Ultimate Comfort Food | Vegan Cider Pie

A pie has always been my idea of the ultimate comfort food. Like most things in my life, this pie recipe is hugely versatile: you can pretty much add any type of veg, meat substitute or the real deal if you're not veggie inclined and the results will still be good. The cider sauce is a dream. Even a great option for Boxing Day, using all those Christmas dinner left overs. The ready made puff pastry makes this recipe a doddle to make so even the more timid of cooks can have a crack particularly. Plus, it's freezer friendly.

If I'm honest, I'm not one to really measure things out as I just add the ingredients to taste and until the consistency is correct. This makes 2 portions.

For the sauce:
Dry cider
1tbsp dairy free butter
1tbsp flour
Dijon mustard
Dairy free milk of choice (I feel soya works best)
1/2 lemon

Essentially, use what you like. This time, I opted for:
3/4 cup of peas
1/2 broccoli
1/2 punnet of mushrooms
1 peeled and roughly chopped apple
2 cloves of chopped garlic

Vegan ready made puff pastry (mine's from Aldi)

1. Make a roux sauce by melting the butter and adding the flour, stirring quickly until it forms a ball. Add small amounts of milk at a time and stir quickly until it is absorbed. It's important to stir quickly so to avoid lumps. I add 3 splashes of milk and then cider until there is enough mixture for the vegetables and is of medium consistency. Add juice of 1/2 a lemon (or until taste) and a teaspoon of dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper. 
2. Whilst making the roux, heat a pan with a bit of oil and gently sauté the mushrooms, garlic and apple. Season to liking.
3. Once the mushroom mix has cooked down, take off the heat and add the peas and florets of broccoli. I like to keep the broccoli al dente so to keep some crunch.
4. Add the cider sauce to the veg and stir until all is coated sufficiently and place in a pie dish.
5. Dab a little milk around the edge of the dish. Roll out the pastry until a few mm thick and place over the pie mixture. Crimp the edges with a fork and pierce the pastry a few times. Lightly brush pastry top with milk.
6. Cook in the oven for 25 mins at 180 degrees. Watch the pastry doesn't catch. 

It's one of those dishes that will satisfy your non-vegan or veggie friends and family. Super comforting with its tangy, creamy sauce (the mustard addition is a real winner). If only it was more photogenic...
If you're not a fan of the combination of veg used in this recipe, you can use what you fancy. Leeks and carrots work nicely as well - even a bit of cabbage. I've made this a couple times and I've yet to be disappointed. Serve with mash and a glass of the remaining cider and you've got yourself a perfect Sunday roast alternative.

Are you too a pie fan? Shortcrust or puff?


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