Of course, pies and pasties are so popular in the UK that when tax is raised on them, the whole country goes nuts. Not having lived there for 4 years now, I had almost forgotten.
I had also never actually made a savoury pie – and I think I’ve only made a fruit pie once or twice (we’re a crumble household) – so I was a little concerned, especially with making my own vegan crust!
It turns out, this is relatively easy. The making of the crust is the most labour intensive part, and even that is mostly just an hour of cooling the dough. If you prefer, though, you can buy some pre-made vegan crust and then this is a doddle.
(Makes 2 individual pies)
2 cups flour + reserve
1 1/4 cups vegan margarine / Earth Balance / vegan butter
5 tablespoons cold water*
1 onion, chopped
2 1/2 cups button mushrooms, chopped
1 cup broccoli, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garam masala
2/3 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup fresh coriander
*If you want to make this recipe simpler, use pre-made vegan puff pastry from the store instead of these 3 ingredients
Sift the flour into a bowl and mix the margarine / Earth Balance / vegan butter into it using the cutting method
When the consistency reaches that of small chunks, add in the water and mix together to form a dough
Add flour from the reserve if necessary to make sure the dough isn’t sticky
Split the dough into 4 servings and roll one out between 2 sheets of Saran Wrap so it makes a thin rectangle
Fold the two long sides inwards, then fold 1/5 of the dough inwards, from one thin end
Continue folding the 1/5th over until the dough is in one layered pile
Wrap tightly with Saran Wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour
Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius
In the mean time, heat a little oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic until the onion is browning
Add in the mushrooms, broccoli, garam masala and coconut milk, and stir well
Cook for 10-15 minutes, until the liquid has reduced and the vegetables are tender
Take 2 servings of the dough out of the fridge, and repeat the rolling and folding process once for each serving
Take 1 serving, and roll out into a circle that’s larger than your individual pie dishes
Lift it gently and place over the pie dish, then gently push it into the edges to create the bottom crust, cutting off any excess
Repeat for the other serving, then place both dishes in the oven for 10 minutes
Remove from the oven, then divide the mushroom mixture between the two. They should fill the dishes
Repeat the rolling and folding steps for the remaining dough servings, then roll each out into a circle just slightly larger than the dishes
Place gently on top, cut off any excess and pinch the top crust together with the bottom crust all the way around, creating an edge on each pie
Cut 2 holes in the top of each pie, then cook for 30-40 minutes
This pie is incredibly filling, and the filling really looks like (and kinda has the same texture of) the filling of a steak and ale pie; difficult to believe, but it’s what my partner said!
The best pie I ever had was actually at the famous Harry’s Cafe de Wheels in Sydney, Australia. This is a pie stand that has been there since the 30s, and they serve their pies with the mashed potato, peas and gravy layered on top. If you’d like to recreate that amazing look, see below!