In my misspent youth, I ate my share of frozen chicken pot pies–those scalding, gluey things that one eats because of hunger for some hot comfort food. These vegan potpies are a big step up from that. Adapted from this recipe on VegWeb, I was surprised at how quickly this filling came together. We enjoyed it, and it makes enough filling to freeze some for a rainy day. I used my own pate brisee pie crust, but you could also use puff pastry for the top, just check the label on the box because some are not vegan. You can add in faux meats, such as Butler Soy Curls or Beyond Chicken for those who want it, but I would cut them into smaller pieces. To save time, make your pie crust in the morning or the day before, or pull a prepared one from the freezer the night before. The pate brisee can be made in 15 minutes and then popped in the freezer, in two single crusts for times like this. If you roll one single crust out to 1/8 inch thickness, it should make enough crust to cover three individual pot pies.
VEGETABLE POT PIE
Serves: about six pot pies (each single pie crust will cover 3 individual pot pies)
3 tablespoons vegan butter (Earth Balance)
1 large onion diced fine
1 medium carrot diced fine
2 celery stalks sliced fine the short way
A handful of white mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 russet potato, diced fine (like ¼ inch dice)
½ Cup flour
2.5 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast flakes (not brewer’s yeast)
1 cup soy creamer (such as Silk brand)
¾ cup peas
One mini can of corn (approx. 8 ounces)
1/4 cup sherry
3 Tablespoons fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper or black pepper
1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire Sauce
faux meat (optional)
One single pate brisee pie crust, or one 17 oz. box of vegan puff pastry (many are accidentally vegan)
Make pate brisee dough and let it rest for at least an hour (or overnight) in the fridge (or pull from freezer the night before). Put your rolling pin(s) in the freezer. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large pot, melt vegan butter (Earth Balance). Add onions, carrots, celery, potato and mushrooms, and cook on medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes.
Measure out flour and nutritional yeast into a cereal bowl, and add ½ cup of the vegetable stock to it and stir to make a smooth slurry. To the pot, add the rest of the stock, vegan creamer and sherry or juice, and simmer for 10 more minutes.
To the pot, add Add parsley, thyme, salt, pepper and Worcestershire.
Add flour slurry and cook and stir for a few minutes until mixture thickens.
If adding vegan meat, do it now. Stir in corn and peas, and gently stir.
Turn off the stove burner.
If using puff pastry, see notes at bottom.
Roll out the dough as per directions. Roll out and cut dough slightly larger than the shape of your pan(s). For example, if using round ramekins, cut the circles at least ½ inch larger than the top of your ramekin. I flipped my ramekins upside down onto the rolled-out dough, and cut loosely around them with a butter knife, and then used a spatula to lift the circles. Fill ramekins to 3/4 inch from top, or put filling in a casserole dish. (The original recipe calls for a 9×13 inch pan). Place, fold and crimp the dough/crust edges. Vent the crust with a decorative design or some simple slits of a knife. PLACE CASSEROLE OR RAMEKINS ON A BAKING SHEET, AS THEY WILL DRIP. Bake 30-35 minutes, until crust begins to get golden with some slightly-brown edges here and there.
Note: If using puff pastry, place the puff pastry on top of the filling, brush some melted butter over it, and cut a few slits to vent. If the puff pastry is browning too fast, cover it with some foil until cooking time is done.