn
  19. Whilst the tart is baking, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a small, very well heated frying pan. Fry sage leaves for about 1-2 minutes for garnish
  20. Once you remove the tart from the oven, leave to rest for 5-10 minutes and garnish with fresh thyme buds and the crispy sage

Turkey, Stuffing and Cranberry Pie

Thank you to Nokx @nokxmajozi for this delicious recipe. 

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Serves 12

Ingredients:

For the stuffing:

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 20g bunch of thyme, picked & finely chopped 
  • 20g bunch of flat leaf parsley, picked & finely chopped
  • 30g unsalted butter 
  • 30g panko breadcrumbs
  • 140g Cumberland sausage meat
  • 3g fine table salt  

For the filling:

  • 500g turkey thigh mince 
  • 500g turkey breast diced
  • 100g dried cranberries  
  • 20g fine table salt
  • 20g bunch of sage, picked & finely chopped 

For the pastry:

  • 500g plain flour 
  • 60g water
  • 2 whole eggs 
  • 10g fine table salt
  • 250g unsalted butter (cold, small dice)
  • 5ml natural black food colouring 

For the jelly:

  • 200 ml chicken stock 
  • 4 bronze gelatine leaves
  • Sage stalks from picked sage for filling
  • 2g salt
  • 1 x 30cm pate mould

Method:

  1. In a mixing bowl add flour, salt and butter mixed by rubbing until it has a crumble consistency. 
  2. Whisk eggs and water together and add into crumble, combine till forms a rough dough. Finish by hand on a surface and knead gently a couple of times till smooth. Flatten pastry, wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least an hour
  3. For the stuffing melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat and add onion, garlic and stir until it’s translucent and soft. Add the breadcrumbs and all the herbs, mix well and set aside until cool. Combine this with the sausage meat and put into a piping bag then pipe into a sausage shape roll that is 28cm long and chill.
  4. For the filling add turkey mince, dice turkey breast, cranberries, sage and salt into a bowl and mix well.

To assemble:

  1. Take pastry from fridge and allow to soften for 5 min at room temperature. Add the food colouring to 100g of the dough in a bowl and mix well till black, roll out thinly on greaseproof paper with a little flour till as thin as possible and freeze for ten minutes and then cut out the decoration you want on the sides. Lightly grease the pie tin with butter on the inside and stick the decorations onto it, place back in the freezer to set hard.
  2. Roll out the rest of the pastry to a large rectangle 0.5cm in thickness. Cut one strip of pastry from the length of the rectangle that is 15x25cm and set aside in the fridge for the lid. Take the tin from the freezer and line with the large rectangle, pressing hard against the sides and against the black decoration and leaving a 1 inch overlap on the sides for crimping, trim with scissors if necessary.
  3. Pack in the turkey mix halfway up the tin, make a little well down the length of the centre and sit the stuffing in it. Add the rest of the farce and close with the remaining pastry lid. Crimp the overlapped pastry and the lid together onto the top of the pie.
  4. Mix the egg yolk, water and egg wash the pie. Make your top design and make 4 small holes for steam. Keep in the fridge at least 30 min
    Bake at 185*C fan oven for 45-55 min until golden brown and the filling is 50 degrees celsius in the centre. Remove from the oven and let cool, chill it overnight.

For the jelly:

  1. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water whilst warming the chicken stock, sage leaves and salt till it reaches a simmer in a small saucepan.
  2. Remove the sage stalks and take the gelatine from the cold water, squeeze firmly and then whisk into stock till fully dissolved.
  3. Add jelly mix into the steam holes till pie is full and set in the fridge for 1 hours. Remove from the tin and slice as desired and serve with cranberry sauce.


Thank you to Calum of @madebyblitz for the two delicious vegan recipes below:

Roast ‘beef’ recipe

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Makes 6 patties | Time: 25-30mins

Ingredients

  • 1 pack Meatless Farm plant mince (400g)
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup (or maple syrup)
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 pack Merchant Gourmet puy lentils
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Chop the red onion into slices and fry in olive oil. Once softened, add the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and syrup in. Reduce on a low heat until onions go sticky.
  2. In a bowl, mix up the plant mince, rosemary and thyme and combine it all up. Season to taste, then add all the remaining ingredients including the onions into the bowl and combine into one big mince ball.
  3. Split the mixture up into smaller patties, and whack those patties on a foiled tray. Make sure you oil the bottom and put a drizzle on top too.
  4. Cook for 15-20 minutes at 180°C.
  5. Serve it on Christmas Day with some roasted potatoes, all the veg you can find and of course some sprouts. 

Vegan Mince Pies

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Makes 10 mince pies | Time: 30-35mins

Ingredients

  • 2 packs puff pastry
  • 3 tbsp almond butter
  • 3 tbsp agave
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 100g currants
  • 100g raisins
  • 1 pack of pecans
  • 1 clementine or orange
  • 1 red apple
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • Muffin/cupcake tray

Method

  1. Chop your apple and add to a hot saucepan with some juice from the orange (or clementine if you’re a festive aficionado), the currants and raisins. Whack the heat down and cook on a low until the dried fruit softens and the apple caramelises.
  2. Blitz some pecans until it looks like breadcrumbs.
  3. Now add into the saucepan the spices, almond butter and put your pecan crumb in gradually. You want to keep adding pecans till you have a nice stodgy mixture that doesn’t look dry. I usually find half the mixture does the trick. Add the agave in to taste.
  4. Roll out both puff pastry sheets and cut some circles out (should be able to get 10 circles on each Morrisons puff pastry sheet). Grease a muffin tray and add one layer of circles in, shaping the pastry into the spaces in the tray. Add in the mincemeat mixture to that pastry. Add the other circles on top (your lid) and make decorations with the spare bits.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Serve with icing sugar and your favourite plant-based cream.