Monday, September 16, 2013

Curried Meatless Pies

 Would you look at those flaky layers?

I won't call these vegetarian as there's butter in the puff paste, and an egg wash, but the filling is made with frozen soya meat substitute. I also wouldn't call it health food as there's a cup of butter in that dough. The recipe will make five large pies, so at least you will have several servings from it. I made my own puff paste because I know how, and I was home all day. I also had a stash of expensive butter. Some people have drug stashes, I have organic pasture butter. I'm not sure which is worse.

As I've posted the recipe, and instructions for puff paste here before, I'll keep this focused on the filling, assembly, and baking. You can of course buy puff paste, and only a jerk would fault you for it. You shouldn't cook for jerks.

You Will Need:

Puff paste (a store bought package, or a homemade batch made with 2 cups flour and 1 cup butter ratio).
2 cups frozen vegetarian mince (I used Morningstar, because it was on sale. They're all pretty much the same TVP base as far as I'm concerned).
2 large baking potatoes, peeled, finely diced and chilled in cold water
2 large baking apples, pared, cored, and diced
1 large, sweet onion, diced
1 small red pepper, chopped
Cooking oil 2-3 tablespoons
Madras curry powder to taste
1 teaspoon garam masala
Salt to taste (you'll have to adjust according to the sodium content of your fake mince)

Drain the potatoes, and dry very thoroughly on a kitchen towel. Meanwhile, heat a heavy skillet and add about 2 tablespoons oil (you can add more later if you need it). Cook the potatoes over medium heat until they soften and begin to form a crust. Add the onion, pepper, curry powder and garam masala. Cook until onions are soft and golden. Add the frozen mince and break it up with a spatula. Cook another five minutes or so. Cool this mixture completely before filling the pies.

To assemble:

Grease your pie moulds.

Roll your puff paste very thin-about 1/2 inch thickness. You will need a top and bottom for each. I just barely got five working with scraps at the end. These are pretty forgiving, so don't worry too much if they don't look perfect. Fill the pies generously. Adjust the top piece, then with a sharp knife, make cuts all around the edge-this will give it a nice puffed appearance. I like to chill it again-maybe ten minutes while the oven preheats to 425 degrees F.  Brush with an egg yolk and a few drops of water. Place the moulds on a baking sheet, and set in the oven for ten minutes. Then, reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. and cook another 35 minutes or so until done. Carefully loosen, and unmould onto a rack. Serve with a good chutney (I made apple date).

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