This past week was British Pie Week. I'm sure that all of your social media feeds, just like mine, were packed with wonderful pie creations. Fruit pies. Savoury pies. Single crust pies. Double crust pies. Rustic pies. Pretty pies.
Given that our household is a great big fan of pies I couldn't let British Pie Week pass by without coming up with another pie recipe.
This delicious Beetroot & Lentil Pie has such a wonderful earthy flavour courtesy of the roasted beets. And just check out that amazing colour once the pie is sliced into! There's definitely no need for food colourant in this recipe thanks to the amazing pigments the beetroot has. For that very reason I'd also recomend wearing something different to your favourite white blouse / shirt when preparing (or even eating) this lovely savoury vegan pie! Rubber gloves also come in useful too whilst skinning them after they have been roasted.
This vegan beetroot & lentil pie was actually inspired by a recent visit to a local award winning vegetarian cafe, Ginger, here in West Yorkshire. The couple who run it, Mark & Claire, are so friendly and helpful, and their dishes are not only largely vegan but they also embrace a significant number of gluten free options too. It's certainly a lovely eatery to stop at to re-fuel if you're ever in the area!
Anyway, it was dad's 70th birthday and the three of us, as Mr E was at work, felt the need to mark the actual day (he has some other actitivities to celebrate coming up too). We all loved our respective meals at Ginger, including dessert (you surely can't celebrate a birthday without a dessert!), mum having had a vegetarian sausage and mash, dad a butternut squash and sweet potato curry whilst I opted for the beetroot and lentil pie which came with sauted potatoes and vegetables. It was the perfect meal. Not only was it warming and filling, perfect for the the cold snap of weather outside, and nutritious and colourful too, but it was also amazingly delicious. I just had to try to recreate it at home!
I have to say that I love beetroot. As a child I by far preferred it pickled alongside a salad. I fondly recall having a salad every Sunday, during the summer months, at my Grandmas where I would mix the hard boiled egg yolk with the purple vinegar which surrounded the beetroots. In my mind, as an 8 year old, it was the best part! These days my tastes have refined, a little, and I find myself thoroughly loving roasted beetroot! There is such depth of flavour and aroma brought about by roasting fresh beets. It is these fresh roasted beets which were used to fill our vegan pie, along with lentils, tomatoes, red onion, a little vegan cheese and thyme.
Now, if you're a regular to Only Crumbs Remain you may well know of my fondness for making pastry. I just love both making it and eating it. However I've never made a vegan pastry having always made it with some form of animal product. As a child and young teen mum and I would always use a 50/50 ratio of lard and margarine in our pastry, and these days I ordinarily use butter. So, with our beetroot & lentil pie being vegan, clearly the type of fat used needed to be addressed. Having looked online at vegan pastry recipes, I chose to use olive oil in our recipe. I must admit I was a little scepticle in using an oil in the mix rather than a
solidified fat but I've definitely changed my mind. I'm now sold on
this vegan pastry. It melted in the mouth as it should, was short, and
full of flavour. And happily, because it contains oil rather than butter
(or even lard), it's a much healthier option.
Now, Mr E sadly doesn't care for beetroot. So being the good wifie that I am I made him his new favourite pie, Homity Pie, whilst I enjoyed this beetroot & lentil pie myself. Although it was a relatively small pie, at just 16cm, it was clearly far too large for one person, but it proved to be just as lovely served with a little salad for lunch the following day too.
So, here's how to make Beetroot & Lentil Vegan Pie!
recipe which is perfect served with vegetables and potatoes or a simple
Hands on time: around 20 mins Bake time: about 60 - 70 mins Yield: 1 x 16cm pie, serving 3 - 4 people.
1 x 16cm pie dish
For the Vegan Pastry
- 280g Plain Flour
- pinch Salt
- 70ml Olive Oil (or sunflour oil, vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, groundnut oil)
- 5-6 tbsp Water
For Beetroot & Lentil Pie Filling
- 3 good sized fresh Beetroots
- 2 sprigs Thyme
- Sunflower Oil (or vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, groundnut oil)
- 1 small Red Onion
- 10 Cherry Tomatoes
- 150g -180g Tinned Lentil (drained weight)
- 50g Vegan Cheese, grated (optional)
- Dairy-free milk, to glaze
a) Be aware that the beetroots can stain. You may find it useful to wear a pair of rubber gloves whilst preparing them.