Recipe: The Ultimate Vegan Mince Pies (with Cream ‘Cheese’ Pastry)

Ultimate Vegan Mince Pies

I hadn’t planned to post so close to Christmas, but these mince pies were just too tasty not to share!  I’ve always loved homemade cream cheese pastry as the ‘ultimate’ pastry for mince pies, as it is rich, crumbly, sweet and totally delicious, and this year decided to have a go at making a vegan version.

It really isn’t rocket science, as good quality dairy-free cream cheese is now so readily-available in most supermarkets.  Substitute in a good dairy-free block margarine in place of butter and dairy-free milk as a glaze, and Bob’s your uncle.

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Recipe: Mushroom & Merlot Posh Pasties

Mushroom & Merlot Posh Pasties

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In preparation for National Vegetarian Week (16th – 22nd May), Cranks challenged me to come up with a recipe suitable for Sunday Lunch – something comforting, tasty and filling, which could be served alongside roast potatoes, lots of veggies and lashings of gravy.

For me, a vegetarian option for Sunday Lunch should be big, bold, tasty, and enough of a ‘showstopper’ to make the meat-eaters insanely jealous.  Let’s just say that I’ve never found a nut roast recipe which has ticked all of those boxes.  So instead, here are my ‘posh pasties’ – posh in that they contain merlot, flat-cap mushrooms, puy lentils and thyme, all wrapped in a layer of fabulous, (hopefully homemade), pastry.

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Recipe: Kale Pesto & Cauliflower Picnic Pies

Kale Pesto & Cauliflower Picnic Pies

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Who needs a pork pie when you could have a pretty little curly kale pesto pie instead?  Not me!!  I know, picnic season seems such a long way off, but I love serving picnic-style finger-food when we have friends for lunch, even in the depths of winter.  I made these before realising that it’s British Pie Week too, a happy coincidence!

You may not have guessed that the ingredients for these pies are almost all from the freezer cabinet – yes, even the curly kale and parsley.  I was challenged by Iceland to create a recipe from their range of frozen ingredients for their #PowerOfFrozen campaign, and took a trip to my nearest store, which I hadn’t visited before.  Continue reading “Recipe: Kale Pesto & Cauliflower Picnic Pies”

Recipe: Balsamic Peach & Ricotta Tarts

Shops and markets are awash with peaches, nectarines and apricots at the moment, and as they are super-cheap we’ve been eating a lot of them.  Lovely as they are in sweet dishes, I can’t get enough of savoury fruit combinations at the moment and thought I would share my current favourite – peach, balsamic and ricotta.  Yum!

These pretty little tartlets couldn’t be easier to throw together, but have the benefit of looking like you’ve slaved away for hours in the kitchen.  Everyone’s a winner!  The light-as-air flaky pastry crust is filled with lemony whipped ricotta, and topped with juicy roasted peaches tossed in balsamic glaze and scattered with salty crushed pistachios.  Continue reading “Recipe: Balsamic Peach & Ricotta Tarts”

Recipe: Cherry Tomato Tarte Tatin

Cherry Tomato Tarte Tatin

There are a plethora (love that word) of recipes out there for tomato tartes tatin, and they are surprisingly different. Many look prettier than mine, in that the tomatoes remain plump and neat as they are cooked for a much shorter time.  However after a few experiments I found that they just spurt their juice everywhere when sliced and are disappointingly watery.

So here I pre-cook the tomatoes, and deliberately give them a bit of a squash with a fork so the juices run into the pan.  These juices are then cooked down with some sugar and balsamic vinegar to make a sticky glaze which gives some real ‘oomph’ to the tomatoes and a deep savoury-ness to what could otherwise be a bit of a bland tart.  Continue reading “Recipe: Cherry Tomato Tarte Tatin”

Recipe Roundup: 10 Vegetarian Pie, Tart and Pasty Recipes

The selection of 10 vegetarian pie, tart and pasty recipes below are a selection of my very favourite savoury pastry dishes.  Most are very versatile, and could be served cold with a picnic or buffet lunch, or hot with roasted veg and gravy for a hearty Sunday dinner.   Continue reading “Recipe Roundup: 10 Vegetarian Pie, Tart and Pasty Recipes”

Recipe: Tenderstem & Camembert Croissant Tarts

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Tenderstem®

If, on a first date, somebody served me a dinner involving melting Camembert, Tenderstem® broccoli and croissant dough, the likelihood is that I would marry them on the spot.

When the lovely folks at Tenderstem® asked me to get involved with their ‘Date Night’ campaign, creating dishes to enjoy on a date night at home, I couldn’t resist.  A beautiful wicker hamper duly arrived in the post packed with lovely Tenderstem®, and all sorts of delicious ingredients to play with – garlic, lemon, massaman curry paste, hollandaise sauce, chinese five spice, limes, butter, and so on.  ‘Food for thought’ doesn’t come close!  Continue reading “Recipe: Tenderstem & Camembert Croissant Tarts”

Recipe: Feta & Red Onion Marmalade Roly-Poly

Red Onion Marmalade Roly-Poly

Here’s a hearty vegetarian Sunday lunch centrepiece, Feta & Red Onion Marmalade Roly-Poly – a savoury take on the great British classic jam roly-poly. Made from steamed suet pastry, roly-poly is designed to be stodgy, but in my book that makes the perfect receptacle to soak up plenty of gravy, served alongside a pile of roast potatoes and spring greens.  Here, the red onions are slow-cooked with red wine, and encased with feta and spinach in a steamed walnut and lemon pastry. Continue reading “Recipe: Feta & Red Onion Marmalade Roly-Poly”

Recipe: Simple but Sensational Vegetarian Sausage Rolls

Vegetarian Sausage Rolls

This week was my son’s first birthday party.  You can’t have a birthday party without ‘sausage’ rolls, but the range of vegetarian sausages on offer in supermarkets is pretty uninspiring, and they are all very dry.

Q. What’s vegetarian, sausagey, but moist, mould-able, and very tasty?  Continue reading “Recipe: Simple but Sensational Vegetarian Sausage Rolls”