Wednesday, 17 February 2016

I-Pie With My Vegan Eye

Pies are great.  Pies are packages of winter comfort.  Pies are what you can make when you don't know what else to make. Got a random selection of ingredients you are not sure what to make into?  Sling them in a pie and suddenly you have something pie-tastic. Okay, so pies can be naughty but they can be healthy too.  Pies are what you make them. We like pies.  All of the above are facts and there are not many people out there that would dispute the facts.  

It is indeed pie season in the Driftwood household.  We have been indulging in quite a few Clive's Pies recently; one of the gems of the South West not always readily available up country, and for you vegans not from around these parts, you're missing out!  We even almost had a fight on our hands the other day when someone else was rummaging for Clive's Pies in the Archie Brown's freezer at the same time we arrived on the Creamy Mushroom pie hunt.  It was 'pies at dawn' for a tense moment but luckily (for them and us) their flavour choice turned out to be non-conflicting.

We have been making our own pies as well and all of them have been 'on the fly', in other words; rummage for ingredients, find a random selection of stuff, add in some store cupboard ingredients and think of pie.  So we thought we would share a selection of these random creations with you and if these don't tickle your fancy you could always take some inspiration from one of the books by prolific vegan cookbook writers Moskowitz and Romero; Vegan Pie in the Sky.  There are no exact measurements below because, well they were random pie making moments!

We have two savoury creations and one sweet.  First off a pizza-come-pie creation. Let's call it Polenta Pizza Pie if we must call it something.  If you have read our blog before you will know that I like using polenta and therefore we always have some ready to cook up in the cupboard.  If you want to know how I cooked it up refer to the Pizza Polenta blog I did some time back.  So I made a batch of this up and molded it into some small pie cases.  It doesn't show very well in the photo but I kind of molded it up the sides a bit so there was space in the middle to put the mix.  I then boiled up a couple of carrots until soft and then mashed them up with some sun-dried tomato paste I had and a bit of nutritional yeast.  I then folded in some roasted red peppers from a part used jar in the fridge and then piled this in the middle of the polenta pie cases.  I then buzzed up some cashews in a blender into crumbs and decadently included a small chunk of Violife Prosociano cheese into the blender.  This mixture I then sprinkled on top of the pie cases and popped them in the oven to cook and crisp up for about 20 minutes at 200 degrees C (from memory but you will be able to tell when they are done!).

Next up were little Leek and Mushroom Pies.  I had some shortcrust pastry in the fridge (I know that is super lazy).  I had some of the cashew and cheese mixture left over from the Polenta Pizza Pies, along with leeks and mushrooms.  After lining the pie cases with the pastry I sauteed up some sliced mushrooms and leeks until soft.  I then made a roux cheesy sauce.  If you are not familiar with how to make one of these check out the instructions from our The Flan of Gold at the End of the Rainbow post (which incidentally is another pie offering along similar lines).  Mix the leek and mushroom mix into the sauce mix and pour into the pastry cases.  Sprinkle with the cashew and cheese mix and bung it in the oven until golden and bubbling.

Now on to the sweet stuff; an apple pie.  I had some pastry left over from the Leek and Mushroom (one pie seems to lead to another!) and also a couple of apples that needed using.  The problem was there weren't enough apples just to make a simple apple pie so I needed further filling.  Dates and cashews came to the rescue.  I soaked a handful of dates in boiling water before blending them up (including the soaking water) with a handful of cashews, a bit of vanilla paste, a touch of maple syrup (not too much as the dates are already pretty sweet) and some cinnamon and nutmeg. After lining the large pie case I was using with pastry, I sliced up the apples and arranged them on top.  Then I poured the date mixture over the apples spreading it evenly before slinging it in the oven until golden brown.  

We hope you enjoy our random selection of pie creations.  Remember the only thing holding back your own random pies is your own imagination!


No comments:

Post a Comment