It’s been a long week at work and we’ve been eating too much take-out, so I was really happy to make something from scratch today. A quick survey of the kitchen revealed that we had potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and green beans that needed to be eaten, so I decided to make veggie pot pies.
I started by making an Olive Oil Double Crust from Vegan Pie in the Sky, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. The authors write that “This has become our go-to crust. Olive oil produces a light, flaky crust with a surprisingly neutral taste. The secret is to place the olive oil in the freezer beforehand, so that it becomes partially solid. This helps the fat blend into the dough in little pockets, creating the flakiness you crave.” They couldn’t be more right about this being a “go-to crust.” It was flaky and delicious, and it was super quick and easy to make, with only 5 ingredients.
OLIVE OIL DOUBLE CRUST
*makes 1 (9-inch) top and bottom crust
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup olive oil, partially frozen
4 to 8 Tbsp ice water
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- To prepare the olive oil, about an hour before beginning the recipe, place the olive oil in a plastic container. For best results, use a thin, light container, like the kind used for takout food. Freeze the oil until it’s opaque and congealed but still somewhat soft, like the consistency of slightly melted sorbet. [NOTE: I didn’t have any plastic containers, so I used glass, and after more than an hour, my olive oil was nowhere near frozen or even congealed. However, it was nice and cold, and I had a toddler waiting for his dinner, so I decided to go ahead and make the crust anyway. As far as I can tell, the crust came out perfectly, so I wouldn’t worry too much about this if you don’t have time to fully freeze the oil.]
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Working quickly, add the olive oil by the tablespoonful, cutting it into the flour with your fingers or a pastry cutter, until the flour appears pebbly. [NOTE: I just poured in my oil and stirred it with a spoon.]
- In a cup, mix together 4 tablespoons water with apple cider vinegar. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the vinegar mixture into the dough and stir, using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add more water a tablespoon at a time, until the dough holds together to form a soft ball. Do not overknead the dough.
- Divide the dough in two. Press each half into a disk about an inch thick and place each disk between two 14-inch long pieces of waxed paper. Using a rolling pin, roll each piece into a circle about 1/4-inch thick. For a more even, uniform circle, roll the pin one or two strokes outward, turn the dough a few degrees, and roll a few times again and repeat. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
- Refrigerate the rolled dough wrapped in waxed paper until it’s ready to use, or as directed in the recipe. [NOTE: I did not refrigerate my dough at all; it went straight into my ramekins.]
Once the dough was prepared, I threw together the veggies as follows (all measurements are approximate, since I really just eyeballed this as I went along):
2 medium-sized yukon gold potatoes, diced
2 handfuls of green beans, diced
2 small carrots, peeled and diced
6 button mushrooms, diced
2 Tbsp vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance)
1-2 cups vegetable broth (start with a cup and add more as needed)
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
3-4 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp tamari soy sauce
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Boil potatoes, carrots, and green beans for about 8 minutes, to soften them up.
- Sauté mushrooms in vegan margarine.
- Add vegetable broth, then whisk in nutritional yeast and flour until thickened.
- Add tamari, sea salt, and black pepper to taste.
- Drain water from potatoes, carrots, and green beans, and add them to the mushroom gravy.
- Continue to cook on medium heat for several minutes, to allow the flavors to combine.
7. Next, use a large cookie cutter (or the mouth of a jar, or anything else circular you have on hand) to cut out the top and bottom crusts. (In the future, I think that I will use only a top crust to allow more room for filling). Then press the bottom crusts into four 6 oz. ramekins (lightly greased). (I bet you could use a muffin tin if you don’t have ramekins).
8. Spoon in the vegetable filling (use less than pictured below if you don’t want it to spill down the sides while it bakes).
9. Slice a few slits into the top crust to allow steam to escape and place it gently on top of the vegetables (no need to smash it down or try to seal it to the top of your ramekins).
10. Place ramekins on a cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper if you’re lazy, like me) and bake at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes, until flaky and lightly browned on top.
Then dig in! But be sure to let them cool for a while before serving. They come out of the oven REALLY hot, and it took some time for ours to cool off enough to comfortably eat.