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Winter vegetable pie with dill cream


Prep time: 30 minutes, plus chilling time Cook time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Serves 8

This is a combinatio­n of a strudel, a wellington and coulibiac. The best thing is to cook the fillings – except the cabbage – the day before, then cook the cabbage, assemble and bake the pie on the day.


– 100g mixed basmati

and wild rice

– 3½ tbsp olive oil

– 250g chestnut

mushrooms, sliced

– 1½ tbsp crème fraîche

– 1 tbsp chopped dill

– 1 onion, finely chopped

– 2 garlic cloves, grated to a purée

– 20g unsalted butter

– 450g celeriac, peeled and cut into 1.5cm cubes

– 100ml dry white wine or white vermouth

– 250g cooked (not pickled) beetroot, cut into 1.5cm cubes

– ¾ tsp paprika (you might want more)

– 2½ tsp soft lightbrown sugar

– 1 tsp cider vinegar (you might want more)

– 1 tsp caraway seeds (you might want more)

– 300g savoy cabbage, quartered, coarse central core removed and leaves cut into broad strips

– 600g puff pastry (I use Dorset puff pastry)

– flour, for dusting

– 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk

For the cream

– 300g crème fraîche

– 75g dill pickles, chopped (I use Vadasz fresh pickles), plus 3 tbsp pickle juice

– 2 tsp caster sugar, or to taste – 2 tsp German mustard, or Dijon if you don’t have German

– 2 small shallots, finely


– 2 tbsp chopped dill


Put the rice in a pan and cover it with 2cm of water. Bring to the boil, then boil hard until you can see that the surface has become pitted and the water has disappeare­d. Pull the pan off the heat, cover it and leave for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon and a half of oil in a large frying pan and cook the mushrooms. You need to get a really good colour all over them. Season and cook until the liquid that comes out of them has completely evaporated.

Add the crème fraîche and dill, and taste for seasoning. The mushrooms should be well seasoned. Scrape into a bowl and set aside.

Wipe out the pan with kitchen paper and heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté the onion over a medium heat until golden and soft. Add the garlic and cook for two minutes. Season and stir this into the rice.

Add half a tablespoon of olive oil and 5g of the butter to the frying pan and add the celeriac. Toss this around over a medium heat until the pieces develop golden patches. Add the wine or vermouth, bring to the boil, turn the heat down and cover. Cook the celeriac until almost tender. Remove the lid and turn the heat up until the wine has evaporated. Transfer the celeriac to a bowl.

Heat another half a tablespoon of oil and 5g of butter in the pan and add the beetroot. Toss this around, adding the paprika and some seasoning, then the sugar. Keep stirring until you can smell that the sugar is slightly caramelisi­ng. Add the vinegar, let it evaporate and taste for heat (the paprika), seasoning and sweet-sour balance.

Lastly, melt the remaining 10g butter in a saucepan that will hold the cabbage. Add the caraway seeds and turn them over in the butter. Add the cabbage, some seasoning – you need plenty of black pepper – and two tablespoon­s of water. Cover and cook for four minutes. Shake the pan every so often.

Remove the lid. Cook until the water has boiled off and the cabbage is glossy (don’t overcook it). Set aside to cool.

Roll out a third of the pastry on a lightly floured piece of baking parchment to a rectangle of 38 x 18cm, keeping it an even thickness, for the base of the pie. Roll out the rest of the pastry to a 42 x 26cm rectangle; this will cover the filling. Score this piece with a knife to make a trellis design. Keep both pieces of pastry in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the pie.

When you’re ready, check your various fillings are seasoned properly and take the pastry out of the fridge. Position the smaller rectangle, still on its parchment, with a short edge towards you. Spoon the rice in a thick line down the centre, leaving 2cm uncovered at the top and bottom. Put the celeriac on top, followed by the mushrooms, cabbage and beetroot. You need to form a raised filling, like a hump.

Using some of the egg mixture, paint the edges of the pastry. Place the larger rectangle on top, draping it tightly around the filling to avoid air bubbles. Gently press on the edges to seal the sides and ends. Trim any excess pastry, and crimp the edges or press down with a fork.

Lifting the pie on the paper, slide it on to a large baking sheet. Put in the coldest bit of your fridge for an hour.

Heat the oven to 210C / 200C fan/gas mark 6½. Juices may run out of the pie so it’s a good idea to put an oven tray under the baking sheet the pie is cooking on.

Brush the pie with the rest of the egg mixture and make four small incisions in the top so steam can escape. Bake for 45 minutes, turning it round halfway through. It should be golden brown. Let the pie settle for 15 minutes.

Stir the crème fraîche to loosen it then add the other ingredient­s for the cream. Serve with the pie.

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