Category Archives: In the oven

09Oct/15

Hot water crust pastry pie

Hot Water Crust Pie

Hot water crust pastry is something I don’t do often but it is ever so easy I wonder why I don’t?!  So here we are, if you haven’t tried it yet, set all your fears aside and have a go.  It is very simple to make, even more so than shortcrust, and in no time and with very little effort you will have the most gorgeous, golden, mouthwatering pie you have ever had the pleasure of setting on the table!

For filling I have used potatoes, mushrooms and veggie bacon and a little gram flour to bind the ingredients.  Have a go with any filling you fancy but bear in mind that you need to have something to bind the stuffing; in this case the potatoes and gram flour do the trick! Another thing to bear in mind is that you need to have enough filling to stuff the pie right to the top or you will be left with a gap between the stuffing and the pastry lid.

Hot Water Crust Pie(9)

Ingredients

200g plain flour
100g strong white flour
75g plant based butter
75g vegetable suet or shortening
100ml cold water
Good pinch of salt
Round non stick cake tin (mine is 6 diameter, 2½ inches deep)

Method

  • In a large bowl, mix the flours and salt. Add butter and crumble with the tips of your fingers to form crumbs (same as for short crust pastry)
  • Bring the vegetable suet and water to a boil
  • Make a hole in the flour and add the melted suet and water. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon – the dough is quite soft
  • Using your hands (make sure the dough is not too hot for you) mix the dough to form a smooth ball
  • Break off a quarter of the dough and set aside for the lid of the pie
  • On a floured board, gently roll out the rest of the dough and line the tin – let it cool a little before lining, although it should still be warm but not hot
  • Fill with pie stuffing making sure it is filled right to the top
  • Roll the dough you set aside to form a lid and cover the pie. Crimp the edges, then make a cross on top with a sharp knife
  • Place in fridge for 30 minutes
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C, 350F or gas mark 4 for about 1.30 minutes. That is how long mine took to turn golden and crisp.  Check the pie after 1 hour, then again after 15 minutes as all oven temperatures tend to vary a little
  • Remove your pie from the oven and leave in the tin to cool for about half an hour
  • If you are using just a regular round cake tin like I did, the pie is surprisingly easy to remove from the tin. Place a plate over the pie, turn over on to the plate.  Now take another plate and turn it over again to get the right side up…. It is really quite simple although scary if you haven’t done it before!

Hot Water Crust Pie(3)

Filling for pie

Ingredients

2 large potatoes, diced and cooked
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
250 grams mushrooms, chopped
1 pack of veggie bacon slices, cut into small pieces
1 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon soya sauce
1 teaspoon mixed herbs or any herb of you choice
1 tablespoon gram flour
A little black pepper

Method

  • Cook the potatoes and roughly break them up with a fork
  • Gently saute onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent
  • Add chopped veggie bacon and mushrooms and fry for about 6-7 minutes
  • Add peas, gram flour, soya sauce, black pepper and sage (or herbs of your choice)
  • Stir on low heat to mix all the ingredients thoroughly
  • Now add the potatoes, give it a good stir
  • Let it cool before filling the pie

Hot Water Crust Pie(8)

11Sep/15

Baked marrow, soya mince & chana dal

Stuffed marrow soya mince

Well here we are and the marrow plants have born fruit and the squashes glowing orange, waiting to be picked.  I use marrows a lot when they are around – cooked with lentils, or in a tomato sauce or baked of course.  Baked marrow is the simplest and provided you bake it covered with the skin for 20 minutes, maybe 5 more minutes after checking with a skewer, and you should have a firm textured marrow with the stuffing in tact.

For this recipe I have stuffed the marrows with soya mince and chana dal cooked with tomatoes and it was as scrumptious as it looks in the picture.  If you don’t have the time to cook chana dal, simply substitute it with a tin of black eyed beans – voila!

