This recipe is a fabulous vegetarian alternative to a nut roast which will steal the show on Christmas Day. Sweet and spicy squash and chestnuts encased in rich pancakes and flaky pastry. Cut through the strudel to find golden, soft-boiled Burford Brown eggs hiding inside as an added treat.
5 Burford Brown eggs
1.5kg butternut squash
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
½ teaspoon smoked paprika plus a little for sprinkling
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 onion peeled and grated
150g vac pac chestnuts
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked
3 ready made crepes
2 x 500g block ready made puff pastry
Pre-heat the oven to 180c/360f/gas mark 4. Roast the squash in the oven for around 1 hour until cooked through. Halve the squash, scoop out the seeds. Scoop the flesh out and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the spices, grated onion and crumble in the chestnuts and pick in the rosemary, stir in the crumbs. Allow the mixture to cool.
Soft boil 4 of the eggs, cool and peel. Pre-heat the oven to 200c/400f/gas mark 6. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
Roll out the pastry into a 35cm x 20cm rectangle and place on the lined baking tray. Lay over 2 of the crepes so they slightly overlap on top of the pastry. Spoon half the mixture to make a log shape on to the crepes leaving a 3cm border around the edge. Arrange the eggs in a line over the mixture and spoon over the remaining mixture to encase the eggs. Lay a crepe over the top of the mixture and wrap the edges of the base crepes up over the top.
Whisk the remaining egg and brush a little over the crepes to secure them in place. Brush beaten egg around the border. Roll out the second pastry block and drape the pastry over the crepe wrapped mix. Carefully pat the pastry over the filling pressing out any air bubbles. Trim the pastry around the border and use a fork to crimp all around the edges. Brush the pastry all over with the beaten egg and cut 3 slits in the top. Sprinkle over a little sea salt and smoked paprika.
Place the pastry in the oven and bake for around 50 minutes to 1 hour or until golden and cooked through. Once baked allow to sit for 5 minutes. Slice and serve with steamed greens.