Introduction: Vegetable Pi Pies

Picture of Vegetable Pi Pies

After stumbling across instructables a few weeks ago, I've been looking for a competition to really sink my teeth into (sorry.) So, after seeing this contest I thought it was Pi time to get involved! (really really sorry. Don't worry, the rest is carried out far more professionally.) This is my recipe for vegetable pies. They're perfect for snacks, or to take with you to something like a football match ( thought maybe not as appropriate for a tennis match, I'd stick to the strawberries and cream) Enjoy.

So first, the ingredients list. for the pastry you will need:
225g plain flour
1 tea spoon of salt
50g of trex (lard for all you non-vegetarians out there)
100/125 ml of liquid half water, half milk
Jars or something similar to mould the pastry around.
It's a good idea to have your filling ready before your pastry, so it can be done in one smooth process as the pastry doesn't need to chill, and only needs to rest for a few minutes.
this pastry will make 2 pies of this size, or I prefer halving the pastry twice to form 4 mini pies


If you plan to do the same filling, you will need:
2-3 small potatoes
1 large carrot
1 onion, a standard onion is best, but it works quite well with either white or red as well
half a mug of frozen peas
vege-gel or some other gelatinous agent
2 teaspoons of gravy granules
a stock cube
preferred seasoning, in this case black pepper and salt 

other equipment used consists of:
a sieve
a wooden spoon
various bowls
grease-proof or a similar paper
a baking tray
other basic utensils e.g. forks and spoons

Step 1: The Pastry

Picture of The Pastry

The pastry used was a Hot-Water Crust Pastry based closely on the recipe from "farmhouse cookery." So, to start with we need the ingredients. Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl and make a well. Then, put the fat and milk/water combo into a saucepan and heat until boiling. You will know it is hot enough when the milk begins to bubble. Stir the mixture constantly throughout and make sure that the liquids haven't separated when pouring into the well of flour. As soon as the liquid is in the flour mix vigorously  (without flicking boiling hot water on yourself, and I speak from experience.)

If the resulting mix seems too crumbly, before rashly adding more water use the back of a wooden spoon to 'flatten' the mixture together. If it still seems too crumbly then add more water or milk.

Step 2: Shaping the Pastry

Picture of Shaping the Pastry

using a suitable jar or something similar, mould your pastry around it. It may be a good idea to check whether your jar is wider at any end, as I discovered in my first batch when the top was wider than the base and the filling split the pastry. Then cut circles out of the remaining pastry for the base and the lid. (Sorry for the use of just greaseproof paper for this stage but I forgot to take pictures.)

Loosen the pastry slightly from the jar and then wrap with the greaseproof paper. The paper needs to be TIGHT to the pastry, otherwise it wont provide enough support and the filling could push the pastry out of shape and tear it. My pastry was roughly about a quarter of a centimetre. (0.1-0.3)

As I have done a Pi lid, it was far easier to fit onto the top of the case. It is best to make the lid bigger than the pie, then overfill the pastry and lay the lid on a hump of filling. This gives a better appearance to the pie. The lid will need to be pierced before placing on the pie so the stock can be poured in later.

Sorry the images are on the side, don't know what happened there.

Step 3: The Filling

Picture of The Filling

The filling consists of simply chopping the veg up,  ( the carrots and potatoes were quartered after the picture, but the smaller cubes were too blurry) and then cooking them. The onions were gently fried till translucent, or see through. The potatoes and carrots were cooked for seven minutes, the peas were added then cooked for a further seven minutes. The times can be vary due to tastes. Seven minutes gives soft potatoes and peas, while the carrots still have a bit of bite to them.

Step 4: The Stock

Picture of The Stock

You can either use the liquid from the veg or fresh water. I used the veg water. You will need at least 200ml to give the filling a thin coating. However, you can use as much as you want. The gelling agent may need to be boiled then chilled when in the gravy. The gelling agent I used did. To this water, add the gelling agent, the gravy granules and the stock cube. Heat the mixture up in a pan so it will seep through the filling and doesn't form a solid glut on top of the pie. DO NOT add the stock yet

Step 5: Cooking

Picture of Cooking

The pies are then ready to be baked. Usually the lid would be placed on the pie, but as it is such as small piece of pastry I cooked it for only ten minute rather than 20 before placing on the pie after the stock was added to try and stop it burning. Place them into the oven at 180 C (fan assisted so if yours is not probably about 200.) Bake for 20 minutes with the greaseproof paper still on.

After 20 minute remove the greaseproof paper and add the stock. When using a normal lid, this will be poured in through pierced holes in the top of the pies. Make sure the stock is hot enough so it will not solidify at the top of the pie and will seep through to the bottom of the pie. Once all the stock is in the pie, place back in the over for another 20 minutes and it should be cooked through, depending on the thickness of the pastry.

Step 6: Enjoy!

Picture of Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and method, and that it was easy enough to follow. If there's anything your not sure of want to contact me about, just leave a comment or message me and ill get back to you as soon as possible. Keep eating those pies.

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