If you’re still undecided which meat-free option to make for your vegetarian guests this Christmas, how about this delicious vegetarian Christmas Plait. Not only does it look inviting, with its interesting but easy to make plait, but it tastes absolutely amazing too!
This Vegetarian Christmas Plait consists of delicious buttery, flaky, puff pastry which houses a mixture of good vegetarian proteins: mixed beans, two cheeses, and chestnuts. These flavours and textures are supported with the addition of caramelised onions, cranberries and seasoning. Every mouthful is different. In some you will come across the saltiness of the feta cheese, in others there will be the fruitiness of the cranberries. There are also delicious notes from the caramelised onions and texture courtesy of the beans and chestnuts.
Even though our vegetarian savoury plaits have been created with an individual portion in mind, they can easily be made suitable for buffet finger food by cutting the pastry sheet a little shorter. Or why not consider creating a large family sized plait which could be presented in the centre of the table to be sliced into and shared.
These Vegetarian Christmas Plaits are delicious both warm and cold. They can be made fresh or warmed up to be served with a medley of vegetables and potatoes. Likewise the flavours are robust enough to allow these pastry plaits to be served cold with chutneys and pickles.
Regulars to Only Crumbs Remain may be aware of my love of making homemade pastry, but making puff pastry over the Christmas period is definitely a ‘no-no’, even for me! Why should the host / hostess be stuck in the kitchen for hours creating delicious food whilst everybody else enjoys a drink, and shares a laugh and a joke during the holidays? Thankfully shop bought pastry is fabulous quality and reliable, it’s certainly the way to go at this time of year!
Hopefully the images below capture how easy these delicious vegetarian savoury Christmas bakes are to assemble.
These Vegetarian Christmas Plaits, packed with beans, chestnuts, cheese and cranberries were a massive hit for Mr E and myself. When the acid test question of “Would you have this again?” was put to Mr E, his response was an emphatic nod of the head whilst taking his next mouthful! I felt the same, and so the main component part of our vegetarian Christmas dinner has now been confirmed!
So, here’s how to make a Vegetarian Christmas Plait.
Hands on time: 15 – 20 mins Cook time: about 25 mins Yield: 4Specific Equipment
1 x large baking tray base lined with greaseproof paper
1 x pastry brush
- 320g pack Ready Rolled Puff Pastry
- 100g tinned Mixed Salad Beans, rinsed (drained weight)
- 50g Caramelised Onions
- 50g Cream Cheese, full fat
- 50g Prepared Chestnuts, diced (we used Merchants)
- 30g Dried Cranberries
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Puree
- small Pinch of Celery Salt
- twist of Pepper
- 50g Feta Cheese, diced
- 1 Egg, lightly beaten, to seal and glaze the pastry
1. Bring the pastry to room temperature. Remove the pastry from the fridge about 20 minutes before using, or as the pastry package suggests.2. Preheat the oven to 220℃ / 200℃ fan / Gas 7.3. Make the filling. Place the drained and rinsed beans into a medium sized bowl. Add the caramelised onions and mix to combine. Add the diced chestnuts and cranberries (separating the cranberries if they’re sticking to one another). Mix. Add the cream cheese and mix to combine. Season with garlic, celery salt and a twist of pepper. Add the feta cheese and stir to combine. (No salt should be required due to the saltiness of the feta). 4. Prepare the pastry. Unwrap the pastry. Give a light roll with a rolling pin to bring it to 3 – 4mm thick. Trim the edges of the pastry to neaten if necessary.5. Cut the pastry. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut 4 oblongs measuring about 12cm x 18cm.6. Fill the pastry. Spoon some of the mixture down the centre of the oblong pastry. 7. Cut the pastry ready to plait. Make diagonal cuts into the pastry edges with a sharp knife so that it butts up to the filling. Aim to ensure there are the same number of cuts on each side of the pastry.8. Plait the pastry. Use a pastry brush to apply some egg wash to the cut pastry flaps. Fold the top right pastry flap over the filling, followed by the top left. Continue with the next one on the right and the next on the left. Continue in this manner all the way down the pastry so that the pastry flaps are inter-linked and resembling a plait. Seal the top and bottom ends.9. Glaze. Use the pastry brush to glaze the pastry. 10. Bake. Use a fish slice to carefully transfer the prepared plait to a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Place into the centre of the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown and the underside of the plait is cooked through. (Again, use the fish slice to help lift the plait to check the underside).11. Enjoy. Either serve immediately or transfer to a cooling tray and serve cold as part of a buffet, or re-warm to enjoy later.
a) If you prefer, use block puff pastry and roll into an oblong 3 – 4mm thick. This is a cheaper option and only takes a few extra minutes. Any pastry off cuts can be sliced into narrow strips, baked & used as dipping sticks, for instance. b) The filling can be made a day ahead of time to allow the flavours to mingle. Cover & store in the fridge until ready to be used. c) Avoid overfilling the pastry. It’s more likely to result in the pastry splitting open. d) It’s worth taking the time to ensure the same number of cuts are made to each side of the pastry – this will give a more pleasing appearance to the plait. e) The vegetarian plaits could easily be made smaller for buffets or larger to serve as slices. Do consider that the baking time may need to be adjusted.