Nigel Slater’s Recipes for Beetroot Pie, Feta, White Chocolate and Lemon Pie | food

me The church bells can be heard from the kitchen, even if it’s a fine Christmas morning and the doors are open to the garden. I’ll send the smell of roast duck with baked apples and potatoes slow-cooked in more glorious bird’s fat to the garden to excite the neighborhood foxes. I’m also going to make a beetroot pie. To balance out the earthy sweetness of the root, I’ll crumble salty white feta cheese into the filling and add beetroot leaves, too. The pastries will be crunchy and buttery.

In fact, I’m going to roast two ducks, a second to shred the next day, and the cold cuts to have with pickled cabbage and cold beetroot slices and feta pie. (A little cooking goes a long way during Boxing Day, though I usually have a pot of bean stew simmered.)

Later in the afternoon, I’ll put on steamed plum pudding. The gap between main course and dessert will save us from sleep. For those still unimpressed by the deep, fruity notes of our traditional Christmas pudding, I have a plate of citrus-scented truffles in the fridge to pass on. Cool and crunchy dark chocolate hides a smooth, lemony fondant. happy birthday.

Beetroot and feta filo pie

There is every reason to use beetroot and leaves as long as it is intact. Chop and cook the beetroot briefly before adding the leaves. If you want to make the recipe vegan, use vegan white feta and hard cheese, and brush the pastry with olive oil, not butter. 6 services

Phyllo pastry 6 leaves
onion 2, average
olive oil 2 tbsp
garlic 3 cloves
Red pepper 1
Lemon 1
Spinach and/or beetroot leaves and stems 600 gr
beetroot 400 gr
Feta cheese 200 gr
Parmesan cheese 75g
butter 100 grams

You will need a metal baking tray with shallow sides, approximately 30 by 20 cm.

Defrost the frozen dough, keeping it covered to prevent the sheets from drying out. Preheat the oven to 200°C / gas mark 6. Peel the onion and chop it into fine slices. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onions and cook until pale golden–20-25 minutes is good. Peel the garlic, crush it, and stir it in with the onions as soon as they start to take color. An occasional stir will prevent them from burning.

Chop the hot pepper, remove the seeds if you want a milder heat, and add to the onions. Finely grate the lemon peel. Wash the spinach or beetroot leaves and, while they still retain a little water, put them in a pan over moderate heat. Cover them tightly with a lid and let them cook with their own steam for a few minutes until wilted. Strain it, then squeeze the water out of it with your hands.

Peel and coarsely grate the beetroot and stir with the cooked onion. Don’t be too subtle, unless you want pink onions. Chop the feta cheese into the onions, keeping the chunks large. Add the lemon zest, then grate finely and add the Parmesan.

Melt the butter in a small skillet and remove from heat. Grease the base of the baking tray with a little butter, then put a sheet of filo on it, cover it slightly, then brush it with butter and add another. Brush this too, then spoon the beetroot filling over. Put a sheet of dough on top, brush with butter, then add a second and butter. Take two more sheets, dip them in the butter, and place them on top of the pancake.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the dough is crispy, golden, and translucent. Remove from the oven and allow 10 minutes to settle before slicing.

White chocolate and lemon truffle

“White chocolate melts more easily when it’s thinned with cream”: White Chocolate and Lemon Truffles. Photo: Jonathan Lufkin/The Observer

White chocolate, due to its lack of cocoa butter, can be a bit fiddly to work with, melt with, or lumpy with a lump depending on the mood. It melts easily when smoothed with cream, as it does in this recipe. Lemon removes the fermentation effect that often goes hand in hand with this form of chocolate. makes 30

white chocolate 350 gr
Unsalted butter 75 grams of cubes
Double cream 150 ml
salt a pinch
Lemon peel 4 tsp
Lemon juice 2 tsp

to coat:
dark chocolate 200 gr
Crystallized orange pieces to decorate

Chop the chocolate into small pieces and put it in a heatproof bowl. Find a small saucepan in which the bowl will fit. We fill half of the pan with water and put the chocolate, butter, cream and a pinch of salt in the pot and put it in the pan over moderate heat. Make sure the base of the bowl is not sitting in the water.

Allow the water to simmer until the chocolate begins to melt. Avoid the temptation to stir the chocolate—it will affect you—and make sure it doesn’t get too hot.

Once the chocolate has melted, remove it from the heat and stir very gently, just enough to bring the cream and chocolate together. Add lemon peel and juice, set aside, covered with a plate, and refrigerate. Test the mixture regularly to check its consistency. It should be firm enough to roll over.

Scoop out small spoonfuls of the truffle mixture (I make them about 2 teaspoons each) and place them on kitchen parchment. Let them harden again in the fridge for a few minutes. Meanwhile, roughly chop the dark chocolate and melt over a saucepan of hot water, removing from heat once melted.

Using kitchen tongs or a skewer, dip the truffles into the melted chocolate and return to the parchment.

Add a piece of crystallized orange or lemon to each piece, then chill in the refrigerator until the chocolate is crunchy.

Follow Nigel on Instagram @NigelSlater

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