I have to admit, I had always shied away from making any kind of vegan pie before, I just thought it would be way too tricky. But I really like pie! So I had to start giving it a go. And although technically this is more of a tart, the pie crust can be used for any kind of savoury pie you like. I have been experimenting with this, and originally followed a pie crust recipe from a great book I found, ‘ The Complete Guide to Vegan Substitutions’. Fantastic book. Their recipe wasn’t quite what I wanted and felt too crumbly. So I tweaked it a bit and have now used it many times in different sorts of pie so I will be sticking with it. You need a food processor for the pie recipe. It is probably possible without, but a lot more difficult!
The filling again was inspired by someone else’s recipe, which was actually for a raw vegan pie. I have tweaked it a bit and changed the filling but it is a classic tomato herby cheese tart, using the cashew nut to create a creamy base to layer the filling and tomatoes on. I dehydrated my tomatoes the second time I made it, but you don’t have to do this, just grill the top at the end if you like the tomatoes well done like I do. I used beautiful organic tomatoes I got from my local farmers market, at a very popular stall from Wild Country Organics, if you live in London do check out your local market and see if these guys are there.
For completely gluten free pie crust use either all buckwheat ( which will leave a distinctive taste) or I like Bob Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour- I can tolerate 100% spelt flour but some gluten intolerants can’t and those who are coeliac will need completely gluten free.
I used an 8 inch fluted flan tin
Preparation Time: around 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
- 1 cup stoneground buckwheat flour
- 1/2 cup stoneground spelt flour ( or sub GF flour )
- 1/4 cup vegan nutritional yeast
- 1 clove garlic or 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup cooked wholegrain rice
Cashew Cheese Spread
- 1 cup ground cashews ( I use a coffee grinder )
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- juice 1/2 medium lemon
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar ( can make without )
- 1/2- 3/4 cup water
- 1 large onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- squeeze date syrup
- handful chopped spinach
- about 1/4 cup chopped sorrel ( optional )
- 3-4 organic tomatoes, to cover the top of your tart.
- Pre heat oven to 160C.
- Grease your pie dish well with coconut oil.
- To make the base, place all base ingredients in a food processor including the cooked rice. Mix until it forms a dough. You may need to add a bit of water, it will be a sticky-ish dough but will form into a ball in the processor.
- Press the dough into your pie dish with floured hands, make sure it is even. Poke holes in the crust with a fork before placing in the oven for around 10 minutes, you only want it ‘just cooked’, it should not be browning at this stage.
- While you blind bake the pie crust, prepare the cashew cheese by combining all ingredients in a bowl- the cashews must be properly ground first. This by-passes the soaking usually required before using cashews as a dairy substitute in cheese recipes. The cashew cheese should be a thick spread with a distinctive garlic and herb taste. I start with 1/4 cup water and add more in stages if it needs it. Adjust seasoning if necessary, add just a pinch of himalayan pink salt if you like.
- Fry the onion and garlic, use a touch of water as it starts to brown to prevent sticking. Add the paprika and date syrup ( if using ).
- Add the spinach and sorrel to your onion & garlic mix and briefly fry. Set aside.
- Check your pie crust and remove from oven if it is ready- just cooked.
- Spread the crust with the cashew cheese spread first.
- Layer the onion filling on top before topping with your tomatoes- I dehydrated mine for a few hours first but this isn’t absolutely necessary, see above.
- Place your pie in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes, you will need to keep an eye on it and perhaps grill the top for 5 minutes at the end.
- Rest for 5 minutes before serving. I imagine this keeps well in the fridge but so far it gets eaten pretty quickly!