A slice of home-made pie.
Who doesn’t like a slice of home-made pie with unctuous gravy oozing over it’s warm crust?
This has fast become one of my favourites since making it last year for a friend and is often requested for Sunday lunch. Taken from a Lorraine Pascale recipe this Cranberry, Leek, Mushroom pie is a must, if nothing else, just for the tantalising smell that emanates from the oven.
And here’s the thing – it’s meat free. Even avid meat eaters love this pie and after looking over the table with food envy asking to try some, it has become a Mellow Ground favourite.
You can find the original recipe and method here. In her own words Lorraine says;
“Although this is a veggie roast, this truly is a meal fit for a king. I admit this is not the shortest of recipes, but it is really satisfying to make and the pastry is brilliantly quick and simple.”
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: up to 1 hr (It takes longer to roast a joint of meat for Sunday lunch…)
Tip: For this recipe you will need a food can and an 18cm/7in spring form or loose base cake tin – see pics below.
Tip: I highly recommend, as with any recipe, that you read it through a few times first to understand it and make a shopping list. So go put the kettle on and get comfy. It’s worth it!
Tip: To save time you could make the filling and gravy in advance (up to a day before – so all you have to do is make the pastry and fill the pie on day of cooking).
For the filling
- drizzle olive oil
- 4 leeks, finely sliced
- 4 rosemary sprigs, picked
- 6 thyme sprigs, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 250g/9oz chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
- 5 sage leaves, roughly chopped
- 600g/1lb 5oz mixed nuts (e.g. walnuts, pecans, cashews and hazelnuts)
- 150g/5½oz Gruyère, grated
- 3 free-range eggs
- 150g/5½oz dried cranberries
- 125g/4½oz frozen cranberries
For the pastry
- 100ml/3½fl oz water
- 80g/2¾oz butter
- 125g/4½oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling out the pastry
- 150g/5½oz wholemeal flour
- pinch salt
- 1 free-range egg, plus 1 free-range egg, beaten, to glaze
For the gravy
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp tomato purée
- 1 tsp yeast extract
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- few rosemary sprigs
- 500ml/18fl oz vegetable stock
- pinch brown sugar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Before you do anything else; Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and grease a 18cm/7in spring form cake tin.
Next we’re going to make the filling;
- Over a low setting heat the oil in a frying pan and gently fry the leeks, rosemary and thyme for 4-5 minutes, or until softened (We don’t want crispy bits!). Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the mushrooms and sage and cook for 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat, transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool. (Reserve two tablespoon of this mixture for the gravy later.)
- Toast the nuts in the oven for 8-10 minutes (keep an eye on them as they burn really easily). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- Blend the nuts in a food processor to a coarse powder and add to the leek mixture with the cheese. Mix until well combined and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Stir in the eggs until well combined.
This is a hot water crust pastry – don’t be scared!
- For the pastry, heat the water and butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat until the butter melts and the mixture just boils.
- Mix the flours, salt and egg together in a bowl, then add the butter mixture and mix together really quickly until combined. Shape the dough into a ball (it should be quite moist) and chill in the fridge for five minutes. (Have a quick cuppa or do some washing up…)
- Tear off one-fifth of the pastry and set aside, then knead the remaining pastry briefly and roll out on a well-floured work surface into a 5mm/¼in thick circle.
- Flour the top of the dough, fold into four, and use it to line the 18cm/7in springform cake tin. Put the folded dough into the tin with the pointed end towards the middle, then unfold the dough so that the excess falls over the side (the dough will be quite fragile). Now ease the dough into the corners of the tin. If the dough tears, squeeze it back together again, this pastry is very forgiving.
- Trim the pastry, leaving a 1cm/½in border above the tin.
Filling the Pie;
- Spoon half of the filling into the tin, pressing it down tightly with a wooden spoon. Tip over the dried cranberries, press down a little and finish with the rest of the pie filling, pressing down well. (Repeat layers as necessary finishing on a pie filling layer).
- Brush any exposed pastry with the beaten egg.
- Roll the reserved pastry into a circle, and using the cake tin as a guide, cut out a circle with a 1cm/½in border.
- Place the pastry over the top of the tin and squeeze or crimp the lid onto the pie to seal it, trimming any excess but leaving a lip to hold the cranberries on top. Cut a slit in the middle of the pie to let any steam escape and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Tricky bit! – This is where you need the food can.
- Remove the pie from the oven and carefully remove the tin
- Find a food can taller than the height of your baking tin. Stand it on the food can
Unclip the spring on the side of the pan and gently tap the top so the sides slide down off the pastry pie walls and down off the base.
- Slide the pie onto a baking tray and glaze the top and sides of the pie with the beaten egg, then return to the oven for a further 15 minutes, or until golden-brown.
- Remove the pie from the oven, glaze the top again and top with the frozen cranberries. Return to the oven for a further 5-10 minutes.
Tip: If, like in the pictures above, the base of your spring form tin has a little lip in it, this can make sliding your half baked pie onto a baking tray tricky – transfer the pie, base and all onto the baking tray – be careful in doesn’t slide off the tray! (You could use a silicon mat to sit it on).
OR; if you have a loose base pan like this, it makes it easier to slide a fish slice under the pie and onto the baking tray. There’s no right or wrong, whatever you’re comfortable with is just fine.
- Meanwhile, for the gravy, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the reserved mushroom and leek mixture followed by the tomato purée. Stir on a low heat for 2 minutes, or until it changes colour to a deeper shade of brown.
- Add the yeast extract, flour and rosemary then gradually add the stock. Bring to the boil, then season with salt pepper and brown sugar.
- Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until thickened. (You can strain the mixture for smooth gravy if you like.)
Fetch the Pie from the oven and serve! ~ Will go well with a side of fine green beans and purple sprouting broccoli.
Sit back on sofa; Hold Belly; Snoozzzzzzzzzzzzzzzze.