As a child, I loved pork pies. I’ll correct that, I loved the hot water crust pastry surrounding pork pies! My poor mum exasperated as I ate the pastry, leaving the jelly and pork filling! Such a wasteful child!
These days, with our household being vegetarian pork pies are something I never buy during our weekly shop, but with a few veggies and Quorn pieces we can enjoy a homemade meat free pork pie!
The pastry surrounding pork pies, as I’m sure you may know, is called hot water crust. It’s such a robust and forgiving pastry (not to mention delicious). Although you don’t need to handle it with kid gloves, as with some pastries, it does need to be shaped whilst it’s still warm and so for that reason wait until you’ve received that important phone call before making the pastry!
Traditionally pork pies are made by ‘hand-raising’ them around a ‘dolly’, a cylindrical wooden block. You may have seen home bakers on Great British Bake Off over the years struggling to release the pastry from the dolly. To avoid that struggle the recipe for these vegetarian pork pies is definitely easier having been made and baked in a dariole mould. I confess it’s not the traditional method, but it’s still delicious and certainly easier to do.
The filling itself is a mixture of Quorn pieces and vegetables, the Quorn bringing ‘body’ and protein whilst the veggies bring colour as well as extra flavour and nutrition. We used sautéed mushroom, sweetcorn, and a charred orange pepper but clearly there is a whole host of items you could use in your version of the vegetarian pork pie.
Fans of the traditional pork pie will know that the pies, once baked, have a liquid jelly poured into them through the circular hole in pastry crust. That jelly is normally made with a gelatine, a meat based product, which we substituted for Dr Oetker’s Vege Gel.
Vege gels are great, being flavour free they’re useful in both savoury and sweet recipes (have you seen our Salted Caramel Pie with Chocolate Sauce which uses vege gel?), the only draw back with them is that they set fairly quickly meaning that you do need to work swiftly.
Mr E & I have made these little beauties a few times now. And yes, they certainly are beauties – they tasted divine and the pastry was as
scrummy as I remembered (even with the vegetarian modifications). Interestingly the vege gel doesn’t melt when the pies are reheated making them perfect to be enjoyed both warm as a meal with perhaps beans and potatoes or other vegetables, or cold as part of a buffet spread, as part of a picnic or as a filling packed lunch.
So, here’s how to make Vegetarian Pork Pies.
They’re delicious enjoyed either warm as a family meal or cold as part of a
buffet, picnic or a filling packed lunch. The hot water crust pastry is
forgiving, robust and easy to work with.
Hands on time: about 1 hour Bake time: 40 mins Yield: 4
4 Dariole Moulds – ours hold 160ml / 6 fl oz
For the Hot Water Crust Pastry
- 165g Plain Flour
- 33g Strong White Bread Flour
- small pinch of Salt
- 41g Butter, unsalted & chilled
- 50g Trex or baking block
- 83ml Boiling Water
For the vegetarian Pork Pie Filling
- Vegetable / Sunflower Oil
- 160g Quorn ‘Chicken’ Pieces
- 3 – 4 Mushrooms, medium, cleaned & diced
- 65g Sweetcorn, canned, drained
- 1 Orange Pepper (see note a below)
- 1 tsp Thyme Leaves, chopped
- 1 Vegetable Oxo Cube
- 1 Vegetarian Gel Sachet (we used Dr Oetkers)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten, to glaze
15. Allow the jelly to set. Set the pies aside on a cooling rack to allow them to finish cooling and the stock to set before serving. This will take about 1.5 to 2 hours.16. Enjoy.
Notes: a) If possible select a pepper with a good sized stalk – this will help you move the pepper around more easily whilst it is scorched to remove the skin. b) The pies can be rewarmed in the oven without the Dr Oetker’s Vege gel re-melting.
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