I was looking for a Christmas dinner alternative to the traditional roast turkey or ham and came across a European mushroom, chestnut and cranberry tart recipe. I had two problems with the recipe… it had European measurements that I had no clue what they meant and I couldn’t find chestnuts. I went to four store looking for them. At each store I was met by confused looks. The young people working in all of these stores didn’t even know what a chestnut was… come on! There is a whole freaking Christmas song written about chestnuts! So… I had to improvise. I loved it! Here is what I did to make this Christmas dinner switch.
Oh… and this isn’t exactly nutritarian in nature… but I figure it is better than pork roast for dinner. 🙂
1 1/2 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 c cold almond milk
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 gloves garlic
4-5 carrots, grated
2 chops mushrooms, chopped
1 1/2 c pecans, chopped
1 tsp thyme
1 c soya (or any other vegan) cream cheese
1 c dried cranberries
- Put flour and salt in a food processor. Pulse a couple times to mix the flour and salt. Add shortening. Pulse until the mixture forms little pea-sized balls. Drizzle the cold almond milk over the flour mixture. Pulse the mixture to mix it together, until it begins to form a dough ball. Be careful not to over mix. Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
- Before rolling out the dough, be sure to chill the rolling pin. I’ve learned that chilling the rolling pin helps the dough roll out nicely and to stay flaky when it is baked. Flour the surface you are going to roll the dough out on. Roll out the dough to about a 1/4 inch thickness. Fold the dough to be able to pick it up easier, then place it into a pie tin.
- Saute onions until they are translucent. Add carrots, garlic, thyme and mushrooms. Continue to saute until mushrooms absorb all liquid… about 10 minutes. Fold in “cream cheese” and pecans, stirring to mix until cheese softens and forms a creamy mixture. Remove from heat and fold in dried cranberries.
- Pour mushroom mixture into the pie shell. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
- Serve with a fresh cranberry sauce made from cranberries and sugar free applesauce.