Sunday, April 22, 2012

One-Crust Veggie Pot Pie

Yes, pot pie usually has one crust on the bottom and one on the top--but we decided to try making pot pie with just one crust on top.  While the pot pie filling isn't as contained as it could be without crust on the bottom, the dish came out quite well.  It's a delicious, hearty comfort food that I'd eat any night.  

Delicious pot pie, with just one crust
Recipe:   
One-Crust Veggie Pot Pie

Single Pie Crust
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2.5 tablespoons sugar 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegan butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 1.5 tablespoons cold water

Pot Pie Filling
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 large potatoes, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets (we used frozen cauliflower)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water

First, prepare the pie crust.  Pulse together the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined.  Add the pieces of butter and pulse together another 5-7 times, until the mixture is crumbly.  Add the cold water and pulse together 5-7 more times until the mixture comes together, forming dough.  Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and briefly knead the dough until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.  DO NOT knead the dough more than necessary or it will become tough.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

At this point, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and have ready a 11"x7" baking dish or a large casserole dish.  

Then prepare the filling.  Heat the oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the carrots, potatoes, celery, cauliflower, peas, and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Turn down the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, whisk together the cornstarch, soy sauce, and water until the cornstarch is completely dissolved.  When the vegetable mixture has been simmering for 5 minutes, stir the cornstarch mixture into the skillet and allow the mixture to simmer for another 3 minutes or so, until the sauce thickens. 

Roll out the dough on a floured surface to fit the top of your baking dish.  Pour the filling into the dish and place the dough over the filling.  Seal the dough around the edges of the dish and bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.  Once you remove the pot pie from the oven, allow it to set for about 10 minutes before serving hot. 

Yields 6 servings.

Comments:
Taste:       
This dish has a definite pot pie flavor and the filling is great, but it's different than traditional pot pie in a few ways.  The combination of half as much crust and a filling that isn't as thick as it could be means that this dish is lighter than classic pot pie.  I enjoyed this twist, though of course you could double the crust for a more comforting comfort food.     
Accessibility:      
It was pretty darn easy to find all of the ingredients in this All-American dish.  Big-box grocery stores like Giant really pull through when ingredients like seitan and lentils aren't required... 
 Ease of Preparation:   
If you don't have the time or the desire to make your own pie crust, have no fear: vegan, premade pie crusts do exist.  Look for them in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.  If you are making your own pie crust, note that a food processor isn't required.  While using a food processor does make it easier to mix the dough without overmixing, you can do the same by hand. 
Non-vegan friendliness:     
We all really enjoyed this dish and went back for more.  That said, it's not a classic pot pie.  As Simon put it, this dish is "a solid stew with some crust on top."  In other words, it's a tasty variation on a classic comfort food.  

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