After a long walk with Mum and a ride on the Ffestiniog Highland Train it was time for a pie, but not just any old pie though. A wonderful day demands wonderful pie and this one has been on my mind ever since I read the recipe.
This layered filo pie will suit any special occasions and satisfy all loved ones, especially those who are still skeptical about the whole vegan approach. Get on board, try this pie, eat more nut cheese! The cashew cream is the real star here, adding bags of creaminess and that ‘something a bit different’ that I love in any recipe. This is not our first play with cashews and it also makes a very respectable cheese, although denser in texture, cashew cheese would also make a great layer for this kind of pie.
The inspiration for this magic pie came from the brilliant Becky over at Veg Hot Pot, a blog for anybody who likes tasty food cooked with heart and soul. Becky is attracted to big flavours and gorgeous looking food. Cheers Becks!
We have of course tampered with the original and added some of our favourite bits (we’ve just made one with lime zest, smoked paprika and a spinach layer…..but we digress……) We have added roast peppers and sweet potato instead of the delicious sounding roast carrots, we have used sage to flavour the sweet potatoes, because I love that little combo of green ‘erb and funky orange spud. There is also a tablespoon of tomato paste in the puy lentils, this is a rich tart and the tomato lifts things a little.
I love giving meat eaters a run for their money in the flavour stakes, this meets and beats any meaty creation in Christendom (it is Easter after all!). The look of the pie will make jaws drop; cook it for an Uncle who has gravy on his corn flakes or that boyfriend who cannot omit meat from any plate of food. I’d love to hear the response from that crew?! Let me know….
The filo adds a nice crunch here, its a great thin pastry for making a guaranteed crisp pie base. I very rarely buy pastry, but this is a no-brainer. Filo sits there quite happily until called upon.
Mum’s comment after pie for dinner tonight whilst holding her belly:
‘Blimey Lee, I feel like I’ve had a pie!’
This pie is magical in so many ways, mainly because of its versatility. You can play around with the flavours and layers and the potential combinations are mind boggling.
Recipe makes two individual pies, more than enough for two good folk. If you are eating the pie with vegetables, half a pie is more than enough per person.
1 big sweet potato (cubed)
2 fat cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1 red pepper (cut into thick flattish slices)
1 onion, (finely diced)
2 small leeks (finely chopped)
1 cup soaked cashew nuts (overnight)
4 sheets of filo pastry
1 teas dried sage
250g puy lentils
glugs of vegetable oil for frying.
Turn on your fan oven, 200oC.
Sort out your lentils, either cook them or open the can. Cooked fresh is of course best (follow pack instructions). Normally cover with an inch of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 30-40 mins. They should be completely soft, but not mushy. At this stage stir in your tomato paste and heat through.
Toss your sweet pots in oil and sage and roast for 15 minutes, until soft and slightly golden. Remove and cover. Leave for 10 minutes then mash. Whilst that is going on, add your peppers to the oven and roast for 10-15 mins until becoming slightly charred.
Rinse your cashew nuts and place in a food processor with half a cup of water and a pinch of salt and blitz for 5 minutes until creamy and thick, the texture of hummus is good.
In a frying pan, add a tablespoon of oil and begin to fry your onions off on a medium heat. Get them nice and golden, we’re looking for nice sweetness here, then add your leeks and garlic, cook for a further 10 minutes on a low/ medium heat. All should be very soft indeed. Then add you cashew cream and stir well together.
All layer ingredients can be made well in advance and refrigerated.
Take two small ovenproof dishes, or pie dishes approx 5 inch diameter by 2 inch deep. Oil them up ready for action.
Use filo straight from the fridge and brush oil over each layer, use three layers for each base. Spoon in your layers starting with sweet potato, then peppers layed out, then lentils and finally the cashew cream mix. Make sure all layers are pressed snugly into the corners of the pie, giving a distinct layered look and good full shape to the pie.
Pop them in the oven and check after 10 minutes, the pastry may get a little dark. If so, place tin foil over the pies.
Cook for 25-35 minutes, until the bases are nicely golden and crisp.
Leave to rest for a couple of minutes in the dish then pop out onto a wire rack to cool and settle for 5 minutes. Then mange! We had ours with a tomato chutney and it was a tasty feast.
We Love It!
This is a rich tart and very nicely segregated, it looks a million dollars! The cashew cream works fantastically well, it browns a little and gives a fantastic creamy texture. Who needs cheese!
Cashews are not devoid of calories, but we’d be a sorry state without enough fuel! Some people I’ve met on raw food diets etc have warned me off cashew nuts, but in a world riddled with vices and food fads, I hardly think the odd cashew nut will push me over the calorific edge. A roasted cashew is a thing of beauty and grows on trees. They also contains plenty of vitamins, minerals and a hefty dollop of fibre.