Ingredients

1 medium marrow, cut into rounds about an inch and half tall – scoop out the inside pulp and seeds
½ cup chana dal, cook separately before you do anything else!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, sliced
½ teaspoon turmeric
3 large tomatoes, chopped
1½ cups frozen soya mince
1 cup frozen peas
Salt to taste

Method

  • Fry onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent and lightly brown
  • Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric and salt and cook covered for 20 minutes until tomatoes are cooked and soft
  • Add soya mince and peas, cover and cook on low heat for a further 10 minutes
  • Now add the chana dal which you’ve cooked earlier and give a good stir to mix thoroughly

Stuffed marrow soya mince(2)

  • Place the hollowed marrow slices on an oiled baking tray and stuff them – stuff the filling as much as you can and let some of it sit on the surface of the marrow – any leftover stuffing simply put spoonfuls on the tray

Stuffed marrow soya mince(3)

  • Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven at 200C, 400F or gas mark 6 for 20 minutes
  • Uncover and bake for another 5-10 minutes
07Aug/15

Cheesy Cauliflower

Cauliflower cheese(4)

Cheesy cauliflower made with nutritional yeast, a little vegan butter and Oatly cream to give it a gorgeous, smooth, creamy flavour.  I also made some stock with the cauli stems and added the stems to the cauliflower bake – if you haven’t tried using the stems before you must have a go – waste not, want not and it enhances the texture and gives the dish a more cabbagey flavour.

Ingredients

1 cauliflower with fresh stems
1 onion, sliced
2 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, sliced
Little ground black pepper

Cheesy Sauce
350ml stock
1 soya or oat cream (I used Oatly 250ml)
2 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
2 tablespoons butter
Pinch of turmeric for colour
½ teaspoon English or Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons cornflour mixed with a little cold water to make a paste

Method

  • Remove stems and cook the whole cauliflower in about 2 inches of water for 7-8 minutes, no more and set aside

Make the stock

  • Chop the stems into 1 inch pieces (cut off any tough bits)
  • Make stock with the cauliflower stems, onion, garlic, bay leaves and black pepper by adding 500ml water and simmering for 30 minutes
  • Strain the stock and keep the stems and onions aside – we will add this to the bake

Make the sauce

  • Make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients except the cornflour and mustard
  • When it comes to the boil, add the cornflour paste and stir on low heat until sauce is thick – add mustard and take off the heat

 Bake

Cauliflower cheese

  • Break the cauliflower into large florets and place in a baking dish
  • Add the stems and onions from the stock
  • Pour the cheesy sauce and bake for 20 minutes on 200C , 400F, gas mark 6 for 20 minutes

Cauliflower cheese(2)

  • Place under hot grill for 5 minutes
11Jul/15

Spicy roast cauliflower

Roast cauliflower

Here’s a cauliflower roast to spice up your meal.  It is easy, just mix ingredients into thickish batter, coat cauli and bake – done.

Ingredients

Small cauliflower
2 heaped tablespoons gram flour (basan)
1 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast (optional)
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon ground fennel seeds
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil in batter
2 tablespoons oil in roasting pan

Method

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients above up to 1 tablespoon oil and add a little water to make a smooth, thickish paste – enough to coat the cauli but not run off! If too thin, add a little more gram flour
  2. Put an inch of water in pan and par boil whole cauliflower for 5 minutes only
  3. Remove the cauliflower, allow to cool a little, then coat with batter
  4. Put 2 tablespoons oil in a roasting pan and roast cauliflower in preheated oven at 200C, 400F, gas mark 6 for 20 minutes
28May/15

Shepherdess Pie

Shepherdess Pie(2)

This version of shepherdess pie is slightly different in that I have used some tomato puree and oregano to flavour the plant based mince and instead of mashing the potatoes, I sliced them thinly and arranged a double layer on top of the mince.

Normally I would add maybe some mushrooms and do a more traditional version, but I found the tomato puree (use tomatoes if you wish) and the oregano give it a more summery flavour and the sliced potatoes don’t absorb the gravy as much as mash and the result is altogether very scrumptious indeed.

