- 200g leek, thinly sliced
Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…
- 25g butter, plus a knob
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 100g mushroom, finely chopped
The mushroom is a fungus which comes in a wide range of varieties that belong to two distinct…
- 4 good pinches ground mace
- 4 good pinches thyme leaf, plus a few extra small sprigs to decorate
- 100g potato, grated
The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…
- 100g Puy or green lentil, from a can, rinsed and drained
The lentil plant (Lens Culinaris) originates from Asia and North Africa and is one of our oldest…
- 100g cooked chestnut, finely chopped
'Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...' that kitsch old Nat King Cole song perfectly…
- 8 tbsp double cream
- 4 tbsp cranberry, plus about 20 to decorate
A tart, ruby-red coloured berry which grows wild on shrubs throughout northern Europe and North…
- 1 egg, beaten, to glaze
The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…
- 2 tsp redcurrant jelly
For the pastry
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Gently fry the leeks in the butter until softened. Add the mushrooms, mace and thyme, and turn up the heat a bit to soften the mushrooms and drive off any liquid that comes out of them. Stir in the potato for 2 mins, followed by the lentils, chestnuts and cream. Cook for 2 mins more, then take off the heat and stir in the 4 tbsp cranberries.
To make the pastry, put the flour and suet in a food processor with 1 tsp salt. Whizz together until you can’t see any big suet lumps, then keep pulsing while you add the milk, a spoon at a time, until the pastry comes together.
Roll out a quarter of the pastry on a lightly floured surface, then use 4 individual pie dishes to cut 4 pastry lids – we used 4 x 250ml ramekins. Use a small star cutter to cut out a star from each lid, then keep stars and lids covered with cling film.
Cut 4 strips of baking parchment and use a little butter to stick one in each pie dish, so the ends of the strips stick outeach side to help you remove the pies when baked. Gather lid scraps with the remaining pastry and divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll out each to £1 coin thickness and use to line each pie dish with an overhang. Divide the filling between the dishes. Top each with a lid, and roll down the overhang to meet the lid. Use a fork’s prongs to press and seal edges. The pies can now be covered and chilled for up to 24 hrs before baking.
To bake, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7. Brush each pie with beaten egg and bake for 30 mins. Lift pies from dishes and sit directly onto a baking sheet. Mix 20 cranberries with the redcurrant jelly and divide between the star holes on top. Brush pastry stars with beaten egg, add a small thyme sprig to each, then add to the pie baking sheet and put back in the oven for 5-10 mins, until pies and stars are golden and crisp. Top each pie with a star and serve.
This recipe makes four pies, but all the quantities are easily quartered or halved, which means it’s just as easy to make one pie, or two – or as many as you want.