Mushroom, Spinach And Cider Pie

Mushroom, Spinach And Cider Pie

Wintry weather means comfort food. The humble pie has incredible potential to wow hungry family members who are tired after a long day at work. I have made many meat pies over the years, but now we are switching to vegetarian cuisine (with meat on rare occasions) I was very impressed by this Waitrose magazine recipe for an incredibly tasty and hearty vegetarian pie.

The cider and thyme worked splendidly with those chunky mushrooms. I am sure the mango salsa injected some extra flavour to this wonderful combination ingredients. This is definitely my favourite vegetarian pie recipe and will be making more appearances again on our dinner table.

INGREDIENTS

400g chestnut mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
30g unsalted butter
3 shallots, sliced
1 tbsp English mustard powder
8 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
2 heaped tbsp plain flour
250ml cider
300ml vegetable stock
235g ready washed spinach
1½ tbsp mango chutney
50g mature cheddar
320g puff pastry sheet
1 egg, beaten

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6.

Wipe the mushrooms clean, then halve or quarter, depending on their size. Put a large, wide saucepan over a medium heat and add the oil and butter. Stir in the sliced shallots and fry for three minutes, then add the mushrooms. Fry for seven minutes so that they release their liquid and start to brown. Stir in the mustard powder and thyme leaves, then season to taste.

Next, stir in the flour, fry for a minute, and then pour in the cider. Bring the cider to the boil, and let it bubble away for a few minutes to cook off the alcohol. Then add the vegetable stock and bring back to the boil.

Reduce the heat a little and simmer for five minutes until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach and mango chutney.

Spoon the filling into a twenty-three cm pie dish. Roughly chop the cheddar and dot over the top.

Brush some beaten egg around the rim of the pie dish, then lay over the rolled-out pastry. Trim off the excess and crimp the edges. Brush the pastry with the remaining egg and decorate the top of the pie as you like with the pastry offcuts. (My decorations are supposed to be a smiley face with curly hair – if you knew my family you would know exactly who it is meant to resemble!)

Put the pie dish on a baking sheet and bake for thirty minutes, until golden all over.

Remove from the oven and leave to sit for several minutes before serving. The boys were hungry, so I made some potato puree and added buttered savoy cabbage, if liked. (Look our for my buttered savoy cabbage recipe.)

Those chestnut mushrooms are so meaty and the rest of the ingredients so delicious, nobody was disappointed that this was a vegetarian supper.

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