A Christmas Couronne

Here is a brand new recipe from Sylvia’s Kitchen – no history here I’m afraid, but a delicious, adaptable recipe that I have developed to create a lovely centre piece, especially for the Festive Season (although it could be adapted for any time of year with seasonal produce).  I’ve opted for the packet all butter puff pastry which really makes this recipe manageable if you’re limited on time.  There’s also a savoury version added in at the end, if you fancied giving that a go too!

Recipe

1 x 378gm pack of all butter puff pastry

1 x 250gm Tin Crème de Marrons (Chestnut Spread)

1 x 410gm Jar Mincemeat

1 x Rind of Fresh Orange

100gm dark red cherries, quartered, rinsed and dried

100gm good mixed peel (not essential, if you don’t like it, leave it out)

1tsp Mixed Spice

Plain flour for dusting

One Granny Smith Apple, thinly sliced (optional)

Glaze & Topping

 2 x tbsp Apricot Jam

1 x tbsp Water

25 gms Sugar nibs (or broken up sugar cubes)

50gms Toasted Flaked Almonds

Sprinkle of Bronze Crunch (available from good supermarkets)

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 160ºc and line a flat baking sheet with baking parchment.  Sprinkle plain flour on your work surface and roll out the block of pastry in to a rectangle measuring approximately 50cm wide x 30cm deep.  Keep the longest edge nearest to you.

Spread the chestnut paste evenly over your rolled out pastry rectangle then spread the mincemeat on top of that.  Sprinkle the mixed spice evenly, following by the quartered dark cherries and mixed peel.  Grate your fresh orange rind finely and evenly over the whole rectangle.  If you are adding in slices of apple, now is the time to do it, laying the slices lenthways along the rectangle so it’s easier when you roll it up. Working with the longest edge facing you start to roll up the rectangle in to a long, reasonably tight sausage.  Once you have your sausage carefully lift it on to the lined baking sheet and form in to a ring, squishing the ends together where they meet.  Gently score around the top of your ring with a sharp knife, slits that are not too long otherwise the filling will ooze out (no more than 2”).

Pop in your pre-heated oven for around 50 minutes, turning half way through if you need to.  Don’t panic if your filling starts to bubble out from the slits or elsewhere, mine did!  Whilst your Couronne is baking, heat the apricot jam and water gently so it is ready to brush on to the Couronne when you remove it from the oven. After 50 minutes or when the top has a lovely golden colour and the base is crisp (to check, take it out, slide just the edge of the Couronne off the baking sheet but still on the paper, peel the paper away from a tiny section underneath and check there is no soggy bottom in sight), give it a bit longer if it needs it.  It should have risen a bit too.

Take your Couronne out, slide it from the baking sheet on to a cooling rack (still on it’s paper).  Brush with the apricot glaze whilst the Couronne is still hot then sprinkle with your toppings.  When the Couronne has cooled, if you have any oozes, you can cut them off with a sharp knife to give you a good edge all around, they will come away easily.

Go for varied toppings too if you want to – roasted hazelnuts, icing sugar dusted, whatever takes your fancy!  Delicious served warm or cold with a dollop of brandy butter, cream, crème fraiche, custard, ice cream…sure I ended my last recipe with these accompaniments. Enjoy!

Savoury Option

If you’ve enjoyed making this, how about having a go at a savoury version with those Christmas leftovers? I’ve created the recipe below for you to use, it will be easy to get the pastry in to your freezer or fridge before Christmas then all you’ll need is the left over filling!

Recipe

1 x 378gm pack shortcrust pastry or puff pastry

Half a small jar of cranberry jelly/sauce

Approx 400gm cold cooked turkey meat

Approx 200gm cold cooked stuffing

1 pack 6 rashers smoked back bacon, cut in to small squares and fried off

1 onion finely diced and fried off until caramelised

1 x egg gently whisked for the glaze

It’s the same process as before, but at the stage of spreading on the chestnut spread, use your cranberry sauce or jelly instead to spread over your rolled out pastry rectangle, then sprinkle on all your chopped up left over meat and stuffing, then your cooked bacon and onion.  Roll and repeat the process above until you have a nice ring then finish with a glaze with a lovely rich egg wash before you bake it in the oven at 160 – 180 depending on your oven, for approx 45 mins, check with your oven thermometer that it’s cooked thoroughly through and is piping hot. Yummy served with some creamy mashed potato and bubble and squeak! Liz x

 

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