This pie is an amazingly delicious and hearty vegetarian dinner. Certainly the sort of warm cozy meal you need on a frosty autumn day or cold winter's night. Its chocked full of mushrooms, potatoes and other veg and has a rich red wine gravy that is sure to warm your belly! The homemade puff pastry is easy enough and sure to impress, but, as always store bought would be just as good. While the leaves along the rim are optional, they definitely add a new cozy-factor and can be made with a knife!
Step 1: Making Puff Pastry From Scratch
I'm going to be completely honest here, puff pastry is more a job for the ambitious baker. Between constantly fighting temperature to keep the butter from melting and needing to roll and fold the pastry over and over again, it certainly is no walk in the park. That being said, I feel making puff pastry from scratch is one of those home-baker triumphs that every passionate baker should do at least once. If you are not that passionate a baker, or are short on time definitely just use a store bought crust!
2 cups all-purpose flour (250g)
1/2 cup cold milk (125ml)
1/3 cup cold butter (76g) + 1/2 cup cold butter (113g)
*Tip: The key to any homemade pie crust is keeping all of the ingredients nice and chilled throughout the entire process. Putting the flour in the freezer for just a few minutes before starting will help keep is all cool as you toss it together!
1. Slice your 1/3 cup of butter into small cubes and add to your flour in a large mixing bowl.
2. Using your hands crumble the butter into the flour until combined: this is best done by picking up the chunk of butter surrounded by a large amount of the flour and rubbing the two between your fingers, allowing the buttery-floury crumbs to fall back into the bowl.
3. Add your cold milk into the crumbled flour and butter and combine just until the dough forms- you do not want to knead it!
4. Wrap in parchment and place in the fridge to cool for at least 20 minutes.
5. Remove your dough from the fridge and, on a floured surface, roll it out until a long rectangle.
6. Take your remaining 1/2 cup of butter and place it between two piece of parchment. Using your rolling pin, beat it down and shape it into a rectangle. This should be approximately 3/4s less than half the size of your rectangle dough.
7. Place your rectangle of butter on the right half of your dough rectangle and fold the dough over it, sealing the edges to make a buttery envelope.
8. Roll your envelope of dough back out to its original size before folding, and then fold in half twice: once along the center horizontally and the next vertically.
9. Place your dough in the fridge to chill for 20 more minutes.
10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 five times. Then leave in the fridge while you prepare your filling.
Step 2: Prepare Your Filling
This filling is super easy and delicious to whip up, but of course, you can fill the pie with anything you like. Feel free to leave our veggies you don't like or add ones in that you do! Just a note, all of these measurements are approximations, so be sure to taste the filling as you go and adjust accordingly.
A hefty 'glug' of olive oil
1 large white onion
2 large carrots
4 stocks celery
A heaping 'bowl'-full of mushrooms of choice (chestnut are my favorite since they are most affordable and available but if you are lucky enough to have some chanterelle on hand they would be an amazing addition)
1/4 cup red wine (60ml)
1 cup vegetable stock (around) (240ml)
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
Salt and Pepper
1. Chop all of your veg (par the onion) into bite-size pie-friendly cubes.
2. Finely dice your white onion and add to a large saucepan along with your olive oil.
3. Saute for a few minutes until translucent before adding in your carrots, celery and mushrooms.
4. Turning the heat to high, brown your veggies (ideally you want little brown marks to form on the bottom of the pan- if it's not nonstick that is) being careful to stir constantly.
5. Once you've got some good colour on your veg and your mushrooms have reduced significantly in size add in a hefty pinch of salt (2 tsps worth at least) and your red wine.
6. Allow the alcohol to cook off for 3-4 minutes, scrapping the bottom of the pan with your spoon.
7. Add in your veggie stock and potatoes, continue to cook until liquid reduces by half (10 minutes).
8. Meanwhile, stir your flour into 1/4 cup of COLD water until combined.
9. Pour your flour-water mixture into your pot and cook until the sauce thickens. You want the liquid to cling to the vegetables with some excess gravy: not too thick or too thin. Add more vegetable stock or leave to simmer longer accordingly.
10. Once finished, remove from heat and transfer into your pie dish.
Step 3: Optional: Making the Autumn Leaves
A little decor on a pie always looks so wonderful, and these autumn leaves definitely up the 'cozy-factor' a few notches. They're pretty simple to make, although they can take a while.
You will need a sharp knife, and some printed pictures of autumn leaves to use a template. Simply google "autumn leaf template" and there are plenty of images to print out.
1. Cut off a small bit of your pie dough and roll it out to around a quarter inch thick: place into the freezer for 5 minutes until quite firm.
2. Carefully cut out your printed leaf templates.
3. Remove your firm rolled-out dough from the freezer and place the leaf template on top, cutting around the edges of the paper with your knife to get the leaf shape.
4. Lastly, place the leaf-dough on a separate cutting-board and use your knife to imprint the veins and finer details. Place immediately in the freezer.
Do this to as many leaves as you like, making sure to keep the dough quite chilled the whole time- they can be quite tricky to cut if the dough isn't nice and firm.
Once you are finished, freeze your pastry leaves entirely: cold dough is more likely to retain its shape in the oven!
Step 4: Assembling Your Pie
The finish line is nigh!
1. Preheat your often to 400F (200C)
2. Remove your pie dough from the fridge and roll out into a circle, roughly the same size as your pie dish.
3. Carefully and quickly pick up your rolled out dough and lay over the filled dish.
4. Using a sharp knife cut the excess dough from the sides of the dish.
5. Use your fingers and thumbs to 'crimp' the sides of the dough together into little triangles. Alternatively, using a fork press little lines all along the edges of the pie.
7. Using a knife, cut four little slits in the centre to allow steam to escape.
8. Using a bit of water as glue, stick your leaves along the edge, or arrange them however you like on top of your pie crust (I like the 'half-crescent' shape).
9. Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the crust is a deep golden brown.
10. Serve fresh from the oven and enjoy!