If you can resist a Greggs festive bake then you’re a better man than I. They’re delicious. I mean it’s just Christmassy beige mush wrapped in flaky pastry, but that is exactly what I’m looking for at this time of year, and they do it so well. We recently discovered that Iceland are now selling frozen festive bakes to cook at home, so I thought it was probably time I tried to make my own version of these things before I gave in to temptation and turned my entire freezer into a Greggs shrine.
I didn’t want to make an exact copy of the festive bake though because I’ve very much made it my mission this year to vegetarianise as many Christmas classics as I can. I want to prove that while meat is arguably delicious, it’s not essential for deliciousness – even in December. It’s also super helpful for me to lean towards vegetarianism in December to make Veganuary a little easier next month..
I’ve used brie as the cheesy element here for no reason other than it was what I had in the fridge. I think I can quite safely say that this recipe will be just fine if you sub it out for whichever cheese you’d most like – it’d be particularly delicious with stilton, for example.
This is a great way to get yourself geared up for Christmas, but it might also be worth bookmarking for just after Christmas – wrapping leftovers in pastry is an excellent way to use them up.
1 heaped tbsps creme fraiche
1 box stuffing (you won’t use all of it)
50g brie, sliced
3 heaped tsps cranberry sauce
1 pack ready rolled puff pastry
a little milk or eggwash
- Cook your stuffing according to pack instructions (or use leftover stuffing, or just leave out the stuffing altogether if you think you won’t use up the remainders after this recipe, it’s still delicious without!).
- Set the oven to Gas Mark 6/180 Fan.
- Cut the parsnips into 1cm discs, cutting the fatter parts into crescent moons so that they’re all sort of the same size. This doesn’t have to be neat or exact, you just want them thin enough and small enough to fit in the pastry squares.
- Put them in a pan of cold, salted water and get them on a high heat. Once boiling, allow to cook for 2-3 minutes until tender.
- Drain and mix with the creme fraiche.
- Spread out your ready rolled puff lengthways (so that you’re looking down at it portrait, not landscape) and cut it into three pieces.
- Spread put each piece onto a lined baking tray (you’ll probably need 2).
- Leaving a 1cm border, spread 1 tsp cranberry sauce on half of each pastry slice. Add a third of the brie to each, and a little stuffing to each. Top with the parsnip mixture.
- Using your finger or a pastry brush, dab the entirety of the border with eggwash or milk, then fold the empty side over the filled side and secure however you’d like. You can use a fork to press down the edges or gently pinch and turn to get more of a pasty-like finish.
- Brush with eggwash or milk. I added dried rosemary and garlic granules here for extra flavour, but the garlic granules (as you can see) burned, so I’m not sure I’d recommend doing that..
- Gently poke holes or little slashes in the top of the pastry with a sharp knife.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
P.S – in case you were wondering, this isn’t a covert advert for Greggs, they’re not affiliated with this blog post in any way at all.