Individual Christmas pies

Individual Christmas pies

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(17 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 1 hr

More effort

Makes 4
This recipe for a stunning vegetarian Christmas alternative, can easily be reduced or increased to make as many as you need

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze once cooked
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal742
  • fat42g
  • saturates21g
  • carbs78g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre7g
  • protein17g
  • salt1.48g
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  • 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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 leaves, 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

  • 200g plain flour, plus a little extra
  • 100g light vegetarian suet
  • 8 tbsp milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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2nd Dec, 2017
Still,wondering if I can make ahead and freeze?
23rd Dec, 2015
@ alison-k er - what grated potato and stilton . . . ?
20th Nov, 2015
can these pies be made in advance and frozen before re-heating or if freezing should be avoided what would be the maximum number of days you could make it in advance?
30th Mar, 2015
Omitted lentils, mace and sage. Added a little more of the grated potato and Stilton and salt and pepper to taste. Delicious. Went down a storm and looked stunning
7th Dec, 2014
Have just made these , they are in the oven at moment. A couple of the ingredients were new to me so wasn't sure what to expect. The filling smelt lovely but I thought it a bit bland so added a veggie stock cube which helped greatly. The pastry was much firmer than my normal recipe but this helped with lining the tins as, being so deep, meant that they fluted a lot at the tops and had to be pressed in and trimmed up. I used large muffin tins as I prefer metal tins to a ramekin . Also, bearing in mind an earlier comment, I chopped up the cranberries a little to avoid one big hit of it. I can't comment on final result until Xmas as will be going in freezer until then
1st Nov, 2014
I added extra of all the seasonings as the chestnuts edge towards bland and they turned out great! I'll be making this again, but creating the individual pies was such a hassle that I'll make one larger one to share. I love the cut out star in the lid, such a beautiful finish!
Arlandria's picture
15th Sep, 2014
I found these pies to be visually beautiful, but flavour-wise, thoroughly mediocre. They weren't bad per se, but they certainly aren't good enough to grace a Christmas table. The pastry is simple and pleasant, and the kind you would expect of a Victorian-esque Christmas pie, which is exactly what I was hoping for. The filling smelled fantastic as it was cooking, and the end result coming out of the oven looked just lovely. I cut out holly leaf shapes rather than stars and arranged the cranberries at the base. They looked wonderfully festive. A bite of filling and pie crust without a cranberry in it is bland, mushy, and has a glue-like texture that's rather unpleasant. With a cranberry, you get an initial pop of sweet fruit breaking through the stodge, and it's wonderful - until you swallow and get the acidic bite and wish you hadn't bothered. I found that a bite of filling, pastry, no cranberries, and a little redcurrant jelly was most pleasant - so perhaps I can modify the filling to incorporate redcurrant jelly instead of the cranberries. I will definitely make this pastry and use this presentation method again, but the filling needs some serious work.
17th Apr, 2014
Every single Christmas it's the same story. The meat eaters are treated to a buffet of shining glazed meats and delicious stuffings. And what do the vegetarians get? Boiled vegetables. Yay. I decided to put a stop to this and made these Christmas pies, not knowing what to expect. The end product - savoury, creamy, nicely seasoned, with a fantastic texture from the chestnuts. It was filling and so much more exciting than veggies. Even my mother, who hates everything, liked this. We have since made it a bunch more times for friends who all seemed to enjoy it! A new Christmas staple in our home.
24th Jan, 2014
I made these pies for Christmas 2013 for my Mum and myself as we are both veggies. They went down very well and even my meat-loving husband enjoyed them! Definitely worth the time they take to prepare.
12th Jan, 2014
Made three larger pies (only had larger, 350ml Ikea ramekins), and they turned out very tasty. Approved by my man, who had asked for pie expecting the steak and ale variety. I made them for Sunday lunch, so didn't have all the Christmas trimmings, and the slightly larger size was probably a better portion in this case. The pastry is lovely, the filling has a nice blend of flavours (was careful with the mace at first following comments, but added an extra sprinkling later and was more generous with the thyme). Made as per recipe, except I didn't put the cranberries and red currant jellies on top for the last 5 minutes, but just served the jelly on the side, which added a bit of freshness to the flavour.


28th Nov, 2019
Where do I find 250ml ramekins? Can’t find them anywhere!
lulu_grimes's picture
2nd Dec, 2019
Hello, I have just had a look and I'm afraid the ones we used for the recipe have been de-listed. Ramekins now, rather unhelpfully, often give dimensions now rather than volume. You can get these ones on Amazon and they are 250ml, You could also use mini springform tins like this, The shape will be a little wider but the recipe will work. I hope this helps.
25th Nov, 2014
I've never used chestnuts before. I've read that you can buy canned or vacuum packed. Would they be suitable for this recipe. Also would I have to cook them first. Thanks
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