18 June 2010

Lentil Pie

My Le Creuset heart shaped ceramic baking dish arrived yesterday! My sister was kind enough to inform me that it was most certainly not pronounced Le Croos-it as I had first thought, along with a "OMG how could you not have heard of that before?" Apparently I'm behind in the times when it comes to hip cookware.

So tonight I racked my brain trying to think of a meal worthy of breaking in the dish for the first time, and I came up with with pie. I like pie. And I really like pastry. I went for the fast route and used ready-made puff pastry cos we haven't done the dishes in like.. a week, so I didn't want to add a rolling pin and mixing bowl to the stack. I wasn't trying to replicate meat tonight, but as it so happens, what I created was something reminiscent of all those family-sized mince pies from my childhood, but with better karma cos this meal is totally cow-free.


1 Tbsp fennel seeds
1 can lentils, drained
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp tomato sauce
salt & pepper to taste

1/2 onion, diced
4 Tbsp flour
1 tsp garlic powder
2 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp Marmite
2 tsp soy sauce

2 sheets ready-made puff pastry

In a small dry frypan, gently toast the fennel seeds for 1-2 minutes. Add the lentils, soy sauce, herbs, garlic & onion powders, paprika and tomato sauce and stir to combine. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, adding spashes of boiling water to keep lentils wet and season to taste. Set aside to cool.

To make the gravy, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat, and saute onion for 5 minutes or until soft. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring well to make sure the flour doesn't burn. Add garlic powder, stock, marmite and sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in lentils and set aside.

If your pie-dish isn't non-stick, lightly spray with cooking oil and press 1 sheet of pastry into it. Trim any excess pastry and use these bits to fill any spaces that are not covered. I used 1 1/2 sheets to cover my dish, cos a heart-shaped dish is pretty awkward to line. Pour over your lentil gravy mixture, it should be warm but not piping hot. Cut your remaining pastry sheet into 1cm strips and criss-cross over the filling to form a lattice. Alternatively, you can use a whole sheet of pastry to cover the filling completely, folding over the pastry from underneath and pricking airholes with a fork.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes, increasing the temp to 200 degrees for the final 5 minutes of cooking to brown the crust (I used a ceramic dish which requires a longer cooking time. For a regular pie dish bake for 10-15 minutes).



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