Thursday, 10 July 2014

Pot Pie with Lattice

It was the lattice that sold Chez Cayenne's broccoli cheese pot pie to me.   It looked so pretty.  Yet I didn't have the broccoli or the desire to use vegan cheese.  Instead I used vegies that were on hand and made a vegan cheese sauce with cashews and nutritional yeast flakes, based on the Vegan Yum Yum Hurry Up Alfredo cheese sauce that I love.  I felt all thumbs with the lattice but I was proud and E wanted seconds. 

I made the pie on a wet night on which I remembered why you don't awkwardly balance a saucepan of water on a piece of tofu to squeeze out the water; on which I had to battle with a child who wanted to play with my strips of puff pastry; and on which a keen buyer came to test ride my worn old bike in the rain and purchase it for a pittance.

My sauce seemed much drier than Chez Cayenne's.  I think it was not as creamy as traditional pot pies, which are not something I grew up eating.  The sauce worked fine but I wonder about using more milk in future.  I also would have loved some green in it but I ran out of time.  (Green peas would be an easy addition,)  I did manage to use some tofu that had been the freezer for months.  I haven't frozen and thawed tofu before but it did make a big difference.  It was far more chewy and meaty that regular tofu.

The pie was ready late.  We ate it after Sylvia had eaten her dinner.  It was worth a bit of effort.  This was great comfort food.  Pastry, cheese sauce and potatoes.  Yet a bit lighter than a traditional cheesy pie. I even made a lattice pastry topping by weaving the pastry in and out of the strips as I laid it.  I am not sure it was the easiest way to do it.  No matter.  What matters is that it was pretty - and tasty too!

I am sending this to Jacqueline for Bookmarked Recipes.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: PP Cheeseless Cheese Sauce, Birthdays and Boyd
Two years ago: Patatas Bravas and Spanish memories
Three years ago: Mulled wine and chocolate cake
Four years ago: Rhubarb and apple sponge pudding
Five years ago: Breakfast Burritos – My Way!
Six years ago: Miss Marple’s Tea Room – cosy charm
Seven years ago: Full Moon Cupcakes

Pot Pie with Lattice
Adapted from Chez Cayenne and Green Gourmet Giraffe
Serves 4

Cheese sauce:
1/2 cup soy milk (or more*)
1/3 cup raw unsalted cashews - soaked a few hours
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tbsp vegan margarine
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp tamari (soy sauce)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp seeded mustard
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 shake cayenne pepper
1 clove of garlic, crushed
black pepper, to taste

To assemble pie:
200-300g tofu, frozen and defrosted
1 potato, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 butternut pumpkin, diced, roasted in oil, garlic, smoked paprika and salt til soft
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
handful of parsley, finely chopped
1 sheet of puff pastry, approximately
soy milk to glaze pastry

Preheat oven to 200 C.  Grease a medium square or rectangular casserole dish.

Squeeze as much water out of the tofu as possible.  I wrapped mine in a tea towel and pressed it under a saucepan on a colander.

To make the cheese sauce, blend all ingredients.  (*I think I would use 1 cup of milk because the sauce thickens once mixed with the rest of the filling.)

Simmer the potato for 10 minutes and then add the carrot and simmer for another 2 minutes.  Check vegies are cooked but not mushy.

Meanwhile to make the filling, crumble the pressed tofu into a large bowl.  Add roasted pumpkin, spring onions, parsley and mix well together.  Once potatoes and carrots are cooked, stir into mixture and then stir in the cheese sauce.

Tip the filling into the greased casserole dish.  Cover with puff pastry.  If you want to be fancy, cut the puff pastry into 1 inch wide strips and starting at one corner, lay down a strip at a time, lifting up strips to weave them in and out.  Brush with soy milk.

Bake for 30 to 50 minutes or until puff pastry is golden brown.  (I started baking mine at 180 C and thought it too low but if your pastry is burning then you could turn down the heat to 180 C.)

On the stereo:
Live in Concert: The Whitlams and the Sydney Symphony (freebie in The Weekend Australian)

28 comments:

  1. I love lattice topped pies too! Especially fruit pies like cherry. This looks really good! :D

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - fruit pies with lattice topping always look so pretty - maybe I will try one some day

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  2. awesome recipe... love the lattice top. thanks for the inspiration and great read!

