• 750g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • olive oil
  • 3 small onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground mace
  • 16 leaves sage, 6 finely shredded
  • 400g  vacuum-packed cooked chestnuts
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained
  • 100g fresh breadcumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten with a fork
  • 125g dried apricots, 5 small whole ones reserved, the rest diced
  • 100g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • chopped to make 5 tbsp  flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ tbsp runny honey


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Toss the sweet potato with 2 tbsp oil, spread on a baking tray and roast for 25 minutes until tender and golden.

  • STEP 2

    Cook the onions with 1 tbsp of the butter in a big frying pan for 10-15 minutes until very soft. Stir in all the spices and the shredded sage and fry for another 2 minutes.

  • STEP 3

    Put half the chestnuts into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, then tip out into a large mixing bowl. Put the chickpeas into the food processor with 1/3 of the roasted sweet potato and pulse to mash together. Tip this into the bowl too.

  • STEP 4

    Reserve 7 of the remaining whole chestnuts and roughly chop the rest just a few times, then tip into the other ingredients with the spiced onions, breadcrumbs, eggs, chopped apricots, walnuts, parsley, 1 tsp salt and some pepper. Get your hands in to give everything a good mix, then gently mix through most of the remaining roasted sweet potato, leaving some for the top.

  • STEP 5

    Butter a large loaf tin (about 7 x 11 x 24cm) and line with a long strip of baking paper that covers the bottom and the two ends. Pack the mixture firmly into the tin and cover with foil (the loaf can be chilled for up to a day at this stage).

  • STEP 6

    Heat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 (or cook alongside the turkey) and bake for 1 hour. Wrap in a towel to keep warm while the rest of the dinner finishes in the oven.

  • STEP 7

    Meanwhile, to make the topping, put the remaining butter in a small saucepan and sizzle the whole sage leaves for a minute. Fish these out to crisp up, then add the reserved whole chestnuts and apricots with the honey. Cook until everything is golden and sticky, then stir in the reserved sweet potato to heat through.

  • STEP 8

    Unwrap the tin and loosen the loaf by running a knife around the edge of the tin. Turn out onto a serving plate, remove the tin and paper, and spoon the sticky chestnut mixture over the top with any remaining honey-butter from the pan, plus the crisp sage leaves. Slice to serve.


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