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I came up with this recipe in defiant response to the constant “but what will you eat on Christmas Day?” questions from the non-vegans in my life. Let’s be clear, vegans can have as delicious a Christmas dinner as anyone else, and you don’t have to rely on meat replacements and the like if you don’t want to (although if you do want to, that’s totally fine – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!).
This pie is tasty, indulgent, Christmassy, and comes with the added bonus of working really well the next day, to eat cold with pickles and Bubble and Squeak on Boxing Day! It’s also really easy to put together, and doesn’t require any specialist ingredients, meaning that even if you’re back with your grandparents in the deep countryside, you should be able to get your hands on everything you need.
Don’t be daunted by the number of steps below, nothing in this pie is hugely technical, and you can swap out ingredients you don’t like for ones you prefer (if you hate parsnips, bring in more carrots, or celeriac – you could even include some gently roasted sprouts here if you wanted. The only thing to bear in mind is the overall water content and stability of the elements of the pie – if there are too many squishy things in there, the pie won’t hold and the pastry will get a bit soggy).
Makes a 10 inch x 6 inch rectangular pie, large enough to feed 4 hungry Christmas guests with a bit leftover for Boxing Day.
I use a veganized version of Delia’s quick flaky pastry which is quite rich – you can use your favourite shortcrust recipe if you prefer:
Sift the flour into a bowl, and then add the butter. It’s best to do this with the butter as cold as possible, and in pieces as small as possible. If you’re using a block (Stork, for example, is incidentally vegan) you can grate it in. If you’re using a tub, I’d suggest just using your finger to push small amounts of the fat off the spoon into the flour (but be wary of warming it up too much with your hands). Once all the fat is dotted around the flour, begin to rub them together. I do this by hand (even though Delia says it’s naughty because hands are warm), just rubbing the flour between fingertips until the mixture is even and crumbly. If you’re more patient than me, you can do this with a knife. Add enough water just to bring the mixture together (though you can always add more flour if it gets too wet) and, when the dough is a single ball, wrap it in cling film and rest it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it. Be careful not to overwork the dough, or it will be slightly tough to eat once cooked.
For the filling:
P.s. If you miss that Boxing Day sandwich, like Lewis, don’t hold back…