Festive pithivier – a vegetarian recipe with spiced cider stuffing, roast squash and cranberry

Try this delicious festive pithivier recipe for dinner or even as part of a vegan or vegetarian Christmas dinner menu

festive pithivier on a christmas dinner table
(Image credit: Aldi)

Pithivier is that beautiful looking pastry pie, that is simply a little bit more luxurious, in both taste and looks. Instantly recognizable by the distinctive spiral markings (or lattice) that adorn it, while inside, you can enjoy both sweet and savory fillings. 

We're bringing you a beautiful vegetarian pithivier recipe which makes the perfect winter dinner option, and an absolutely sublime main event on a vegetarian Christmas dinner menu also.

If you've never tried pithivier, let alone made it, not to worry as this recipe is really quite simple and it won't have you slaving away in the kitchen for hours either. It calls for cheat pre-made puff pastry (you know you love it) as well as stuffing, while you can make your own of course. And you simply need to roast some vegetables and prepare a few more of the succulent additions to your pie, before sealing your pithivier and popping it in the oven to bake. Simple.

Plus, when you will be enjoying a spiced cider stuffing, roast squash and cranberry onion pithivier – a little bit of a mouthful admittedly – the effort will all be worth it. Serve yours alongside your favorite type of roast potatoes and other side dishes of choice and it will be a very merry Christmas menu indeed.

Where does pithivier come from?

The pithivier is said to have originated from the French town of Pithivier in Orléans. Originally, this delicious pastry dome would house frangipane and other sweet fillings, but now it's usually more of a savory dish and so makes a really tasty and substantial choice for a roast dinner, especially for vegetarians.

Spiced cider stuffing, roast squash and cranberry onion pithivier recipe

vegetarian roast dinner with cranberry pithivier

(Image credit: Aldi)

Makes 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 block puff pastry 
  • 1 pre made packet of sage and onion stuffing mix / make your own chestnut stuffing
  • 1 bottle Cider
  • 1 squash 
  • 1 Swede
  • 1 pack chestnut mushrooms 
  • 3 onions 
  • Fresh thyme 
  • 60g cranberry & port sauce / 60g cranberry sauce with a dash of port
  • Vegan egg wash: 100ml oat Milk and 10ml maple syrup
  • Salt 

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/356F.

2. Dice the squash and swede into small 1cm pieces, add this to a roasting tin with some Extra Virgin olive oil and a generous pinch of salt.

3. Roast this for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and keep 100g of the veg to the side as you will use this for the pithivier – the rest will be as garnish – but turn the oven up to 190°C/374F for the pithivier .

4. Next, quarter 100g of the mushrooms and melt some more olive oil and salt in a pan. Cook off the mushrooms, removing any excess liquid if you can, until golden brown.

5. Next melt some vegan butter or more oil in a pan on a low heat, and add your sliced onions, with a little brown sugar. Slowly caramelise these before adding the cranberry sauce and port sauce.

6. Next, boil 350 ml of your cider and add this to your dried stuffing mix. Stir well then let it cool. 

7. Measure out 110g cider stuffing balls, then pressing them into 1.5cm thick patties. 

8. Pan fry these in olive oil until crispy on both sides, then let these cool and transfer them to your refrigerator for an hour.

9. Cut out two circles of the pastry, both 3cm bigger than the stuffing patties in diameter, then another two that are 6cm bigger in diameter.

10. Place the stuffing on the smaller circles then top with a mixture of the roasted veg and caramelised onion, plus a little thyme to form a dome shape. 

11. Next, top with the larger pastry circle and seal them together at the edges with the vegan egg wash of milk and syrup.

12. Use the leftover pastry to create shapes or to form a lattice. And stud the pithivier with thyme leaves before baking it for 15-18 mins.

  • With special thanks to chef Neil Rankin for this delicious recipe, curated using quality ingredients from Aldi.