Saturday 19 August 2017

Adam Liaw's pasties veganised

Some weeks back, I saw an Adam Liaw recipe for an Adelaide Pastie.  He talks about how in most of Australia the meat pie is the great Aussie lunch but in Adelaide it is the pastie.  Well, I beg to differ.  In my childhood in rural Victoria we chose between meat pies and pasties.  I usually chose pasties.  Even back then I wanted a little vegies in my meals.  Now, as a vegetarian, I took great delight in making these vegan.

I was particularly attracted to this pastie recipe because it has pumpkin in it.  Adam Liaw notes that "Cornish purists wouldn't stand for beef mince, carrot and pumpkin in their pasties".  It makes me laugh because my version of his pastie is even further from the traditional pastie.  However as a vegetarian, I am pretty used to not being with step with the purists.

I had some purple sapphire potatoes that I wanted to use for a splash of colour.  They were beautiful to slice and chop but once cooked, the colour has somewhat leached out.  I fried them separately in case the colour made everything murky but in the end I don't think it was worth the effort of having two frypans.

I added lentils and walnuts instead of beef and upped the vegemite for flavour and colour.  Though you can see in below photo it looks quite orange and then in the photos of assembling the pasties, the mixture is very brown.  I am not sure why.  But my dream of flashes of purple never came to be.

This is not a quick meal.  I spent about an hour during the day pottering about chopping and cooking the filling.  Luckily it was done before Sylvia came home with a friend from school and we decided to do a sleepover.  I just has to assemble and bake the pasties.  The kids just had puff pastry with cheese between it and some vegies on the side.  We put out the sofa bed and they sat on it with dinner and watched Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1959 version).  While it is a little old fashioned, it has great sense-of-wonder in the scenes and kept the girls' attention

Meanwhile E and I also enjoyed the film and were very happy to have some hearty pasties to eat for our tea.  I was particularly proud of the shape of these pasties.  I have always found it hard to actually get the seam in the middle on top rather than on the side.  So I have a photographic step by step of how I did it (above) to share with other novices or just to remind myself for my next pastie.

However these are huge pasties for a big appetite and a hearty meal.  If you want them for picnics or potlucks then you can make them smaller (and even rectangular) and still consider yourself a pastie princess.  Just don't mention these to the purists!

I am sending this to Meat Free Mondays.

More lentil and walnut combinations on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Lentil and walnut pate (gf, v)
Lentil and walnut roast (v)
Purple carrot balls (v)
Vegetarian moussaka

Vegetarian pasties with lentils and walnuts
Adapted from Adam Liaw in the Sunday Age
Makes 5-6

1/2 cup walnuts
50g butter or margarine
1 brown onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 heaped cup diced pumpkin
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
400g tin brown lentils, rinsed and drained
2 heaped tsp Vegemite
2/3 cup frozen peas
1 tsp thyme leaves (or about 5 sprigs thyme)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp stock powder
2 tbsp finely shredded parsley

5-6 sheets puff pastry (ready rolled 25x25cm)
milk or egg to glaze

Toast walnuts on a dry frypan until smelling cooked.   Once cooled enough finely chop the walnuts and set aside.

Fry onion in butter over medium heat for a few minutes until soft.  Ad carrots, potatoes, pumpkin and garlic and fry for about 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients (except parsley) and season with salt and black pepper.  Cook another 5-10 minutes and stir in parsley.  Check and adjust seasoning again.

Preheat oven to 200 C.  Line a couple of baking trays.

Take out 5-6 sheets of puff pastry.  Use a plate to trace a round of pastry.  (The scraps of pastry can be used for decoration or baked for snacks.)  Measure out a cup of mixture and tip into the middle of the pastry round.  Brush edges of the pastry round with egg or milk.  Press together edges of the round at the top of the mixture.  Then press together each side.  Now fold and pinch the pastry along the top.

Place pasties on lined baking trays.  Brush with egg or milk (I used soy milk).  Make a few knife marks for the steam to escape.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

These are great with hot with tomato sauce and some greens or salad on the side.  But I wont judge you if you just want to eat one cold for breakfast the next morning, if you have any leftover.

NOTES: I used 4 medium purple sapphire potatoes instead of 2 large potatoes.  I fried them separated as I worried their colour would bleed and make everything murky but it didn't.  Rather the purple potatoes lost their colour and I could have put them in with everything.  I found that 1 cup of filling in each pastie made 5 pasties.  Adam Liaw directed to used 1/2 cup but this did not seem enough for the amount of pastry.  If you don't want large pastries you could do them rectangular like these pasties.  These pasties can be vegetarian or vegan.  If you want to make sure they are vegan, use vegan butter for frying, vegan puffed pastry (Pampas light puff pastry and Borgs do vegan puff pastry) and vegan milk for glazing.

On the Stereo:
The Captain: Kasey Chambers


  1. What a beautiful combination of colours!! I have never had vegan pasties before, but I am up for anything!

  2. People from Cornwall also settled in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, so _Cornish pasties_ are a popular dish there. Alongside the Cornish immigrants, people from Finland also worked in the mines there and adopted the dish as a good warm lunch item.

    Today many shops there sell pasties -- and this is the part that relates to your post: Finnish style pasties include carrots and sometimes rutabagas while original Cornish ones do not. Unlike yours, they all seem to have meat and no pumpkin, and quite a few of the ones photographed for a long article have the seam on the side, or don't have that type of seam at all.

    Article on this worldwide dish as it appears in Michigan:

    best... mae at

  3. When do us veg lovers go along with purists - never, but they do inspire us. Shame the purple pototoes lost their colour upon cooking, i found the same with my purple beans from the garden. I do like a good veggie pastie and don't often stumble across them unless i make them at home and yours is a delight, I am looking forward to eating more pumpkin come the autumn season, but i still have courgettes coming from the garden. Like you i also struggle with the seam, but practice makes perfect as they say.

  4. These look great! We used to holiday in Cornwall and saw a lot of the remaining tin mines on our coastal walks. Did you know the "seam" of the pasty, the crimped bit, was not eaten? It was the part of the pasty that the work could hold while eating but was discarded so as not to poison one self. I am thinking one day a potato, swede and tempeh pasty - we will see 🙂

  5. Perhaps the first generation of Cornish pastie makers would have been outraged by the introduction of swede or what have you, but I think every generation since would have been well at home with any sort of filling - I've seen curry and Mexican pasties, for example. I think most pastie fans would be very happy to get one of these vegan beauties in front of them.

  6. They look golden and heavenly. I could happily tuck into one of them right now. Beautifully folded and fluted. Mmmmmmmm! Thanks for submitting it to Meat Free Mondays this week, the roundup is now live and I featured your recipe. Shared too :)

  7. Interesting - I didn't eat many pasties at all as a child, but couldn't say if they weren't common in WA or we just didn't get them in my family. This certainly looks like a delicious homemade version now. I'm glad you enjoyed them and the film!

  8. It may not have been a quick meal but these look superb!


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