Crown Nut Roast with Cranberry Sauce
A large, impressive-shaped nut roast makes a good centrepiece for a Christmas table. Use a large, shaped tin, such as an embossed or fluted raised pie mould or shaped cake tin. This recipe quantity will fill a 3-pint volume tin. The roast is also very good eaten cold and is suitable for freezing. It can be made several days in advance and kept in the tin, uncooked, in the fridge. The cooking temperature and time is the same as that of the roast potatoes and caramelised parsnips.
3 medium onions, finely chopped
1tbsp soya oil
675g mixed nuts
350g soft white bread, crusts removed
3 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp plain wholemeal flour
180ml soya milk
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp salt
For the Spinach Layer:
275g frozen spinach, cooked as directed on packet and well drained (cook with a clove of crushed garlic, if liked)
For the Chestnut layer:
225g tin unsweetened chestnut purée blended with
15g melted butter
1tbsp red wine
25g fine breadcrumbs salt and pepper to taste
175g cranberry sauce, whole chestnuts (see Red Wine Gravy recipe), bunch watercress
- Gently fry onion in soya oil until soft. Grind nuts, bread and cooked onion together in a food processor or coffee grinder, to a fine consistency. Mix tahini, flour, soya milk, pepper, nutmeg, cloves and salt to a paste. Add to the nut mixture and combine thoroughly. The mixture will be fairly stiff, should hold together well, and be slightly sticky. Mix together the chestnut layer ingredients until thoroughly combined. Line tin with non-stick baking parchment. Divide nut mixture into four, and spinach into.
- Place mixtures in alternating layers (nut, spinach, nut, chestnut, nut, spinach, nut). Use a plastic spatula to press each layer down very smoothly, especially into the corners and sides of the tin. Cook at 150C/300F/Gas 2 for 45 minutes, increase to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and cook for a further 15 minutes to give a nice crust. Turn out and decorate top of roast with cranberry sauce and whole chestnuts. Brush chestnuts and sides of roast with a little cranberry sauce or gravy to give a shine. Garnish serving plate with sprigs of watercress.
- Tip: If the tin or mould is a tricky shape, proceed as follows: Line tin or mould with clingfilm. Fill with alternating coloured layers, pressing down well as you go. Before cooking, turn out onto a baking sheet covered with non-stick baking parchment, or onto an oven-to-table serving plate. Remove tin and peel oft clingfilm. Cover lightly with greaseproof paper and remove this after 45 minutes of cooking. Cook for a further 15 minutes uncovered to crispen the crust if necessary. The roast will hold its shape during cooking.