Anna Jones’s celebration celeriac and sweet garlic pie recipe


This has been my Christmas centrepiece for the last couple of years. It’s everything I want in a pie: a cheddar and winter-herb flaky pastry; a creamy filling, sweet with balsamic garlic and roasted celeriac; and a crisp grated celeriac roof.

Serves 8–10
For the pastry
plain spelt flour 250g, plus a little extra for dusting
unsalted butter 125g, cold, cubed
fine sea salt ½ tsp
rosemary, thyme and sage a few sprigs of each, leaves picked and finely chopped
unwaxed lemon zest of 1
good cheddar 25g, grated
egg yolk 1 medium
cold water 50–70ml

For the filling
garlic 3 heads, cloves separated and peeled
olive oil
balsamic vinegar 1 tsp
runny honey 1 tbsp
rosemary, thyme and sage 2 sprigs of each, leaves picked and finely chopped, plus extra to finish
celeriac 1kg
Lancashire or good cheddar cheese 220g, crumbled
creme fraiche 150g
lemon juice of ½
wholegrain mustard 1 tbsp
parsley a small bunch, chopped
Worcestershire sauce
eggs 2, beaten

Put the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and salt. Rub gently with your fingertips until the mixture is like fine breadcrumbs. Stir through the herbs, lemon zest and cheddar.

Beat the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of cold water. Add to the flour and mix until it forms a dough. Add more water, a teaspoon at a time, until it comes together into a smooth dough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge while you make the filling.

For the filling, put the cloves of garlic into a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 2–3 minutes, then drain.

Wipe the saucepan dry. Add the garlic and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fry on a high heat for 2 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and 100ml water, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Add the honey, most of the rosemary and thyme (reserving the rest, with the sage) and a good pinch of salt. Continue to cook on a medium heat for a further 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the garlic cloves are coated in a dark syrup.

Meanwhile, peel the celeriac and cut it into quarters. Set aside 300g and slice the rest into 2cm-thick pieces. Put them into a saucepan, cover with hot water and boil for 7–10 minutes, until they are soft and have turned slightly translucent.

Drain and tip into a big mixing bowl. Add the cheese, creme fraiche, lemon juice, mustard, parsley, a splash of Worcestershire sauce and eggs. Add a good pinch of salt and grind of pepper and gently fold in the garlic cloves.

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Sprinkle flour on a work surface and roll out the pastry to 3–4mm thick. Line a 20cm-diameter cake tin with the pastry, ensuring a little spills over the edges.

Pour the filling into the pastry case. Coarsely grate the reserved celeriac and pile it on top. Finish with the reserved rosemary and thyme, all the sage, and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 45 minutes or until the tart filling has set and the top is golden brown.

Remove from the oven, leave to cool a little, then take it out of the tin. Lay a few herbs on top and serve warm.