A Trio of Christmas Recipes:
Vegan Pithivier Pie, Mincemeat Pudding
Christmas is only two and half weeks ago now, and I’m gearing up in the kitchen with easy to make recipes, not only for readers on Lavender and Lovage, but also for other magazines and sites I write for on a regular basis. The three recipes I would like to share today are for a stunning vegan pie, Mushroom, Chestnut and Thyme Pithivier – which is stuffed full of forest mushrooms, chestnuts, shallots and thyme and a real centrepiece of any Christmas table…….
……..and a gorgeous AND easy-to-make alternative Christmas pudding recipe, Easy Apple and Mincemeat Pudding, which can be steamed baked or microwaved and is studded with chunks of apple with a topping of mincemeat……
……as well as a fabulously decadent recipe for mulled wine, Spiced Mulled Wine (Vin Chaud), made with fruity red wine, oranges, brandy and spices – perfect to warm you up after a day on the ski slope or after a long winter’s walk.
All three recipes were commission for Great British Chefs, and two of the recipes, Spiced Mulled Wine (Vin Chaud) and Easy Apple and Mincemeat Pudding were created for Cath Kidston using part of their vibrant and fun Christmas range for the food styling. I had great fun creating (and styling) the recipes, and I’m sure that I will be making them all again over the festive period.
Some information about the Pithivier; a Pithivier pie is always round and has an attractive “sunbeam” pattern cut into the pastry lid before baking which, gives it the distinct pattern that makes it a Pithivier pie. It is commonly assumed that pie got its name as it originated from the town of Pithiviers in Northern France, and having been there, they certainly did have a lot of Pithivier pies on sale, so maybe it’s true. My recipe for this pie is vegan, although all the meat eaters wanted a slice when I made it last week!
The recipe for Easy Apple and Mincemeat Pudding is a fabulous recipe for harried cooks; it’s made in a traditional pudding bowl/basin and is light and fruity. If time IS short and you don’t have two or three hours to steam this pudding, then you can also bake or microwave it – I admit that a steamed pudding has the edge on texture and taste over a microwaved one, but now and then it’s great to know that you can have a home-made pudding on the table in less than half an hour, from start to finish.
If you have ever visited France, Germany or Scandinavia in the festive season, you may have indulged in a glass (or mug) of mulled wine (vin chaud) and my recipe is an authentic recipe for the French style Vin Chaud. Red wine is gently heated with clove studded orange halves and then more spices are added along with a good glug of brandy or cognac for a real boozy hug in a mug. It’s a traditional welcome drink and is very popular where I live in the South West of France; especially at Christmas and New Year – and, you’ll find it in all of the Christmas Markets at this time of year.
I hope that you have been inspired to make one of these Advent Sunday recipes, and of you do try them out, please let me know what you think. That’s all for today, I am off to light my second candle for Advent as well as light the fire for a cosy Sunday evening in…….see you next week with more recipes and other news, and some new festive giveaways, bye for now, Karen