Packet pastry is not a sin. In fact, it is fantastic for helping to create quick and attractive dinners. Many brands of puff, short and filo pastry are incidentally vegan, including Jus Rol and supermarkets’ own varieties. It is very handy to have a packet in the fridge, which can be cut and filled with ease into quiches, slices, pastries and pies.
A friend of mine gave me this delightful heart-shaped pie dish, which I hadn’t had the chance to use yet – so I thought it would be a fine idea to make a vegetable puff pie. One packet of puff pastry contained a sheet large enough to cut out a heart for the top and bottom of the dish and to line the sides.
The base is then blind baked with the lid, while you prepare the filling to spoon in to serve. My pie contained onion, garlic, asparagus, mushrooms and spinach, which were lightly cooked in a deep saucepan with a dash of soya cream.
Big Vegetable Puff Pastry Pie
Serves 2 on its own or 4 with potatoes and vegetables
Preparation time 15 mins, cooking time 15 mins.
1 packet puff pastry (sheet)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
250g/8oz asparagus, roughly chopped
200g/7oz mushrooms, roughly chopped
250g/8oz spinach leaves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp soya cream
Salt & pepper to taste
1. Select a medium-sized pie dish and use it as a template to cut out two shapes to line and top the pie. Grease the dish, put the base of pastry into the bottom. Cut strips from the remnants to line the edges. Seal the pastry together with fingers dipped in soya milk.
2. Pre-heat your oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6. Line the dish with grease proof paper and baking beans and blind-bake for 5-10 mins until golden. Put the pie lid on a baking tray lined with parchment and place in the oven at the same time to rise.
3. Remove the baking beans and parchment from the dish and return the pie case to the oven for a further few minutes so it has a chance to harden slightly. Both the case and lid should be golden and puffed.
4. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a deep frying pan/wok and cook the onions and garlic until softened. Add the asparagus and mushrooms and allow them to cook for a further 5 mins, before adding the spinach, nutmeg and cream. Place a lid over the pan, so the spinach wilts in and cooks with the rest of the vegetables. Season to taste and stir everything together.
5. Spoon the hot filling into the pastry case, place the lid on the top and serve immediately. This pie would be great eaten with seasonal potatoes and gravy.
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