November Recipe: Chestnut and Leek Pie

I do hope you enjoy this as it would be a delicious alternative on Christmas Day for vegetarians should you be entertaining any.  My father, who was strictly a meat man, thought it was lovely.  I would make my own shortcrust pastry, but if you are not happy with making your own then by all means buy ready made, just try to get an all butter version.

Cutting the pie into a shape resembling a star is not difficult and it looks lovely.  You do not have to buy vacuum packed chestnuts of course, you can prepare your own if you have the time and inclination.

Next month I will give you another recipe suitable for the festive season.


  • 450g. / 1lb. Trimmed Leeks
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 50g. / 2oz. Butter
  • 1 Rounded Teaspoon Caraway Seeds
  • 350-400g. / 12-14oz. Vacuum Packed Chestnuts
  • 4 tsps. Wholegrain Mustard
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Pack Ready Made Shortcrust Pastry, or make your own using:
    • 350g. / 12ozs. plain flour
    • 3 rounded teaspoons mild paprika
    • 3 – 4 pinches cayenne pepper
    • ½ tsp. salt
    • 100g. / 4ozs. finely grated cheddar cheese
    • 175g. / 6ozs. chilled butter
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 3 tablespoons chilled water
  1. Slice the leeks across into approximately 2.5cm. / 1 inch pieces and chop the onion. Melt the butter in a large pan, add the slice leeks and onion and the caraway seeds and cook over a gentle heat, stirring fairly often until the leeks and onion are completely soft. Stir in the whole chestnuts. Add the mustard, season with salt and pepper, and leave until cold.
  2. Butter a large, flat ovenproof circular plate or tray. Cut the pastry in half, form into two balls and roll out one ball on a floured surface into a rough circle about 23-24cm. / 9 – 9 1/2ins. in diameter. Turn over the edges a little to make a more exact circle and place on the buttered plate. Spoon the cooled leek mixture within 1.5cm. / 3/4in. of the edge of the pastry.
  3. Roll out the second half of the pastry into a similar circle but this time using a sharp knife cut all round the outside in a pointed zig-zag pattern. Lay the second piece of pastry on top of the filling and press gently to seal on to the bottom circle of pastry – there should be a few gaps between the points of the star where steam will be able to escape.
  4. Press the pastry trimmings together, roll out and cut out another few stars for decoration. Moisten the stars and arrange on the pie. Refrigerate the pie until ready to cook. Heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7, brush the pastry with egg yolk and cook in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes until browned.
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