This creamy vegan puff pastry pie is so simple to make and a crowd-pleasing meal. Tenderstem broccoli, mushrooms and lentils in a rich and creamy sauce.
Puff pastry is wonderful stuff. I'm so relieved that it is totally acceptable to buy it from the supermarket rather than making it from scratch, as I don't think I would ever get around to it otherwise. But it transforms just about anything into a towering, flaky work of art.
Pasties, vegan sausage rolls, breakfast pastries, puffy mince pies, and all sort of other wonders are just so easy and impressive, for so little effort.
And of course many if not most shop-bought puff pastries are vegan - they tend to use vegetable oils rather than butter as fat, which is great news for us!
From time to time I do like to make my own - not often 'proper' puff pastry, but usually rough puff or flaky pastry. They are both totally delicious and well worth the effort, but you do need to set aside quite a bit of time. It isn't all hands-on time, but it does mean you need to start planning and preparing a long time ahead, which doesn't happen often enough in our house!
I've used this rough-puff recipe before with good results, just use vegan butter (block margarine, not spread), and obviously leave out the egg - my glaze in the recipe below is perfect for any savoury bake.
Sausage rolls made with homemade rough puff, Richmond, Naked Glory or Sainsbury's Shroomdog sausages squeezed out of their skins, and my super duper pastry glaze below are just superb. (I have a sausage roll how-to here but it uses shop bought pastry).
What you need to make your vegan puff pastry pie
Tenderstem broccoli is delicious in this with its long asparagus-like stems and crunchy florets, but purple sprouting broccoli would also be lovely here, or just bog standard broccoli! Do slice the stems if you're using normal broccoli as they will be too thick to cook through properly as they are.
Mushrooms I used shiitake mushrooms here, which retain quite a 'meaty' texture even when cooked. You can usually find selection packs of wild mushroom varieties in supermarkets for something a bit special, or halved button and chestnut mushrooms will also work well.
Tinned lentils Do make sure you use green or brown lentils, red lentils turn to mush when they are cooked which is totally delicious in some dishes (like my Lemony Lentil Soup or Butternut Dhal) but not what you're after here.
Vegan 'butter' I use a good quality block margarine in place of butter, never a tub of spread which has too high a water content for cooking. I like Flora's Plant Butter or Naturli Block. If you can't get hold of any, olive or sunflower oil will be good for cooking with.
Dairy-free milk Use an unsweetened plant milk - soya or oat are good as they have very little flavour of their own, stronger flavours like coconut or hazelnut will come through in the sauce so avoid them.
Dairy-free cream Again, an oat or soya cream is best for lots of creaminess but no strong flavour. I like the new Elmlea Plant Double.
Vegetable stock powder Don't assume vegetable stock is vegan, some have some sneaky milk powder in so always read the labels.
Vegan cheese this is optional but adds a lovely richness to the sauce. I use a good vegan cheddar like Violife Epic or Applewood Vegan Smoked, or parmesan-style like Violife Prosociano.
Ready-rolled puff pastry Most brands of ready-made puff pastry are vegan but do read the ingredients list just in case. Avoid any of the more pricy 'all-butter' versions which are definitely not vegan.
Puff Pastry Glaze
I'm really chuffed with the glaze on this pie which I did a bit of experimenting with to get that rich, shiny golden glow. It is simply some plant milk mixed with a little soy sauce, sugar and oil.
You can just brush with plant milk on its own if you're in a hurry, but I always find it just a little disappointing in terms of colour and shine.
The combination of oils, sugars and the dark umami of the soy sauce give this glaze that glossy golden sheen and a lovely savoury crust. Worth that extra little bit of effort if you ask me!
Variations on your vegan puff pastry pie
The basic recipe can be used to make all sort of hearty pie variations. How about:
- Vegan 'Chicken' Pie - substitute the lentils for your favourite vegan chicken substitute, (add it at the same time as the broccoli).
- Purple Sprouting Broccoli - use this instead of Tenderstem for a perfectly purple pie.
- Add white wine for a boozy twist - this is totally delicious, it has a bit of a ski-chalet fondue flavour to it. Substitute the dairy-free milk for white wine, and a couple of cloves of crushed garlic along with the leeks. If you like boozy pies take a look at my Mushroom & Ale Pie - one of the most popular recipes on the blog!
Freezing your puff pastry pie
This pie freezes really well, before baking. Cook the pie filling, then leave it to cool. Cover with pastry and glaze it, then wrap in foil and freeze.
You will need to defrost it before cooking, (or the filling will take too long to cook and the pastry will burn).
What else can I make with puff pastry?
This recipe only uses half a packet of puff pastry, so you can either double up the filling quantities, and make another pie for the freezer, (I like the phrase "be a friend to your future self" I read somewhere recently!). Or, you could have a go at making:
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Vegan Puff Pastry Pie with Tenderstem and creamy lentils
- 2 tbsp vegan 'butter' block margarine
- 1 leek
- 80 g Tenderstem broccoli or purple sprouting broccoli
- 150 g mushrooms (a mix of wild and shiitake, or button and chestnut will work well)
- 50 g curly kale
- 400 g tinned brown lentils
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 200 ml unsweetened dairy-free milk
- 100 ml dairy-free cream
- 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
- 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 30 g vegan cheese (optional)
- 160 g ready-rolled puff pastry (check it is vegan)
For the glaze
- 2 tsp unsweetened dairy-free milk
- 1 tsp cooking oil sunflower or rapeseed
- ½ tsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp caster sugar
- Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375°F / Gas Mark 5.
- Heat the vegan butter / block margarine in a large frying pan or casserole dish.
- Trim and finely slice the leek. Add to the pan, and cook gently for 3-4 minutes until starting to soften.
- Meanwhile, trim the ends from the broccoli, slice the long stalks diagonally and separate off the florets.
- Add the broccoli to the pan and continue to cook gently.
- Cut the mushrooms into large chunks (halve them or quarter if they are very large). Then add them to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Drain and rinse the lentils, then tip them into the pan and stir.
- Sprinkle over the flour and mix well to combine, then cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the milk, cream, stock powder, mustard and season well with salt and black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes until the sauce is thick and creamy.
- Remove any woody stalks from the kale and chop roughly. Stir through the pie filling, followed by the grated vegan cheese (if using).
- Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, then pour into your pie dish.
- Unroll the puff pastry and cut to size to fit your pie dish. You can decorate the pastry at this point if you wish, gently scoring with a sharp knife (being careful not to cut all the way through).
- Make the pastry glaze by combining all the glaze ingredients in a small bowl.
- Brush around the outside of your pie dish with the glaze, then place the pastry lid on top of the pie filling.
- Crimp around the outside of the pastry with your fingers or a fork. pressing it down to seal it onto the rim of the dish. Cut two small holes in the top of the lid to allow steam to escape.
- Brush the pastry all over with the glaze, then bake the pie for 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the pastry is crisp.
I'm linking this recipe with the CookBlogShare challenge, hosted this week by Louise at A Strong Coffee.