A vegan Christmas party piece.
I’ve always loved Sainsbury’s Magazine (would be amazing to work on it some day) and was very taken recently with their beautiful sausage roll wreath created by Anna Glover.
I wondered if with a few tweaks I could make a vegan version, and without too much effort I have! This one is made with V-Pud, the vegan black pudding alternative which is delicious and has been a fave of mine from when I lived in Manchester.
The first time I tried V-Pud was in Simon Rimmer’s veggie restaurant in Didsbury. The texture and flavour are spot on (exactly what you’d hope for when the makers are a real and award winning black pudding company). And as meat substitutes go, I think it’s really up there. I can happily eat it instead of the real thing when I fancy getting on a plant tip.
Rolled and served with cherry and cranberry relish, the herby and rich vegan black pud gets its festive game on perfectly. And the pastry is shiny! Now, that is harder to find as you might have experienced. Sure, you can make pastry shine vegan style with things like agave, but that’s only suitable for sweet eats. A savoury pastry that a) browns, b) is shiny and c) is savoury / neutral tasting is much harder to come by.
After some research I came across a ‘veglaze’ recipe that was nearly doing all 3, and with the simple addition of deeply savoury Marmite (even if you hate it on your toast, you’ll be fine with it here for its colour) the need for browning was nailed. The below recipe makes a good batch size of about 300ml, so there’s plenty left over for storing and using at a later date.
Hopefully this recipe might come in useful to any vegan food fans that want a sausage roll centrepiece of their own this year.
For 1 wreath
- 400g V-Pud (search online for it, I buy it direct but lots of places sell it now, including Amazon)
- 100g Chestnut purée
- 1 pack Ready rolled puff pastry
- 1 tbsp Sesame seeds
For the relish
- 1 jar Cranberry sauce
- 100g Dried cherries, halved
- 50ml Cold water
For the glaze
- 120g Amaranth
- 500ml Water
- 1tsp Marmite
- Start with the relish. For the cranberry and cherry sauce, which it’s served with but also inside the roll, simply decant the jar into a saucepan with the cherries, add 50ml cold water and gently warm. Once combined remove from the heat and leave to cool.
- Next to the glaze. Put the amaranth in a saucepan and top with cold water, turn the heat on to medium and leave the lid off, start your timer for 40 minutes - stir it occasionally.
- After 40 minutes it should have really thickened and be glossy (and seedy still) strain it through a fine mesh sieve and keep the glaze, discard the seeds.
- Stir the marmite in to the hot glaze and mix until combined, it should be thick and shiny, leave it to cool. Will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.
- For the wreath, take the pastry out of the fridge 20 minutes before using it, and Preheat your oven to 180°C fan.
- Open the V-Puds and break them up with your fingers into a mixing bowl, add the chestnut puree and mix by hand.
- The sausage roll is easy to assemble but instead of me trying to explain it, here’s a 90 second video from the one I was inspired by that tells it perfectly.
- Arrange the sausage wreath on the baking tray and glaze the pastry and black pudding faces with the glaze, careful not to glaze the cut edges of the pastry (so they still puff).
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 55 minutes. Every 15-20 minutes remove from the oven and glaze again, and once the pastry has puffed up make sure to glaze the cut edges, so the colour is golden all over.
- Towards the end of cooking warm the remaining cranberry and cherry relish in a pan and pour into a bowl for serving.
- Remove from the oven and serve, it’s tasty hot and cold but I think warmer is nicer.
My tips for nailing the presentation are:
- Don’t worry about the roll being slightly ‘baggy’ when you roll it – as the extra ‘give’ is useful in turning each of the circles out flat on the board.
- Assemble, cut and arrange it on the non stick parchment you’re going to cook it on, it will make it infinitely easier to move to the baking sheet.
- Frequent glazing (like when a ham is baked) builds up a great colour and shine, just don’t glaze the cut pastry edges until they’ve puffed up.