There's something I know for certain: it's pie season. The cooler temperature and shorter days signal to me, the need for comfort food and even thought the temperature itself hasn't dipped _that _much, it's low enough for me to yearn for the heat of the oven. I'm a different creature in Winter. During Summer it's all about salads and water but in Winter, it's a pastry and soup fest. And this comparatively cool Sydney evening made me hanker for some pies.
We try and eat vegetarian a few nights a week for health reasons and to reduce our reliance on meat. That's not a sign that I am about to go full time vegetarian - I tried that once and it wasn't for me but it feels healthier and better for the environment to do so three to four nights a week. It also lightens our grocery bill which is a nice bonus for my husband who tears his hair out at the things I like to put in my trolley.
If you're a hardened carnivore, you could certainly add some chicken to these but I do think that they are perfect as is although by all means substitute it with whatever vegetables you have to hand - 3.5 cups will do. One thing that I never really saw any point to was making your own pastry. That is, until I found an amazing Pâte Brisée shortcrust pastry recipe. I will say that if you are not so inclined to make your own, you can use store bought but this Pâte Brisée pastry is to die for. But don't worry I haven't lost the entire plot, I still bought the puff pastry. That would probably signal a descent into utter madness if I were to make my own puff pastry. Feel free to call the authorities to pick me up should that ever happen.
Individual Red Curry Vegetable Pies
An original recipe by Not Quite Nigella
Makes 18 pies
For pâte brisée shortcrust pastry
- 1 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1/2 cup cold butter plus an extra tablespoon (140 grams total)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup Iced water (scant)
OR 3 sheets of ready made shortcrust pastry
- 1 tablespoon oil for frying
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove finely chopped
- 1 cup cubed pumpkin (cubed into small pieces)
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1/2 cup corn
- 1x 200g tin chickpeas
- Red curry paste plus a little Lime juice, sugar and fish/soy sauce to taste
- 3 tablespoons coconut cream
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- 2 sheets ready made puff pastry
- 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon milk or 2 tablespoons of milk to glaze
Step 1 - Make shortcrust pastry ahead of time and freeze and refrigerate. The key to pastry is relaxing the dough. In a food processor combine all ingredients except for the iced water and whizz together briefly. Then add iced water until it starts to come together and then empty the contents of the processor onto a board and knead briefly. Cover in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
Step 2 - Now make the filling ahead of time as you want it to cool. Saute onion and garlic with oil in a medium saucepan. Then add curry paste and fry until fragrant (1-2 minutes) stirring constantly. Add stock and pumpkin cubes and cook until pumpkin is tender. Add chickpeas, peas and corn and cook through. Check taste, sometimes I find that the curry paste isn't full bodied enough so I add a touch of lime juice, sugar and fish sauce to upp the flavour. Remove from heat and add coconut cream and stir. Set aside to cool.
Step 3 - Take your individual pie tins (or you could do these in a Texas Muffin cupcake tray). There is no need to butter the tins. Roll out the pastry and cut out rounds to fit the tins. Place in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes-this is important to prevent pastry shrinkage (or you could do the pie tins ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate them). Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Take out the puff pastry about 10 minutes before the other pastry's time is up.
Step 3 - After the 30 minutes is up, remove the tins from the fridge and spoon the filling into the bases. Cut out rounds from the puff pastry to sit on top of the pies. I use the scraps to cut little shapes too but you needn't do this. Brush with milk or egg yolk glaze and bake for 25 minutes.