The pie: the ultimate in comfort food
Yes, I know it’s supposed to be Spring (our favourite time here at Tara’s Table) but let’s face it, 2020 is just not working out the way we had planned in so many ways.
2020 is our 10th anniversary so all the celebrations we had planned have been put on the back burner. Among these celebrations and one we have forged ahead with regardless, is the publication of Tara’s new book, 10 Years of Food Fads, available for purchase on Amazon here!
What do you find is helping to get you through lockdown? I’d wager one of the things that’s top of the list is food. It’s become so cold and rainy in the last couple of days that a pie is just about the only thing that would do and I’m trying to avoid meat – all those BBQs when the weather was hot, have somewhat used up my quota so I decided veggie, no vegan, it is!
You will find my recipe for vegan, gluetn free pastry on page 124, here’s an excerpt:
I’ve been making pastry with chickpea flour for a couple of years now and I started doing this because I wanted to cut out white processed flour, not necessarily because I have an allergy or even an intolerance to gluten, but because of the sugar content of highly processed carbs. I tried using chickpea flour in place of white flour and it worked like a dream. In fact, it makes brilliantly crispy pastry. It’s a bit trickier to handle than regular pastry but I often find things that are more fragile when cooking are worth the effort. Just be extra generous with the rice flour when rolling. A vegan butter also works really well here so I often do that these days too.
You will need:
100g chickpea flour aka gram flour
50g butter or vegan butter
A pinch of salt
A little cold water
Rice flour for rolling
This recipe is for a 9” tart case.
Grate the cold butter into the chickpea flour and rub through with your fingers. Now add a little water to bring the mixture together. Shape into a flat disc, wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate and rest for about 1 hour. You can make the pastry the day before, it also freezes really well.
Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and line the tin or tins. If you want to keep this completely gluten free, use rice flour to roll it: chickpea flour doesn’t really do the job, it just tends to stick. Rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. You can do this part of the process the day before too, if you like.
For a rainy day vegan pie, I decided on leek and potato and here’s what I did. Slice a red onion and some garlic and soften in a pan with butter (I used vegan butter too), sliced leek which you have washed thoroughly, and diced potato. Cook for about 7 minutes until everything starts to collapse. Now add another generous knob of butter and melt it. Sprinkle enough chickpea flour to absorb all the butter and cook for a few minutes before adding either hemp milk or veg stock, or a mixture of both, until you have a thick sauce. Season with a generous dollop of vegan mustard and whatever herbs you have to hand. I used parsley, thyme and tarragon. Now cook until the potato is just about soft.
Line the pie dish with your pastry which you have chilled, fill with the pie mixture and cover with a pastry lid. Then crimp along the edges with a fork and bake in the oven at 180oC until browned and crisp.
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Tara is an award-winning chef and author, who started out in top restaurant kitchens in Bristol before setting up her own business in 2010. She is a Judge at The Taste of the West Awards, and in her private life, Tara is an avid cook, fermenter and eater and loves teaching others how to do the same! Tara published her first book, 10 Years of Food Fads, in 2020 to celebrate 10 years of business.