The World Famous Enormous

Christmas Chestnut and Sweet Potato Pie

Recipe taken from the highly successful 1994 version.

This huge pie was baked in a 30cm (12") diameter, 6cm (2 1/2") deep pie dish. It used to be a clay flower pot saucer. It served about a dozen with plenty left over.
The ingredients of the filling may be varied to taste. You could omit the sprouts and use potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli or some other regional variation. Likewise the cheese may be changed (or left out) to suit your taste. If you do make this pie with your own variations, please let me know how you get on.

Serves: 4-6 people

For the pastry

For the filling


The pastry
1. Thoroughly mix the dry ingredients.
2. Rub in the butter until the mix has an even crumbly texture.
3. Add the cheese and mix well.
4. Add the water a tablespoon at a time and stir in by hand until the mixture forms a large ball.
5. Refrigerate for half an hour.
6. Roll out 2/3 of the pastry to about 5mm thick to make the pie base and return remaining pastry to fridge.
7. Lay into a well greased pie dish, trim off and blind bake for 5 mins in a preheated oven at gas mk.6.

The filling
1. Begin peeling and preparing the chestnuts well in advance as they take ages. A couple of days should do it.
2. In a large pan with plenty of water begin boiling the sweet potato and chestnuts.
3. After 10 mins add the sprouts and continue boiling for 15 mins, or until nearly tender.
4. Drain and save about 1ltr or more of the liquor, let vegetables steam off excess moisture.
5. Make a roux with 100g butter (or vegetable margarine) and 100g flour.
6. Add liquor a little at a time to make a smooth white sauce and simmer.
7. Gently fry the onions and garlic in a little butter (or veggie margarine) in a covered pan until transparent.
8. Season the sauce with basil, oregano, salt and pepper, plenty of each.
9. Add cheese and/or transparent onions to sauce, simmer for few mins, stirring.
10. Fill pie with a layer of vegetables and pour over some sauce, add remainder of vegetables and cover with the rest of the sauce, heaping the filling towards the centre of the pie.
11. Roll out the remaining pastry and cover pie, crimping the edge and pricking (in a pretty pattern) to allow steam to escape. Use trimmings to create decorations for the crust such as chestnut leaves. Glaze with milk or egg or whatever vegans use. Make it beautiful and seasonal.
12. Bake at gas mk6 until the crust is gleaming golden brown and crusty, anything from half an hour onwards depending on your oven and what else is cooking. It may be a good idea to turn the pie a couple of times to ensure even cooking.

Serve with roast potatoes and parsnips, green beans or petit pois, glazed carrots, and whatever else you fancy. I like to have pickled walnuts with a little of the walnut vinegar as a dressing too.

Feeds masses and is very nice cold for boxing day.

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