Shepherdess Pie(4)

2 large, 4 small servings

Ingredients

1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons oil
1 large carrot, sliced
2 large sticks celery, sliced
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups of frozen vegan mince
7-8 medium potatoes, thinly sliced and coated in 1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 teaspoon Marmite OR 1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos OR 1 tablespoon soya sauce
2 teaspoons Biona Worcester sauce
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon oregano
600ml water
1 tablespoon corn flour mixed with a little cold water

Method

  • Fry onions and garlic in oil until translucent
  • Add celery and carrots and fry for a further 2-3 minutes
  • Add all other ingredients and approximately 600mls of water, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes
  • Add corn flour paste and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring to keep it from sticking – take the bay leaves out now and check for seasoning; you shouldn’t need any salt

Shepherdess Pie(3)

  • Put the sliced potatoes in a bowl and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon olive oil and mix well
  • Layer the potatoes on the mince, cover tightly with lid or foil and bake in oven at 200C, 400F or gas mark 6 for 45 minutes until potatoes are cooked
  • Remove cover and pop under hot grill for 10 minutes to brown the potatoes
30Apr/15

Vegan Frankfurter Bake

Vegan Frankfurter Bake(2)

Lately I have been buying loads of leeks! Well wouldn’t you….this time I picked up a 500 gram pack of beautiful leeks from Tescos for £1!  I know some people aren’t overly fond of leeks but I find if I slice them thin and sautee in olive oil before adding to the bake they are so creamy and sweet and I always go back for more. However, do use onions if you happen to be one of those not keen on leeks and you should have a delicious bake in no time which feeds 4 hungry vegans or 5-6 not so hungry vegans!

Vegan Frankfurter Bake(3)

Last time I did potato gratin and used vegan bacon which was absolutely finger-licking superlicious! This time I had a go at a vegan frankfurter bake and added some white beans which not only bulked it up, it also added nutritional value and added creaminess – a first rate vegan bake you are bound to love.

Vegan Frankfurter Bake

4 good servings

Ingredients

5-6 medium waxy potatoes, about 650-700 grams, thinly sliced (don’t use the ones for mash!)
2 large leeks, thinly sliced (use 2 medium onions or shallots if you don’t like leeks)
2-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tin of white beans (Cannellini or any other)
1 teaspoon dried sage
300ml vegan stock (I used 1 teaspoon of Marigold vegan bouillon powder)
2 teaspoons cornflour mixed with a little cold water
6 vegan frankfurters cut into 2 inch pieces (I used Tivall frankfurters as frankfurters hold their shape better)
150ml vegan cream (I used Oatly Longlife)

 

Method

  • Saute the leeks (or onions) and garlic in olive oil until translucent and edges begin to brown
  • Add white beans, sage, 300ml stock and cornflour paste and cook for a couple of minutes
  • Place in large ovenproof dish and add frankfurters and cream
  • Lay the potato slices to cover the dish (I got 2 layers)
  • Cover with a tight lid or foil and bake in pre-heated oven at 200C, 400F, gas mark 6 for about 35-40 minutes until potatoes are cooked through
  • Place dish under grill for a few minutes to brown the potatoes
  • I served this with spinach garnished with 2 cloves of thinly sliced garlic sautéed in olive oil
12Apr/15

Potato & Leek Gratin

Potato & leek gratin(2)

I think almost all my favourite dishes have one invariable…..Potatoes!! What about you? Okay so what vegetable teams best with potatoes?  For me leeks or onions…they both add a sweetness and creaminess no other vegetable can come close to, specially if the leeks or onions are sauteed.

So here we have potato & leek gratin minus the cheese – why no cheese? because we don’t need cheese, not at all.  Simply add a dollop of good quality nutritional yeast and you have a perfect, creamy, cheesy sauce.

I hope you will try this as it is simply the best potato and leek bake I have done to date and yet it is simple and takes very little time to prepare.  Serve with some greens (I love spinach!) or a salad – anything goes! 

3-4 servings

Ingredients

6 medium waxy potatoes (boiling potatoes) about 700 grams, thinly sliced
2 large or 3 medium leeks, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
I packet Vegan “bacon”, about 8 rasher (I use VBites Vegetarian Rashers which are vegan)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil (not your best olive oil!)
1 heaped tablespoon nutritional yeast (I use Bob’s Red Mill which is excellent but a tad expensive – Marigold is a lot cheaper but I’ve not tried this)
1 small cup vegan cream, about 150ml (I use Oatly Longlife)
1 small cup water, about 100ml
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence or a mix of thyme, rosemary, oregano
2 level teaspoons cornflour
Little salt and pepper to taste