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  3. The sound of your evening when this suggests it was a pie with a marathon amount of lead up preparation - even if some of the preparation wasn't directly related to the pie, but to balancing pots and managing a small pastry thief. I'm glad it was worth it and you should definitely be proud of the lattice, as it looks wonderful. Excellent winter food indeed.

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    1. Thanks Kari - it was definitely worth all the work - though it sometimes seems so long to prepare and dinner is gone so quickly once it is ready. I was proud of the lattice because it is the first I have ever tried.

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  4. love the lattice! It looks super pretty. I'd make it for sure if I had a family that weren't so damn fussy :)

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    1. Thanks Veganopoulous - this is one for those who are willing to try new things (and be rewarded) but I didn't bother trying with sylvia on this one so I understand! I used up the rest of the pastry with cheese and cooked cauliflower wrapped in it and Sylvia complained a lot about the cauliflower - and I thought that was pretty plain food !!!

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  5. Now I'm wishing it were cooler so I could make this ASAP! That lattice is gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks Joanne - if only we could swap seasons just for a week or two to try each other's recipes :-)

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  6. You had me at cheesy broccoli! This is properly my idea of comfort food heaven. You can't go wrong with pastry, veggies, and a creamy sauce on a cold night. Or even in summer, actually! I must have that with a big pile of new potatoes, greens and gravy. Amazing.

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    1. Thanks Joey - yeah cheesey broccoli always makes me sit up and take notice too! I am a bit fussy about creamy sauces but like the vegan ones because I find dairy ones often too heavy. Love your serving suggestion

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  7. I love the lattice pot pie, will have to make a pie with it for special occasion, i often use puff pastry to top a pie and it was not even round the shape of the pot - it was square and fell over the side, some people described it as lazy, i thought it was a bit thrifty as I used up all the pastry- none going to the bin. Nice to see how you have used nutritional yeast too, as I am still a bit precious with it.

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    1. Thanks Shaheen - I have seen some beautiful photos of pastry wrapped around the edges of ramekins so I think you are just ahead of your critics. Though no one could accuse you of being lazy if you did a lattice :-) I am quite liberal with nutritional yeast and like to have a decent supply of it in the house at any time.

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  8. This looks really good - hearty and warming for our current cold weather.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - ironically I made this back in May when the weather was milder - must get more puff pastry while the weather is still cold

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  9. I think you did a great job with the lattice and a pie is a great dinner for a cold and wet night. Good job on the sale of your bike! xx

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    1. Thanks Charlie - was very pleased to sell my bike - it wasn't in great condition (hence the price being so low) but I hope they got some use out of it

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  10. Nice work! That looks really impressive. I made individual pot pies myself yesterday, but they were topped with mashed potato (inspired by a pie I had on holiday last week). I think I'm going to have to give that pastry lattice a try - but hopefully on a more relaxed night than you did!

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    1. Thanks Linda - mashed potato on top of a pot pie is great comfort food - have done large shepherd's pie often but never tried an individual one - but you have inspired me for all the potatoes in the cupboard! Good luck with the lattice

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  11. Ooooo you are right the lattice top really does look so pretty! :-)
    hehe - I have that same little square baking dish - was given it by a friend years ago when I first moved our of home and didn't have many items myself!

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    1. Thanks Sandy - I have had this dish for so long I am not sure where I got it - possibly my mother in law or maybe before I met her. It is a great dish

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  12. Oh yum! That is one gorgeous looking lattice - I can see why it appealed to you so much!

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth - it was fun to make - not let me rephrase - it is fun to have made it but I think some practice is needed :-)

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  13. Isn’t homemade vegan cheeze the best?! Here in Turin, I didn’t see many vegan cheese products - only the mozzarella one, strange right? I relied on their cooking cream and of course, nooch to make a cheezy sauce version. I love Alfredo sauce, I use cashew cream & white beans to make a creamy Alfredo sauce, the mashed white beans made it super thick & creamy! Love the pot pie you made, looks so delicious!! I was looking at some vegan pies in Melbourne at another blog and I can’t wait to devour them!

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  14. Isn’t homemade vegan cheeze the best?! Here in Turin, I didn’t see many vegan cheese products - only the mozzarella one, strange right? I relied on their cooking cream and of course, nooch to make a cheezy sauce version. I love Alfredo sauce, I use cashew cream & white beans to make a creamy Alfredo sauce, the mashed white beans made it super thick & creamy! Love the pot pie you made, looks so delicious!! I was looking at some vegan pies in Melbourne at another blog and I can’t wait to devour them!

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