Monday, 2 April 2012

Foodamentalists - Gluten & Wheat Free Vegan Pastry Mix

When the fantastic Foodamentalists sent me some of their Gluten & Wheat Free Vegan Pastry Mix to try, I was rather intrigued.  I'm a dyed-in-the-wool, all-butter-pastry kinda girl so I was interested to see how this would turn out.

The instructions on the packet surprised me as you melt the vegetable shortening  before adding it and I am used to rubbing the fat into the flour, in addition - the pastry dough was very soft before chilling and I wondered how easy to roll it would be.  Actually, the method meant that the whole process was very simple and less messy than usual and I was happily surprised by the result!  The pastry was smooth and pliable, rolled well and caused no problems when I lifted it to line the tin.  You do need to dust your rolling pin and work surface well with flour - I used arrowroot flour - to stop the dough from sticking, and work quickly as the fat seemed to soften faster than butter, but that might have been due to the temperature of my kitchen!

Apple and Coriander Tart

The packet makes enough pastry for a large pie and if you are making a tart, as I did, you'll have plenty dough left over - I made 12 mini quiches in a shallow bun tray and still had some left, which I have frozen. The final result is excellent; a crisp, slightly chewy pastry that is perfect for both sweet and savoury dishes.  I would definitely buy this mix myself, and at £2.99 per pack I think it's good value for money, especially when you consider how much pastry it makes!  It is an incredibly versatile mix and I would like to try to make rough-puff and suet pastry with it as I think I would get great results for them, too.

Mini Mushroom Quiches

Mini Mushroom Quiches
I know that these aren't vegan, but I came up with this recipe as a way of using up the leftover scraps of pastry.  It is vegetarian and can be easily made dairy free.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
125g mushrooms, cut into 1cm pieces
a handful of fresh herbs (I used thyme and parsley), chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Foodamentalists' Gluten & Wheat Free Vegan Pastry Mix, made up according to packet - you'll need about 1/3 of it
2 medium eggs
150ml double cream (for dairy free, try Sojasun Organic Soya Cream)

  • In a shallow pan, heat the oil and add the red onion, sauté oven a medium heat until soft (about 2 minutes).  Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and continue to gently fry for about 4 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated.  Stir in the herbs and set aside to cool.
  • On a well dusted surface, roll out the pastry to about the size of your (12 cup) bun tray - if the tray is not non-stick, you should oil the cups for easy quiche-removal later!  Cut out rounds of pastry to fit each cup and gently place the pastry into the bun cups.  Chill for about 30 minutes in the fridge.
  • Break the eggs into a measuring jug, and top up with cream to make 250ml (you might not use the full 150ml), season and beat together until well mixed.
  • Once the pastry cases have chilled, remove from the fridge and place heaped teaspoons of the mushroom mixture into each case.  Pour the egg and cream mixture into the cases, leaving about 1/2cm room at the top.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes at 190°C, until golden brown.  Transfer cooked quiches to a cooling rack and serve warm or at room temperature.

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