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  • Serves Serves 4

  • 1.5 hrs

  • Medium

Ingredients
  • To make pastry (pâte brisée), or substitute ready made short crust pastry:

  • 250g plain flour

  • 150g vegan margarine such as Stork (or unsalted butter)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • Pinch of caster sugar

  • 50g silken tofu (or use 1 free range egg)

  • 1tbsp almond milk

  • To make the filling:

  • 2 banana shallots, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 large carrot, peeled, diced & parboiled

  • 1 medium potato, peeled, diced & parboiled

  • 1 stick of celery, diced

  • 1 leek, 5mm slices & washed

  • ¼ cauliflower, cut into 1.5cm florets, parboiled

  • 350ml almond milk

  • 50ml almond cream

  • 1 heaped tbsp. Dijon mustard

  • 3 tbsp veg oil

  • 1 heaped tbsp. plain flour

  • Sea salt and white pepper, to taste

Like most Northerners I love pie. But as much as I love a good cheese and onion pie, I wanted to make one that doesn’t rely on dairy (you can read more about my 5:2 approach to veganism here). I’m a big mustard fan and Dijon is one of my favourites, making this creamy filling feel indulgent. I think pies should be indulgent. That’s why I wanted it to have a decent pastry to filling ratio, so a deep tin is absolutely essential.

The pastry for this satisfying deep filled pie is based on Michel Roux’s pate brisee, a deliciously short and crumbly pastry that he recommends for flans and pies (or you can just use ready made short crust pastry). I have experimented with numerous vegan substitutions for his pastry recipes, and I find that silken tofu makes a great egg replacement. Silken tofu is not my favourite tofu to eat, unless it’s in miso soup, but it has a great texture for making dough or even vegan quiche. You will find it in the fridge at any Japanese or Chinese supermarket. 

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 160C. To prepare the pastry, rub the fat, flour, sugar and salt together to make a rough crumb, then add the milk and tofu (or egg if using), to make a soft dough. Knead gently so well combined, then wrap in clingfilm and place in fridge for 20 minutes.
  2. Grease a deep pie tin, either individual or large size. If using four small tins, divide the dough into four. Flour the work surface and roll out the pastry to approximately 3-4mm thickness. Lay gently over the mould, and gently but firmly push the pastry into sides, ensuring there are no gaps or holes and the pastry hangs over the top of the dish. Trim the excess pastry but leave at least a 2cm overhang to allow for shrinkage. Keep the trimmed pastry for making the pie tops later. Place the pastry covered pie tins back in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Remove from fridge, and then layer the top of the pastry with a piece of greaseproof pastry that covers all the sides, and fill with baking beans. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. The aim is to cook the pastry through without colouring if possible.
  4. Remove the baking sheet and baking beans and return the pastry to the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  5. To make the filling, parboil the potatoes for 10 minutes until just soft, then parboil the carrots and cauliflower for 3-4 minutes until just soft (but still maintains some bite). Set aside.
  6. Add 2 tbsp of veg oil to a deep frying pan and place on a medium heat. Then add the plain flour and mix together to form a roux. Slowly add the almond milk, whisking constantly to make a thick smooth white sauce. Add the Dijon mustard, cream and season with salt and white pepper to taste. Set aside.
  7. Add the chopped shallot to a large pan, along with 1 tbsp of veg oil. Fry for 5 minutes until just softened and translucent, then add the garlic, celery and leeks and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until all the veg are well cooked and soft. Remove from heat.
  8. Combine the onion mixture with the parboiled veg and the creamy Dijon sauce. Mix well.
  9. Fill the pastry case with the vegetable mixture. Using the remaining pastry, roll out on well-floured surface and cut out rounds to fit the top of your pie tins. Brush the edges with almond milk and then use a fork to push down and seal the edges.
  10. Place the pies on a baking tray and in a medium oven at 180C for 20-25 minutes until pastry is golden brown. Serve immediately, with steamed green beans or broccoli.
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