Devon Blue, Chestnut, Mushroom Xmas Tree

Devon Blue, Chestnut, Mushroom Xmas Tree

This festive, flavour-packed treat is delicious with a good dollop of our Quick Christmas Chutney. If Christmas Trees are not your thing, you can cut the pastry into a wreath, star, bauble or any other festive shape – and if you find you have leftover filling, it’s great stuffed into Portobello mushrooms and popped under the grill. Serves 4-6.

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Ingredients

2 x 320g Puff Pastry Sheets
1 medium Greendale Free-Range Egg
2 tbsp Olive Oil
20g Butter
1 large or 2 small Red Onions, peeled and diced finely
2 cloves Garlic, peeled
300g Mushrooms of your choice, wiped and roughly chopped
1 x 180g pack Cooked Whole Chestnuts
85g Long Grain Rice (we like to use a 50:50 mix of Indica and Wild Rice)
100g Devon Blue Cheese
4-5 fresh Sage Leaves, washed and chopped
Small bunch fresh Thyme, washed and leaves stripped
Juice and zest of half a Lemon
Sea Salt and freshly-ground Black Pepper

Method

First, cook the rice according to the pack instructions, then tip into a large mixing bowl and leave to cool. Once the rice is cooling, place a large, shallow pan over a medium heat and add the oil and butter. Let the butter just melt, then add the onions, lower the heat and cook until the onion is just softening and turning translucent – around 10 minutes. Next, crush in the garlic cloves and the thyme leaves, stir well, then add the chopped mushrooms and the sage leaves and continue to cook gently, stirring from time to time, until the mushrooms are soft and any liquid from them has evaporated (this can take quite a while). Leave the mushroom mixture to cool in the pan a little, then carefully tip it all into the mixing bowl with the cooked rice. Add the lemon zest and juice and stir well, then crumble in the chestnuts and the Devon Blue and stir gently to combine. Season to your taste with salt and pepper, then put the bowl in the fridge to chill for at least 20 minutes.

When the filling has chilled, pre-heat the oven to 200°C (Gas Mark 6). Unroll the puff pastry sheets and lightly oil a baking sheet large enough to take one sheet. Sprinkle a little flour on one of the sheets, then cut out a Christmas tree (or other festive shape) – you can make a cardboard template to use if you like, but we think freehand designs are all part of the charm! Place the Christmas tree flour-side down on top of the other sheet of pastry, then cut out another, slightly larger tree shape, leaving a 1-1.5cm border around the edge of the smaller tree. Lift the top sheet off and place it on the baking sheet, then beat the egg and use it to brush around the outside edges of your tree. Next, spoon the filling on to the tree, leaving a gap of about 1cm around the edges. Place the slightly larger tree on top and line it up, then use a fork to press carefully down around all the edges to seal them. Prick a few holes in the top with the fork. Gather up any scraps of leftover pastry – re-rolling if necessary - and use them to cut out little baubles, stars, hearts or other decorations, then use them to decorate the Christmas tree, sticking them on with a dab of cold water. Brush the remaining egg-wash all over the top and sides of the tree, then bake it in the hot oven for about 30 minutes until it piping hot throughout and the pastry is golden brown.

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