With December in full swing, itís the month of coming together to indulge in late-night chatter over chinking glasses and tables piled high with fine foods. When the turkey's stuffed and pigs snug in their blankets, this vegetarian dish packed full of seasonal flavours will be sure to complete the spread.

Here, our resident affiliate chef David Sargent shares his Cornish truffle brie, thyme and cranberry tart topped with pickled red onion.


  • Two small-medium red onions
  • White wine vinegar
  • White wine
  • Caster sugar
  • Three cloves
  • Zest of one orange
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • Star anise
  • Puff pastry
  • Homemade cranberry sauce
  • Brie (here David uses truffle-infused Cornish brie to add some luxurious oaky notes)


Start with the pickling liquid by taking†75g of white wine vinegar, 75g of white wine, 75g of water and 75g of caster sugar. Add three cloves, the zest of half an orange and one star anise. Add to the pan and gently heat these ingredients together.

While on the stove, thinly slice one red onion.

Once the sugar has dissolved, remove the pickle from the heat and add the sliced onion. Leave to one side.

Take a 12cm square of ready rolled puff pastry and score a line all the way around the square 1-2cm in from the edge - be careful not to cut all the way through. Prick the pastry inside this square with a fork to prevent the layers from rising.†

On top, thinly spread one sliced red onion, sweet cranberry sauce and 3-4 sprigs of thyme (with the stalks removed). Finish with the zest of the remaining half an orange and cover with sliced brie.†

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve hot with the pickled red onion sauce and winter salad leaves.†

With special thanks to David Sargent†for sharing one of his favourite seasonal recipes. Based on the north Cornwall coast, David can be booked to cater for your next Unique Homestays escape.