Root Vegetable Deconstructed Pies

pastry dough cut into rounds over the vegetables

Pot pies go back to the time of the Romans. In England, meat of all sorts, like chicken, beef or game from the hunt, are main ingredients in pot pies. This dish is an old-world classic, usually made together with potatoes, vegetables and cream. Recipes for pot pie abound, each seemingly a little different than the others. Ottolenghi’s root vegetable pies recipe resonates with me: a spin on the old-fashion classic. I’ve found his recipe to be vegetables forward, no meat but tastes like there is, harmonious use of many spices (curry, caraway seeds, mustard seeds and cardamom) and remarkably comforting. Over the years, the recipes I’ve tried in his cookbooks always deliver and seldom disappoint, like a trusty old friend.

Lesser known facts about Ottolenghi are his pastry background and his training at Le Cordon Bleu. He was the pastry chef at Kensington Place restaurant in London before he opened the deli-style and high-end restaurants of his own. A few of his baked recipes are my favorites among favorites: apricot, walnut and levendar cake and membrillo and stilton quiche. I have never tasted anything so over-the-top delicious with the unusual mix of ingredients. A flavor bomb and sensory provoking.

pastry dough on the top only

Back to this recipe. I did not know there was another surprise in the making. This time it’s the pie crust. There are only three ingredients involved: flour, butter and sour cream. Elegant in its simplicity, and the uncommon use of sour cream. I have committed the ingredient weights in memory. It is one of the easiest pastry dough to work with. Easy to roll out, even the second or third time. Extendable and no tearing. I had fun cutting out the pastry for different shaped tops: small rounds, big rounds, rectangles. It’s light and flaky after baking. Making pastry dough has been my nemesis. An ongoing history of having it made and also failed. I struggle. This recipe is the best I’ve ever come across. A keeper for sure. There is nothing quite like it!

This dish is joining the IHCC’s potluck gathering this week. There will be plenty of interesting and exciting dishes to gawk over!

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  • Reply
    March 24, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    I can never resist a pot pie and these look wonderful. The crust seems like it would be a good addition to any pie, but I wonder if you don't have a food processor, would a blender work? or could you make it by hand?

  • Reply
    Susan Lindquist
    March 25, 2016 at 1:43 am

    Love the presentation on that first photo … looks like a perfect dish to plunk down on the bar at the local pub with a cold draft … a work-a-day lunch! YUM!

  • Reply
    March 25, 2016 at 3:31 am

    Judy, it doesn't hurt to try with a blender. I think you may be able to find a way that works for you. Start with a smaller recipe. Make a quarter of this recipe: 60g of flour, 48g of butter and 15g of sour cream. Double these amounts will give you half of the recipe. Of course, you can always make it by hand. It's just a little more work. Have fun!

  • Reply
    March 25, 2016 at 3:35 am

    I found out the pie tasted just as good when it's cold, sitting out on the counter for a long time. It's perfect on the bar, on the table, including the picnic table!

  • Reply
    Deb in Hawaii
    March 25, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    I adore how Ottolenghi mixes his spices and flavors and I especially love how he sneaks those caraway seeds in unexpected places. I have made a few different recipes where they have popped up and while I would not have thought to add them in myself, they added so much to the dish. The man is a genius! 😉 I love your pastry cut outs–so pretty on the plate and they help elevate the humble pot pie to something special.

  • Reply
    Joyce Rachel Lee-Bates
    March 28, 2016 at 5:00 am

    Thanks for making Ottolenghi's recipes sound doable. I have always been intimidated by the complexity of ingredients in his recipes. But I guess pot pie sounds easy enough for me to try. 🙂

  • Reply
    March 28, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Who would have combined mustard seeds, caraway and curry powder and created the depth of flavor for root vegetables? I agree: the man is a genius.

  • Reply
    March 28, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Once the dough is done, the rest is easy. You can certainly do this!

  • Reply
    kitchen flavours
    March 29, 2016 at 6:50 am

    It has been a while since I last had any pies! I have always had some kind of meat in the pie filling. Trust Ottolenghi to have an all vegetable pie that looks and sounds delicious. The crust using sour cream sounds wonderful! Easy to roll without any tears would make pie making an enjoyable experience! Delicious potluck choice!

  • Reply
    March 30, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Give the crust dough a try and let me know what you think.

  • Reply
    Couscous & Consciousness
    April 4, 2016 at 4:18 am

    Like you, Ottolenghi never ever disappoints me – I have all of his books, and I've absolutely loved every single recipe I've tried. Now that we are approaching root vegetable season in my part of the world, this one is definitely going on my "must try" list.

  • Reply
    April 4, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Since this posting, I've made this dish several times for company. They all turned out well. Best is to be able to make ahead and bake just before company arrives. A must try!

  • Reply
    October 9, 2016 at 1:36 am

    I love Ottolenghi's recipes, too, but I haven't tried this one yet. It looks wonderful and perfect for autumn.

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