Friday 14 October 2011

Vegan pastry and tofu pies experiments

Blame the Grand Final for all the pastry in my kitchen recently.  When I decided to make vegan party pies, I had to practice making pastry.  It is not my strong point.  I remembered the tofu pies from the uni food co-op that I loved.  I decided to experiment with some tofu filling.

I mixed the vegies.  Beautiful colours!  Can you spot some of my stripey beetroot?  I added tofu and lots of seasoning.  I wanted the colours to shine through.  They faded.

The mixture reminded me of chicken.  In looks, not tastes.  It was ok.  The seasoning wasn't quite right.  Maybe a bit less tomato paste and a bit more soy sauce was needed.  I have since sampled the food co-op pies again and found they have tofu, tempeh, broccoli and carrot and far less seasoning.  More experiments ahead!  I have given a rough guide to what I did below to give me ideas for next time.

The crusty hot water pastry worked well.  It has never let me down.  Not even when I used vegan margarine instead of butter.  Wonder how it would work with gf flour?  I used my muffin cups for making the pies.  I found a flour tub lid and a glass to cut out the bottoms and tops of the pies. 

When I make pies, like dumplings, I always have leftover filling.  My solution is to serve it with some rice on the side with the pie.  This is what you see above.  It is a good way to minimise the pastry in the meal.  The pies were a good size for dinner.  Too big for party pies.  You can see below that I had to mark the one with P where I experimented with the party pie filling.

My proudest moment was using up the leftover scraps of pastry.  My mum used to make jam tarts with her leftover pastry.  So that is what I did!  I just spooned a bit of pastry into the last couple of muffin cups and baked them with the filled pies.  The tofu filling was work in progress.  The jam tarts were a hit!

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe
This time last year: GYO Tahini Caulflower and City Sights
This time two years ago: Beauty and the Beast for World Bread Day
This time three years ago: Broccoli Soup from AWW

Tofu pie filling - work in progress

1 tbsp olive oil
2 leeks chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 beetroot, grated
kernels of 1 corn cob
2 large button mushrooms, chopped
350-500g firm tofu, crumbled
1 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup white wine
1-2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
shake of smoked paprika
lots of freshly ground black pepper

Fry the vegies in the oil (I add more as I chop the vegies) until nicely wilted.  Add tofu and remaining ingredients.  Cook until the flavours come together.  I didn't note times but these are far easier to work out than flavours.

I did note that I cooked the mixture in a batch of crusty hot water pastry with some soy milk to baste them.  I baked them at 200 C for 10 minutes and 180 C for 30 minutes.  Or you could just serve with rice, a la tofu scramble.

On the Stereo:
Transparency: Frank Zappa

This post is part of Vegan Month of Food October 2011.  Go to my Vegan MoFo list for more Vegan MoFo posts.


  1. The tofu pies look fantastic! So impressive that you make your own pastry, I always opt for puff pastry wherever possible. My mum also used to make jam tarts with leftover pastry and I used to adore them so much. :D

  2. Sweet pies next? Please? Peanut butter chocolate ganache pies? :D

  3. I've not made a tofu pie yet, so really appeals to me. Wish I could try one :P

  4. My mum always made jam tarts with the left over pastry too and it's something I do as well!

  5. I am SO impressed with your pastry skills! Pastry is definitely not my area of expertise despite my grandmother teaching me her pastry recipe as a young girl... :-)

  6. Goodness these look so good. I love pies, but never make them as I'm rubbish at pastry. Intrigued by your veggie / vegan version of hot water crust pastry, so off to have a look at that.

  7. Thanks Mel - I highly recommend this pastry - I hate making pastry but this is so easy to make and easy to roll out too - puff pastry just doesn't seem right for every pie but I use it quite a bit too.

    Thanks Hannah - regretfully the chances are slim! I make sweet pies even less than savoury pies and peanut butter is out due to sylvia's allergy

    Thanks Shaheen - I am surprised you haven't as I just love admiring your pies and there are so many great ideas on your blog!

    Thanks Jeni - home made jam tarts are great

    Thanks Astra - try this pastry for an easy alternative - so much easier than the usual shortcrust - though maybe if I had a family pastry recipe like yours I might feel loyal to it

    Thanks Choclette - I am not a big pastry fan - E loves them but I have greater foodie loves (nut roasts, bread, cakes, choc chip cookies) but I love this pastry as an easy way for me to make pies occasionally

  8. They certainly LOOK good, anyway, and the ingredients sound as if they'd taste good, too. Though I must admit the jam tarts are more appealing to me, too. :)

  9. I'm sorry the colours faded - that striped beetroot was the star in your second photo :) I'm glad the jam tarts made up for things not being quite as you wanted with the savoury fillings.

  10. These look really good! It's always disappointing when you have prettily coloured food and it fades but at least it doesn't affect the flavour.

    I think your tahini addition to the pie filling is brilliant - did it add to the taste?

  11. Gosh, your pie crusts look like a grand success!

  12. Too bad the pie filling wasn't quite what you wanted. They look so good though and I'm very impressed with all your pastry making! I rarely make pastries like this, too stressful.


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