Christmas Log with Cranberry Cumberland Dressing
With chestnuts and spices, this vegan Christmas log recipe is the perfect centerpiece for your festive feast. It takes just 20 minutes to cook and most of the prep can be done the day before, guaranteeing a stress-free Christmas dinner!
- For the vegan log
- 100 100 g fresh washed spinach leaves
- olive oil
- 37.5 37.5 g shallots
- 0.25 0.25 clove of garlic (crushed)
- 100 100 g vegan cream cheese
- 125 125 g chestnut mushrooms, cut into quarters
- 37.5 37.5 g cooked chestnuts cut into small pieces
- 20 20 g hazelnut, pistachio, almond, cashew or pecan nuts
- 5 5 g plain flour and 30 ml of cold water, mixed together to make a paste
- 125 125 g packet of spring roll pastry
- 0.5 0.5 dessert spoons balsamic vinegar, poured in a ramequin or saucer
- For the Cranberry Cumberland dressing
- 1 1 dessertspoons cranberry sauce
- 25 25 ml port
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 0.125 0.125 tsp ground ginger
- 0.125 0.125 tsp English mustard powder
- 12.5 12.5 g dried cranberries
- 1 1 Cos lettuce leaves
- 0.5 0.5 dessertspoons sesame oil or walnut oil
For the Cumberland dressing
- Pour the orange and lemon zest in boiling water and leave for 2 minutes to take away any bitterness, then drain well.
- In a small saucepan, melt the cranberry sauce and the Port.
- Add the juice of the orange, lemon, ground ginger and mustard to the Port mix. Work thoroughly with a small whisk, then bring it to the boil for 1 minute.
- Add the lemon and orange zest and the dried cranberry and simmer for about 3 minutes.
Your sauce is ready; just transfer it to a serving dish and reserve until needed.
For the filling
- Lightly toast the nuts in a frying pan for approximately 2 minutes, just enough for them to turn a lightly brown colour.
- Place them into a food processor and whizz through to crush to small pieces.
- Place the crushed nuts into a mixing bowl and add the vegan cream cheese and cooked chestnut and mix well.
- Add the spinach leaves to a large saucepan and secure the lid. Cook the spinach slowly until it is completely cooked but remains a nice green colour, then drain any liquid out.
- Let the spinach cool down long enough for you to be able to handle, then press the spinach in the palm of your hand to squeeze out any excess water.
- Once free of water, place the spinach in the mixing bowl with the nut and cream cheese and mix well.
- Place the roughly chopped shallots into a food processor and whizz into small cubes.
- Place them in a large frying pan and add 2 dessertspoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook the shallot purée on a medium low heat for approximately 5-7 minutes until the shallots turn a slightly dark gold colour
- Place the quartered chestnut mushrooms into the food processor and whizz them into small cubes.
- Add the mushroom and the crushed garlic, salt and pepper to your golden shallot purée and cook slowly until all the water from the mushrooms has evaporated and you are left with a dry mushroom and shallot paste.
- Add this to the spinach, cream cheese and nut mix.
- Once you have checked the seasoning, let the mix cool down completely and place it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
All of this can be done on Christmas Eve, but I would recommend filling the spring roll pastry just a few hours before serving so the log stays nice and firm before cooking.
Assembling the log
- Put two sheets of spring roll pastry over each other and place 2 tablespoons of mix onto the pastry leaves, starting about 5 cm from the edge and leaving about 2 cm clear at each side.
- With the help of a pastry brush, brush around the edge of the pastry with some of the flour and water paste.
- Fold the left and right side of pastry over the cream cheese filling and roll it into a nice tight cylinder.
- Make individual logs for each plate so repeat this process four times or until your filling is used up.
- Place the logs on a tray lined with greaseproof paper and cover with cling film. Keep it in the fridge until you are ready to cook.
Bake and serve
- Preheat your oven to 170 degrees.
- Pour 3 dessertspoons of olive oil in a light roasting tray and place it over a medium low heat on your hob until it is hot.
- Place the logs in the hot oil and cook for approximately 2 minutes until they start to colour slightly.
- Turn the logs over and place in the oven for 15 minutes, making sure to turn it every 5 minutes.
- Once the logs are ready, use a pastry brush to lightly paste balsamic vinegar over them to give it the log colour effect.
- Turn the oven off and leave the logs in there to keep warm until you are ready to serve.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of sesame oil into a hot frying pan. Cut the Cos lettuce in half and fry for 2 minutes, until it begins to caramelise while retaining its al dente
- You are now ready to complete and serve the dish. Place the Cos lettuce on a serving dish, place the hot Christmas log on top and drizzle some of your cranberry Cumberland sauce around the dish – alternatively, place the Cumberland sauce in a bowl for your guests to serve themselves.
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