I’ve only gone and done it again…. Vegan, Easter, Pie!
I am spending Easter with family and offered to bring something around as the vegetarian option, initially I decided to make the Layered Lentil and Cashew Cream Easter Pie from 2013, however my Aunt (the only other vegetarian) has a nut allergy so that was out of the question! So, the Layered Mushroom and Cannellini Bean Pie was invented.
This pie consists of a rather simple Cannellini bean puree as the bottom layer, this is then topped with wilted spinach and finally the top layer is mushrooms and red onion cooked in stock, thyme, garlic and balsamic.
It really is a delicious vegetarian main course, and I plan to make extra pies because I know everyone will want to try some! They look so pretty and enticing and will go perfectly alongside a traditional Easter Roast.
I have been trying to decide the best way to prepare these pies before the Easter feast, especially because I will be making them the day before. The pies pictured were made during the day and then reheated for our dinner later that night. This caused the pastry to darken somewhat and they didn’t look as appealing. I would recommend covering them in the oven when reheating to prevent this or take them prepared then cook them once you have arrived (just pre-warn your host you will need oven space!)
The key thing with these pies is to make sure that the mushrooms are cooked well enough to draw out a lot of the moisture before putting them into the pastry. Also after wilting the spinach you need to really squeeze the moisture out. There is nothing worse than a collapsed soggy pie!
Makes 2 pies (Individual portion size)
Vegan, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Recipe can easily be doubled for a bigger crowd.
1 Large Red Onion
2-3 Garlic Cloves (2 Fat ones will do)
200ml Vegetable Stock
Salt and Pepper
Small Bunch Thyme
1 tblspn Balsamic Glaze
Olive oil for frying
1 Can Cannellinni Beans
1 tspn Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
2 Large Handfuls Spinach
4 Sheets Filo Pastry Cut in half
Preheat your oven to 180c.
To prepare your vegetables – Slice the Mushrooms, Finely dice the red onion, crush the garlic cloves, wash the spinach.
Begin by drizzling a little oil in a large frying pan and add the chopped red onion. Cook for 6-8 minutes on a medium heat until translucent and beginning to brown slightly. Add the crushed garlic for a further minute.
Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for approx 6-10 minutes until wilted and a lot of the moisture released has been evaporated.
Then add the stock, balsamic glaze, seasoning and thyme and simmer on a gentle heat for 15-20 minutes until you have a rich, thick sauce which can be separated by dragging a wooden spoon through the pan. Season to taste.
In a blender add the cannelini beans, oil and seasoning and blend until you have a thick puree. You may need to stop the blender every now and then to scrape down the sides.
Wilt the spinach, I just did mine in the microwave, then place the spinach between a few pieces of kitchen roll and squeeze out any excess liquid. Unwrap it and put to one side.
Grease your pie dishes and line with 2-3 layers of Filo pastry, brush with oil or vegan butter between each layer. First spoon in the bean puree and smooth down with the back of a spoon, this will also help the pastry mould to the shape of the pie dish better. Then top with wilted spinach, make sure you arrange it for an even covering. Then top with the mushrooms.
Scrunch up the sides of the pastry and brush or spray with oil and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. The pastry should be golden brown on top and the filling should be piping hot.
Allow to cool slightly then either remove from the moulds or serve in the pie dish.