Sunday Pasties

It often seems like vegetarians miss out on all the fun when it comes to grabbing an instant treat from the local bakery. Here I’m talking about pies and pasties  with lashings of sauce. Most bakeries display one or two meagre offerings – a vegetable pasty, invariably disappointing and bland, with too much pastry that ends up all over your clothes, or the ubiquitous spinach and fetta roll, dried out  from spending too long in the pie warmer, a sad version of something that was once Greek. My local bakery produces a passable vegetable pie that comes with a reasonable amount of wet ‘gravy’. This is the one thing that is lacking from most vego bakery products- they are too dry and indigestible and lack that unctuous gravy that holds the filling together.

Lockdown blues, no cow bell sounds at the front gate. Time to make Pasties.

I tend to make pasties and pies in April, once the sky turns grey and the first fire crackles in the wood stove. Stay at home days, baking days. Pie making is more pleasurable with an assistant, as it’s not a bad idea to make a big stash for the freezer to tide you over the winter, or further months of isolation. One good standby iare these Lentil, Mushroom and Cheese Pasties. They freeze well too.

As is often the case, my recipe instructions are not precise. I don’t tend to weigh and take detailed notes of the things that I make, although I have a general notion of the quantities intuitively. If you end up with too many cooked lentils and feel that the ratio of lentil to mushroom is out, reserve some lentils and use to add to a soup. Cooked lentils keep very well in the fridge. 

Lentil and Mushroom Pasties

Ingredients, Makes 6 large pasties or 12 mini pasties.

  • 3 squares of frozen Puff pastry
  • 1 ½cups of Puy lentils. ( you can use any dark coloured lentils here, but puy lentils hold their shape and marry well with mushrooms)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbs Olive oil 
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 -2 garlic chopped ( optional)
  • 2 cups ( approx measurement) mushrooms, quartered ( I prefer those with dark gills as they add more juice and flavour)
  • dried herbs of choice or finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • salt, ground black pepper
  • one small beaten egg for pastry glaze.
  • other additions, such as include left over grated cheese 

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180c. Line two baking trays with cooking parchment, or grease well.
  • Cook the lentils in ample water, adding a by leaf, and cook till soft. Test them as some lentils, especially if old, take a while to soften. Drain the lentils completely, and reserve the juice for another use. 
  • In a large frying pan, heat the oil with the butter and add the onions. Cook on gentle heat till softened, then add the garlic. Cook till soft and translucent. 
  • Add the mushrooms and herbs to the onions. Cook until soft and cooked through, stirring around as you go.
  • Combine the lentils with the mushroom mixture in a bowl. The mixture should not be too runny, but you do want a little gravy.  If you feel the mixture is too wet, cook down further. Season well. Consider adding some grated tasty cheese. Cool the mixture.
  • Defrost 3 sheets of puff pastry and halve these on the diagonal for 6 large pasties. Have more sheets on hand in case you end up with extra mixture.
  • Beat egg for pastry glaze.
  • Add the mixture to the centre of each triangle, spreading a little towards the corners. You want the pasties to be well filled but allow for ease of folding and joining. Wet the edges with a pastry brush and join the seams, pressing down as you go. 
  • Place three pasties on each baking tray and cook until the pastry is golden. Cool them first if you intend to freeze them for later.
  • Serve with an old fashioned chutney and green salad. Or heat, wrap in foil, and take it on your travels, when you’re allowed out.

For Rachael P and her daughters. I’m singing that Tom Petty song, but substituting LOCKDOWN for the Breakdown chorus. Sing along with me while we bake: Lockdown, go ahead and give it to me…….

 

16 thoughts on “Sunday Pasties”

  1. Yum Francesca, these look good. It is certainly turning towards pie weather isn’t it? I made very non-vegetation lamb shank pies on Friday night. Thanks for the reminder because I love pasties too. Your front gate and garden area look so inviting. Hopefully we can all welcome visitors back through our gates soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lamb shank pies sound perfect. It is pie weather indeed. It’s time for me to make my own puff pastry, never too late to learn. I’m thinking leek, potato and cheddar pie next as the lentil fetish is wearing thin.

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  2. I cannot tell you how sorry I am that there isn’t a box of puff pastry forgotten in the bottom of my freezer. I am hopeful that the hoarders have not mistaken it for toilet paper and I will find it on my next shopping trip. These look amazing, everything else is in the pantry or fridge but, alas, on puff pastry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It might be even harder to find fresh mushrooms. I read somewhere that the hoarders had taken all the flour but not the pastry products. If you have butter and AP flour, you could always make some puff pastry, well that’s what I keep telling myself…yet to happen. 😁

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  3. Mmmm, I always tend to go for the vego bakery options. They’re either much as you describe, really bad or unforgettably good. Some thoughts… I like recipes that lack precise weights and measure as I often don’t follow/use them myself; and happily after the $23/kg mushies the G.O. found and left on the shelf last week at the independent local supermarket he patronises for his mother’s weekly shop, this morning the local Woolies’ Portobello’s were their usual $14/kg. So, we have mushies 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you beautiful woman!! We will all love these and may well make them today, whilst having a little sing along with Tom. When this is all passed, I look forward to a hug and a catch up ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s hard to imagine how long and how difficult the interim will be, months maybe even longer for us. Thankyou Rachael for your work in schools, now probably very busy preparing classes online. Best wishes to you and the girls. Xxx

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