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Member recipe

Chestnut & Cranberry Xmas Ring

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(7 ratings)

Member recipe by


Serves 6

This festive wreath – a combination of tasty chestnuts, moist grated apple and fresh tangy cranberries with a cheesy centre and a golden pastry decoration – form the perfect Christmas meal. It’s surprisingly easy to make and can be prepared a day ahead. Plus, it’s easily transported if your visiting friends – just pop it in the oven 40 or so minutes before you’re ready to eat.

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  • 50g (1¾ oz) 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 (1lb 2oz) Chestnuts Cooked, peeled
  • 225g (8oz) Fresh Cranberries
  • 140g (5oz) Fresh white bread Made into crumbs
  • 15g (½ oz) 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 (1lb 4oz) Bramley apples Peeled, cored & coarsely grated (330g/10oz grated weight)
  • 100g (3½ oz) Soft Goats Cheese (All soft cheeses work well in this recipe. Try garlic and herb or cream cheese, or leave it out all together if preferred.)
  • 565g Ready-rolled puff pastry Thawed if frozen
  • 1 Medium Egg yolk Lightly beaten to glaze
  • Bay Leaves to garnish


    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.

Comments, questions and tips

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4th Dec, 2015
I am hoping this is the nut roast recipe from BBC Vegetarian Good Food magazine from Christmas 1999. I made it and it was delicious. I cut out the recipe at the time but lost it. I have been wanting to make this again for years! I took a photo of it which I still have in my album. I shall definitely be making it for my Christmas dinner this year!!
13th Dec, 2012
This has become my traditional christmas dinner since my mum made it many years ago. Now christmas is not the same without it, like Turkey is to most people. Shame you dont have a picture because it looks so good on the table. Its great hot but also just as nice cold with mash, brussels and pickled onions. If your looking for a good vegatarian alternative this is a must try.
24th Dec, 2011
We too got this recipe from an old copy of Good Food. I lost it for a while but then a lady called Caroline Harvey very kindly sent me a copy. We use it every year and it is excellent, and even better as leftovers, gently warmed with a big dollop of cranberry jelly. We use apricots rather than cranberries in the load itself and find this works really well.
20th Dec, 2011
My Mum cut this out of a magazine years ago just like everyone else above. She always digs it out at every Christmas and is always offering to photocopy it for me but I always forget and end up getting her to recite the recipe down the phone. This year she has gone away and my husband is bugging me to make it for his (meat-eating) family. I was wondering how I was going to get hold of the recipe but all is saved. My lovely man will get his chestnut roast this year!
27th Nov, 2011
OMG!!! So happy to have found this recipe here! Made it years and years ago and adored it, made it for a few chritstmas' as same as The harrow Belly lost the recipe in a house move! Can't wait to make this again this year! I am no longer a vegetarian but can't wait to make this again! Might not nother having any turkey if this is on the table!!!
23rd Aug, 2011
We make this every Chistmas! It is worth the effort. Meat eaters will love it just as much as veggies. It looks stunning on the table too.
17th Nov, 2010
I made this recipe years ago when it was first published in the then monthly BBC Vegetarian magazine. I tweaked it a bit, otherwise it was delicious and went down a treat on Christmas Day. I then moved house, misplaced the copy of the magazine and was never able to replicate the recipe. Until now, as I've just found it here. The best nut roast recipe I've tasted - the cranberries and apples make the difference and chestnuts aren't as "nutty" as other nuts and has a lower fat content. Surprised this recipe has not surfaced in more recent magazines!
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