Food & Drink

Camilla’s Christmas Turkey Pie with All the Trimmings

The beloved Christmas lunch shouldn’t be exclusive to 25 December. Now you can indulge at any time of year thanks to this recipe from Higgidy: The Cookbook by Camilla Stephens. Chestnuts, turkey, bacon and sausage meat are encased in a gorgeous golden parcel, which can be eaten hot, warm or cold, and very easy to prepare ahead. This pie is also a great alternative for Thanksgiving on 22 November. Serves 10.

Ingredients

A little plain flour, for dusting
750g all-butter puff pastry
A little vegetable oil, for greasing

For the Apricot Stuffing

A knob of butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp chopped fresh sage
50g dried breadcrumbs
50g dried apricots, roughly chopped
250g good-quality sausage meat
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Chestnut and Bacon Filling

3 knobs of butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 leek, finely chopped
1 celery stick, roughly chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
250g white mushrooms, thickly sliced
130g pancetta lardons
100g vacuum-packed cooked chestnuts, chopped
1 tbsp plain flour
100ml hot chicken stock
150ml single cream

To Assemble

300g turkey escalopes
1 x 400g tin of apricot halves, drained
1 medium egg, beaten

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out 250g of the pastry to a rectangle measuring 30cm x 15cm and about 3mm thick. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and top with a second baking sheet, also lightly oiled – this helps weigh down the pastry to make it nice and crisp. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside.

3. To make the apricot stuffing, melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat and add the onion. Stir for a minute, then cover with a lid and cook gently for about 5 minutes or until the onion is just soft. Add the herbs, breadcrumbs and apricots and stir well. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Once completely cold, add the sausage meat, season with salt and pepper, and mix with your hands until evenly combined.

4. For the chestnut filling, melt a knob of butter with the oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Add the onion and leek, stir well, then cover with a lid and cook for 6–7 minutes or until the vegetables are just soft. Remove to a bowl and set aside. Pop another knob of butter into the pan, increase the heat and fry the celery, thyme and mushrooms for about 4 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft and golden. Add to the bowl with the onion and leek.

5. Melt the remaining knob of butter in the pan and fry the pancetta lardons for 4–5 minutes or until they have just turned golden brown. Tip in the cooked vegetables and chestnuts. Stir well, then add the flour and stir again. Over a medium heat, pour in the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Allow to bubble for 1 minute, then add the cream and immediately turn off the heat. Season with pepper and set aside to cool completely.

6. When ready to assemble, cover the cooked pastry base with the stuffing, leaving a 1cm border. Bash the turkey escalopes with a rolling pin until flattish and lay them over the stuffing. Place the apricot halves face down along the middle of the turkey, then carefully spoon the chestnut and bacon filling over the top. You will have quite a high mound by now!

7. Roll your remaining pastry to a rectangle approximately 35cm x 20cm and about 5mm thick, and drape it over the filling, tucking the edges underneath your cooked pastry base (you might need another pair of hands to help you here). Brush with the beaten egg. Scrunch up the pastry trimmings and roll out to about 2mm thick. Cut out stars or holly leaves and use to decorate your parcel, sticking them down with beaten egg. Chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

8. Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas mark 7. Brush the parcel with a little more beaten egg and bake for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas mark 5 and bake for a final 30 minutes.

9. Allow to cool for about 45 minutes before slicing; it will still be lovely and warm but will cut more easily. Serve with cranberry sauce and roasted winter vegetables.

Higgidy: The Cookbook by Camilla Stephens, is published by Mitchell Beazley £20 www.octopusbooks.co.uk

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