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Christmas is approaching much faster than I thought. At this exact time there are only 11 days, 12 hours, 23 minutes and 41 seconds until it hits. Yes I am one of those people who walks around with a Christmas countdown app on her phone! There literally is so much to do and very little time. I aim to have this years Christmas all wrapped up by Sunday, which really isn’t very far away and quite unrealistic. But hopefully all presents will be sorted so it will only be a matter of the food and table to sort.

Todays post will be short and sweet (well savoury actually). Every year we have the traditional turkey and all the usual trimmings, but my poor sister (the vegetarian) normally has to fend for herself and this time around I would like to make her something so she feels extra looked after. E usually makes herself something mushroomy that goes with all the trimmings of Christmas. Everything bar the turkey (all the vegetable and potato dishes) is cooked in a vegetarian manner so that everyone can enjoy them. But for anyone out there who is catering to a vegetarian, this dish is quite yummy and will work with all your trimmings. And the best part is that it is quick and easy and can be prepared a day in advance.

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BROAD BEAN PITHIVIER

A pithivier is a french dish and is a round, enclosed pie usually made by baking two disks of puff pastry, with filling stuffed in between. You can make this as the suggested one large pie for sharing or you can make smaller individual ones.

  • 175 g broad beans,
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 175 g full-fat cream cheese, I used Philadelphia
  • Small handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped dill
  • 40 g  fresh white breadcrumbs
  • Plain flour, to dust
  • 500 g pack puff pastry
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten

THE HOW

If you are like me and used frozen broad beans, take them out of the freezer and set aside, once defrosted, remove the tough skin before using.

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Heat oil in a medium pan and gently cook the onions for 10-15min until softened. Empty into a large bowl and leave to cool.

Stir the cream cheese, parsley, mustard, dill, breadcrumbs, beans and plenty of seasoning into the cooled onion bowl.

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Lightly flour a work surface and roll out ⅓ of the pastry until it is 3mm (⅛in) thick. Cut out a 20.5cm (8in) pastry circle and put on a baking tray.

Spoon bean mixture on to the circle and, leaving a 3cm (1¼in) border of pastry around the edge, shape the filling into a flattened disc with straight edges, about 3cm (1¼in) tall.

Brush empty edge around filling with beaten egg. Next, roll out remaining pastry as before, until it is 3mm (⅛in) thick. Lay over filling; smooth it down to get rid of any air bubbles. Press down firmly on the edges to seal; trim into a neat circle (using base circle as a guide). Crimp edges.

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Brush with beaten egg, then score the top lightly in a pattern like spokes of a wheel. Chill for at least 1hr, or overnight.

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Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6 and put a separate baking tray in the oven to heat up. Working quickly and carefully, transfer the prepared pithivier on to the hot baking tray and cook for 30-40min in the oven until deep golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Hopefully this will go down as well as the turkey on Christmas day. We certainly enjoyed it!

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