Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Winter Vegetable Mini Pies

When I announced my one month hiatus from ye olde blog, I promised that I would be back with ideas for the upcoming holiday season. So, as promised, here is idea number one. The filling really isn't much of a breakthrough, but the crust definitely is. The pastry recipe comes from Top Chef Just Desserts, appropriately veganized, of course. It is easy (as pie) to roll out, is durable, and bakes up beautifully. The filling is really up to you. I did something very similar to this recipe, but you could easily make it more festive with the addition of some cranberries and roasted chestnuts.

Makes 12
- 1 lb all purpose flour
- 0.5 oz sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 10.5 oz cold Earth Balance margarine, or vegetable shortening
- 5 oz cold water
- 2 tsp ground flax seed

1. Whisk dry ingredients together, then cut margarine into the dry ingredients. Work with your fingers until it resembles coarse bread crumbs.
2. Whisk flax seed into the water, then add to dry ingredients. Work into a soft dough.
3. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.

Mini Pies
- 2 cups diced turnip
- 1 cup diced parsnip
- 1 cup diced rutabaga
- 2 cups diced potato
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2-3 tbsp white wine (or veg stock)
- 1 tsp sage
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp marjoram
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1/3- 1/2 cup soy milk
- salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Add turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, potato, and carrots. Boil for 5-7 mins, or until softened but not mushy. Rinse with cold water, drain, rinse, and drain. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Saute onions, celery and garlic for 5-7 mins, until translucent. Add 1 tbsp of wine (or stock) and reduce. Repeat twice with remaining wine.
3. Add flour and spices to the pan and mix well. Then slowly add soy milk, mixing well. Add enough to make a gravy that is not too runny. Add cooked veggies, mix well, and season to taste. Set aside to completely cool (or stick it in the fridge).

To Make the Pies
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
1. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out twelve 7" circles (I cut around a cereal bowl), re-rolling dough scraps to make more circles. Place about 1/2 cup of filling off centre, brush a little water around half of the circumference, then fold in half. Press dough together along the seam, then press with a fork.
2. Cut two slits in the tops to allow steam to escape, the place on the baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 mins, or until golden brown.

I put half of these in the freezer, unbaked, for later. I will report back how they fared, and the method for thawing and baking.