Potato & leek gratin

Method

  1. Fry the thinly sliced leeks and garlic in olive oil for about 10-12 minutes until wilted and cooked or until the edges just start to go brown – remove and set aside
  2. In the same pan, add roughly chopped up vegan rashers and fry for a couple of minutes
  3. Tip the leeks and bacon into a large ovenproof dish
  4. Cover with thinly sliced potatoes
  5. In a bowl mix together the cream, water, cornflour, nutritional yeast, herbs, salt and pepper and pour over the potato and leeks
  6. Cover and bake in pre-heated oven at 200C, 400F, gas mark 6 for 40-45 minutes until potatoes are cooked
  7. Uncover and pop back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes to brown the potatoes
20Jan/15

Mushroom & ale pie

Mushroom & ale pie(3)

Winter’s still with us and the prospect of snow on the doorstep for some of us ….. some have already got their snow shoes out or out adding the finishing touches to their snowman.  Hot, hearty, comfort foods are on the menu and pies with potatoes and greens are top of my list.  I served mine with roast potatoes, sweet potatoes and garlic with steamed greens…..yum!

For this mushroom and ale pie I used a mix of mushrooms, oysters being particularly good for this pie, but almost any vegetable, cooked in an appropriate but simple sauce, covered with puff pastry is very welcome.  So treat yourself and the family with this simple and delicious pie for Sunday lunch and they will come back for more, every time.

3-4 servings

Ingredients

1 sheet of ready rolled frozen puff pastry
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Approximately 350 grams mixed mushroom (I used button mushrooms and oysters)
1 pack of VegiDeli beef style pieces – see here (or any other substitute)
300ml light ale or similar
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sage
1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Amino – see here (or Tamari soya sauce – see here)
1 tablespoon Mushroom Ketchup (optional, but very good for flavouring, available in most large supermarkets – see here)
1 level tablespoon cornflour mixed with a little water

Mushroom & ale pie

Method

  1. Fry onions and garlic in the oil on low heat for about 5 minutes – don’t brown
  2. Add mushrooms and fry for a further 5 minutes
  3. Add all the other ingredients except cornflour
  4. Cook for 5 minutes, check for taste, you shouldn’t need to add salt
  5. Mix cornflour with a little water and add to mushrooms to thicken the sauce – simmer for 2-3 minutes
  6. Pour into ovenproof dish and cover with sheet of pastry.  Cut a cross in the middle of the pie to let the steam out
  7. Bake in pre-heated oven at 200C, 400F, gas mark 6 for 30-35 minutes

Serve with roast potatoes, sweet potatoes & garlic and some steamed greens….

Mushroom & ale pie(2)

21Oct/14

Leek & potato flan

Leek & Potato flan(2)

Hello again….. leek & potato flan following the success of spinach flan (yum!) – potatoes and leek make a more substantial filling and a green salad is all you need to go with it.  I tend to make a large flan using a 10 inch dish simply because it freezes well and is worth making more while you are at it!  Flans make a great meal and are excellent to take to work for lunch because you can eat it hot or cold without losing the taste or flavour.

Did an asparagus flan last night and made the shortcrust pastry myself with wholemeal flour – so much more flavour and texture when you do the pastry with wholemeal flour and do it yourself!  Will be posting this soon, so watch this space….

Here’s the recipe for wholemeal shortcrust pastry

4-6 servings

Ingredients

1 sheet of frozen shortcrust pastry, defrosted (I used Jus Rol which is vegan)
3 largish leeks, sliced
3-4 medium waxy potatoes (approximately 400 grams)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence or mixed herbs
1½  blocks of firm tofu or firm silken tofu will also do  (approximately 450 grams)
3 tablespoons cornflour
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Good pinch of asafoetida (this gives the tofu an eggy flavour and is optional)
Good pinch turmeric for colour
¼ teaspoon kala namak (black salt available at health food stores or Asian stores and gives the tofu an eggy flavour)
Little salt and black pepper to taste
10 inch flan dish

Leek & Potato flan(1)
Sauteed leeks

Method

  1. Boil potatoes in skin, peel and chop into small pieces
  2. Gently saute leeks in 2 tablespoons oil for 10-12 minutes – cover and stir to soften leeks
  3. Remove leeks and set aside. In same pan fry potatoes in remaining 1 tablespoon oil for 2-3 minutes.  Put leeks back in pan and mix with potatoes, a little salt, black pepper and herbs
  4. Pat dry tofu and puree with cornflour, lemon juice, kala namak, asafoetida (if using) and pinch of turmeric
  5. Add pureed tofu to potatoes and leeks and mix thoroughly
  6. Pre heat the oven at 200C, 400F, gas mark 6.
  7. Roll out defrosted pastry and line the flan dish.  Place a piece of baking parchment and a handful of beans on it to weigh it down and blind bake for 12 minutes (non-fan assisted oven)
  8. Remove from oven, discard paper and store beans in a jar for use later
  9. Pour the tofu and potato mixture into the pastry case and bake for 25-30 minutes – check after 25 minutes and if the tofu is firm, the flan is ready
05Oct/14

