I’m not sure why but in the last couple of weeks I have been on a bit of a vegan tip. I guess it was a perfect storm of friends over for dinner who are thus inclined and me rising to a challenge. The challenge for me isn’t the non meat bit. If I really think about it, I am mostly veggie inclined. Almost everyday I consume a bag of rocket and snack on raw tomatoes or seeds. Although I do love to throw a bit of goats cheese in with my rocket much to my children’s disgust.
Of all of the things I have prepared over the 9 years my kids have been with me, for some reason goats cheese seems to send them into utter panic. The smallest hint of something that might look like said cheese either in, on or near a plate of their food, they all look suspiciously at me. “Is that goats cheese?” “Did you see that? It looks like goats cheese!” “Its goats cheese, it is I swear it is..No I’m not eating that!”. It has its upside though. I tell them we are moving to France to raise goats and make cheese when the most severe of threats is needed. Works every time.
Anyway I digress…I was saying that not eating meat is not a problem for me. But dairy, cheese and butter! Thats where I start to trip. How do you bake with no eggs or butter? Ok so you can substitute butter with oils but eggs? I would love to know what to use instead?
Also I just couldn’t live without cheese. Its one of the few food stuffs that literally makes me happy. I could walk away from cakes and biscuits and chocolate and all things sweet but a piece of Manchego or Brie or Cheddar or Roquefort……
Right so I think we are all clear. I am a rubbish vegan. I did however manage to create a vegan pie this week. I was pretty pleased with myself because the pastry was an inspiration that just came to me. It worked really well. The proper vegan approved and thats all that counts really.
Have a great week and I leave you with some pics of said pie and also some photos of very non vegan scones that the kids from Somerfield Playground in Tottenham made with me. More to come from those fab kids next week!
Mushroom and Aubergine Pie (v)
This is delicious and filling and creamy and the pastry is something that I will use now even if I am making a non vegan pie.
For the Pastry
- 100g white flour
- 100g spelt flour
- Handful of mixed seeds
- Generous pinch of maldon sea salt
- 50g coconut oil
- Cold water to mix
For the Filling
- 1 large aubergine (cut into chunks)
- 450g mushrooms (chopped roughly)
- 4 cloves of garlic (roughly chopped)
- Juice of half lemon
- Handful of crushed walnuts
- Pinch of chilli flakes
- 250mil soy cream
- 2-4 tbsp Olive Oil
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- Few sprigs of thyme
Turn the oven to 180c. Make the pastry first. Mix your flours seeds and salt and then add the coconut oil. Rub with your fingertips until the coconut oil is mixed thoroughly and you get the usual breadcrumb texture. Then add a little cold water (about 3 tblsp) and mix with a knife, You want the pastry to come together add a little cold water at a time to make this happen. Pat into a ball cover with cling film and place in the fridge.
In a large frying pan add the olive oil. Fry off the aubergine in batches if need be until soft and browning. It will take take about 10mins. Decant onto kitchen paper and then add a little more oil and add the mushrooms. The trick with mushrooms is to leave them alone, let them cook gently and release their water. Add a little salt and pepper halfway through the cooking time (about 5 mins) and then turn and cook for a further 5 minutes until they are soft. Then add the aubergine and the garlic and thyme. Stir gently and add the soy cream and the chili flakes then squeeze on the lemon juice. One last stir and take off the heat.
I used a ceramic pie dish (one I think traditionally used for crumbles). It needs to be deep and around 6 inches wide. Really it doesn’t matter. You could use a large pudding bowl if you wanted. Decant the pie mixture into the dish of your choice.
Roll out the pastry to around 3mil thick and wide enough to cover the dish. Place on top of the filling and either cut or roll the edges to seal the pie filling in.
I used a little of the soy cream which was in the pot mixed with a bit of water to wash the top of the pastry.
Place in the oven for 25 to 30mins until the pie mixture is bubbling and the pastry is turning a golden brown. Serve with greens or a lovely autumn salad.