Due to frequent postings, we army families have a great deal of experience living out of suitcases, planning meals on a budget and rationing food while in army mess’s or empty houses. We successfully get by for weeks or even months without our household goods. The associated expenses of each move have trained many of us to cut financial corners and stretch our rupee further. At a time when supplies are running low, this feels strangely familiar – we’ve lived like this before. This is the reason we’re used to making things from scratch. Believe me, from RC airplanes to food, we are the masters of ‘best out of waste’! Today I am sharing a recipe of a Mini Vegetable Pie From scratch.
This savoury pie is loaded with corn, onions and mushrooms, then encased in a flaky puff pastry topping. Nothing is more exciting than tapping the tip with a spoon to break through the crispy layers of the puff pastry to get a taste of the tender vegetables hiding beneath.
I love chopping up a variety of vegetables, especially for comfort foods like this. A combination of cottage cheese, mushrooms, bell pepper makes for a tasty base. The vegetables are sautéed with herbs and garlic for a punch of flavour.
Then, I thicken the filling with a little flour to create a luscious gravy. Fill the ramekins or mini pie dishes (lined with puff pastry dough) with the vegetables and gravy, cover with the cut puff pastry roundles, cut small slits for tiny vents, brush with milk wash, and bake until golden brown.
HOW TO MAKE THE GRAVY FOR PIE
Flour is used to thicken the filling in this Mini Vegetable Pie. I make a classic roux with equal parts of butter and flour. The vegetables are sautéed in butter first to soften and add more flavour to the filling, then the flour is sprinkled on top.
It’s best to cook the roux for a few minutes to remove the raw flour taste. The vegetable stock and milk are then added and simmered until the liquid is thickened and can coat the back of a spoon, but not overly thick or lumpy.
HOW TO WORK WITH PUFF PASTRY
Puff pastry is a buttery and flaky dough, made of numerous super thin layers, similar to croissants or Indian mathari.
HOW TO ADAPT YOUR POT PIE
Pie and pot pie are fairly similar, the only difference is that in the mini pie, there is a bottom crust which is missing in a pot pie. So, you can basically make pot pie from the same recipe. I have explained the method in recipe below.
This recipe works well for root vegetables or other heartier ingredients. Cottage cheese, carrots, spinach, and sweet potatoes make a nice substitution or addition to potatoes.
For a lower carb option, chop up some cauliflower florets. When corn is in season, slice those kernels off the cob and add them to the mix. Sweet bell peppers or spicy chopped chiles add a nice twist.
HOW TO GO ABOUT IT:
To make Mini Vegetable Pie, cut the puff pastry: Trim 1/4-inch around the edges of the puff pastry; this will help it look neat and allow the pastry to puff a little better. Cut each pastry sheet into four 4-inch roundles, making 6 roundles total. Place one round pastry sheet over each mini pie dish and line them properly, allowing the edges to hang over the sides. Add vegetable filling and cover it with another roundle. Moisten edges of each with milk wash. Top each with a second dough round; press edges with a fork to seal. Make 4 small slits in the top (1/2-inch long).
CAN I MAKE MINI PIES AHEAD OF TIME?
You can make the pies a day or two in advance and keep them in the refrigerator. Make the filling, add it to the ramekins, cover and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. Wait to defrost and cut the puff pastry until the day you plan to bake them. If you want to freeze the pies, make them to completion.
Puff pastry is often sold frozen. If you are using ready to use then make sure you remove it from your freezer and transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw the day before you want to make the pot pies. If you forget, don’t worry. You can thaw the pastry at room temperature. In that case, it will take about 40 minutes. If want it sooner, you may also thaw it properly in a microwave.
What Is The Difference:
Pies – This classic dish has a familiar and simple equation: bottom pie crust + filling + top pie crust = delicious pie. While the top pie crust is optional, when used, it is pinched together with the bottom crust to make a seal.
PiesTarts – If you’ve ever thought a tart was pie, you’re forgiven because they’re incredibly similar. The main difference is that tarts only have a bottom crust, and the crust is much thicker than a pie crust.
Galettes – This is basically a pie made without using a pie dish, but because that would be too simple galettes can be made with any type of pastry dough. To make, you flatten your dough and pile your fruit filling in the centre leave about 1-2 inches of space between the filling and the edge of the pasty. Then you fold the edges up and just slightly on top of the filling to make a rustic looking pie crust. The top of the filling stays exposed.
Crumbles – If you’re looking for an easy alternative to pie try a crumble. There is no pie crust in a crumble which cuts down your prep time when making from scratch. Crumbles also have a streusel like topping.
Mini Vegetable PieCourse: Main, AppetizersCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Medium
Mini vegetable pies are a perfect dish for entertaining, filled with the goodness of beans and vegetables. They’re great as tasty party food or served as a light appetizers.
1 package (2 sheets, 17.3 ounces) puff pastry sheets, thawed 0r you can make your own.
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 cup diced red onions, 1/4-inch dice
1 cup corn kernels boiled
1/2 cup diced celery, 1/4-inch dice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
9-10 sliced button mushrooms
1 yellow bell pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup whole milk, + 1 1/2 Tbsp for Wash
1 cup peas (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Prepare the puff pastry: Thaw the puff pastry overnight in the fridge. If you forget, you can thaw it on the counter: Remove the frozen pastry from its packaging and defrost on a sheet tray until cool but pliable, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetable filling Or use homemade Puff pastry as described in my previous recipe Puff Pastry.
- 2 Cook the vegetables: Set a large skillet or a pan over medium heat. Add the butter to the pan. Once melted, add the onions, bell pepper,celery, garlic, and thyme.
- Sauté until onions are tender and translucent, 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, stir and cook for 1 minute. Add corn, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir and cook for 7 minutes.
- Make the gravy and finish the filling: Sprinkle flour over the vegetables, stir and cook, to reduce the raw flour taste, about 2 minutes.
- Slowly pour in the vegetable stock and milk, stirring constantly until the gravy is smooth. Allow the gravy to simmer until slightly thickened and veggies are tender but not falling apart, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Stir in and combine the peas and parsley. Taste the vegetable pot pie filling, I omit it this time.
- For pot pie
- Preheat the oven and fill the ramekins: Heat your oven to 400°F or 200°c Evenly divide the filling among ramekins, about 3/4 cup of filling per serving.
- Cut the puff pastry: Trim 1/4-inch around the edges of the puff pastry; this will help it look neat and allow the pastry to puff a little better. Cut each pastry sheet into four 4-inch squares, making 8 squares total. Place one square pastry sheet over each ramekin, allowing the edges to hang over the sides. Make 4 small slits in the top (1/2-inch long). Bake the vegetable pot pies: In a small bowl,
- For pie tarts
- Unroll crusts on lightly floured surface. Using a 3-inch round cutter, cut out 6 rounds from each crust. line mini pie dishes with the roundles. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon vegetable filling onto center of 6 of the rounds. Moisten edges of each with milk wash. Top each with a second dough round; press edges with a fork to seal. Make 4 small slits in the top (1/2-inch long)
- To Bake :
- Take 1 tablespoon of milk. Brush the top and sides of the puff pastry with milk wash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Once your oven reaches 400°F or 200°c place the ramekins on the baking sheet. Bake until the puff pastry is puffed up and golden brown in color, 15 minutes.
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