Spinach flan

Wholmeal Spinach flan

This flan is using my Wholemeal shortcrust pastry

There are various recipes around for vegan flans but while preparing this spinach flan my priority was to keep it as simple as possible.  Broadly speaking, what we are doing is using spinach, onion and parsley (this is optional for added flavour but you could skip this if not available) for the filling and blended tofu to hold it together and give it that wonderful creamy taste and texture.  So although the ingredients list looks a bit long, it is quite simple.  

If using frozen sheet of pastry, get it out to defrost, then cook the spinach, squeeze out the excess liquid and chop. Once you’ve done this, the rest is simply frying onions etc, adding spinach and parsley to it, pureeing the tofu,  rolling out the pastry and baking!  Admittedly it takes longer to prepare then say no-egg scramble, but it is definitely worth that little extra effort and of course what you don’t eat, if you don’t, you can freeze it for another day.

I use asafoetida and black salt in mine to give the flan an eggy flavour but if you are not overly partial to the eggy smell then leave out the asafoetida.

5-6 servings

For wholemeal shortcrust pastry

Ingredients

300 grams wholemeal flour (I used Allinson’s wholemeal flour)
150 grams vegan margarine (keep it cold in the fridge before use)
3 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
45-50 ml cold water

Method

  • Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and margarine. Rub together with your fingertips to mix margarine with the flour – should resemble breadcrumbs
  • Add cold water and form a dough
  • Wrap in cling film, shape the dough into a ball (easier with the cling film on) and leave in fridge for 30 minutes.  It is important to keep pastry cool at all times
  • Flour a large pastry board or work surface and roll out pastry to fit dish
  • Bake according to instructions in recipe

Wholmeal Spinach flan(2)

For the Flan

Ingredients

Wholemeal shortcrust pastry or 1 sheet of frozen shortcrust pastry, defrosted (Jus Rol is vegan)
450-500 grams fresh spinach or equivalent amount frozen leaf spinach
1 large onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley (I tend to buy big bunches, wash, chop and freeze)
2 blocks of firm silken tofu, 600 grams (I used Clearspring firm silken tofu)
3 tablespoons cornflour
Good pinch of turmeric for colour
¼ teaspoon black salt for an eggy flavour or ordinary salt
Good pinch of asafoetida (optional – for more eggy flavour)
Salt to taste

Method

  1. If using fresh spinach, cook, squeeze out excess water and chop.  If using frozen leaf spinach, just cook for a few minutes
  2. Gently fry onion and garlic in olive oil for about 8-10 minutes until soft and translucent but not brown (cover and stir is best to soften the onion)
  3. Add parsley and fry for a further 2-3 minutes then add spinach, a little salt and pepper and cook for about 3-4 minutes until the mixture is well blended and dry
  4. Pat dry tofu and puree in blender with cornflour, turmeric, black salt or salt, asafoetida (if using) until smooth
  5. Mix the pureed tofu with the spinach and set aside
  6. Roll out the pastry to fit the size of the flan dish (mine is 10 inches round but there is no reason why you can’t use an oblong dish)
  7. Pre-heat oven to 200C, 400F, gas mark 6 (this is non-fan assisted oven; adjust temperature for fan assisted)
  8. Line the flan dish with the pastry and blind bake by putting a sheet of baking parchment and a handful of raw beans in it for 12 minutes
  9. Remove beans and baking parchment and pour the spinach and tofu mixture into the flan dish and smooth the top
  10. Pop back into the oven for 25-30 minutes (check after 25 minutes as oven temperatures vary – press the filling with your finger and it should feel firm)
  11. Let it cool for a few minutes before cutting – good warm or cold and can be frozen

Spinach flan(2)
The above picture is using JusRol frozen pastry