These easy little vegan cheese and red pepper filo hand pies are perfect in lunch boxes when you want something different, but they would also be good served hot for dinner with potatoes and veg.
VEGAN CHEESE & RED PEPPER FILO HAND PIES
I'm so excited to share this recipe with you.
It was a bit of an experiment to see if I could make an indulgent savoury pie without eggs.
I wanted to make some small hand pies for my husband to enjoy for lunch.
He works so hard. I really wanted to give him and treat, plus it was a chance to get some salad into him as he is prone to just eat toast or a toasted bagel at lunchtime.
They were a roaring success.
He loved them!
I used filo pastry for these cute little pies.
Filo is super thin layers of pastry that crisp up beautifully and add pie covering and crunch.
It's also known as phyllo, depending on where you live.
You may think this pastry is too thin to hold a filling but 3 or 4 layers and it's pretty strong.
My pack of filo had long, rectangular sheets, which I cut it into half lengthways, then in thirds to make squares.
The squares are a good bit larger than the muffin tray cups, so when they are pressed into the cup there is a good overhang.
FILO PASTRY TIPS
- If your filo pastry is frozen, defrost it in the fridge overnight. Leave it in it's packaging until you want to use it.
- Prepare your filling first. Filo pastry doesn't like to sit about.
- Preheat your oven and have your baking sheet ready before you start working with the pastry.
- Work quickly with the filo, don't leave it to go off and do anything else.
- Cover the filo you haven't started using yet with a clean, damp tea towel to keep it from drying out.
- Filo is traditionally brushed with melted butter between the layers, this helps to crisp it up. You can use melted vegan butter or margarine instead.
- Instead of melted butter, I like to use a spray oil, either rapeseed oil or olive oil in a spray bottle. I got this tip from Nadiya Hussain (from The Great British Bake Off). I do love Nadia!
ROASTED RED PEPPER PASTE
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE VEGAN CHEESE & RED PEPPER FILO HAND PIES
- FILO PASTRY - Chilled or frozen, if it is frozen defrost in the packet in the fridge overnight.
- RED PEPPER - Any colour of pepper you have in the fridge.
- VEGAN CREAM CHEESE - I like Violife original cream cheese, but use your favourite.
- RED PEPPER PASTE - You could use sundried tomato paste or tomato puree (add less if you are using tomato puree).
- GRATED VEGAN CHEDDAR - I use Violife, but you could use your favourite.
- SPRING ONION - Also known as scallion. If you don't have spring onion you could use some finely chopped red onion.
- SWEETCORN - I used tinned sweetcorn which is already cooked, but you could cook fresh or frozen corn lightly.
- CHERRY TOMATOES - Or any other small tomato to decorate the top of the tarts. Alternatively you could add one slice of a larger tomato to each pie.
- NUTRITIONAL YEAST - This gives that real cheese flavour as vegan cheddar can be quite mild. You could use grated vegan parmesan, but I like to add nutritional yeast, as it is what is says on the box, nutritional. I use Engevita nutritional yeast which has extra B12 added. B12 can be hard to get in a vegan diet and it''s important, so this wee tub of yeast is a must-have item in
NOTES ON NUTRITIONAL YEAST
- They are super easy to make.
- They don't take long to make.
- They are really cheesy.
- The combination of the red pepper sauce and the cheesy vegetable layer with the crisp pastry case works really well.
- They are great for lunch or dinner.
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HOW TO MAKE CHEESE & RED PEPPER HAND PIES
Vegan Cheese & Red Pepper Filo Hand Pies
- 200 g vegan cream cheese
- 8 tbsp vegan cheddar grated
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- pinch salt and pepper
- 1 large spring onions or two medium, finely sliced
- ½ red pepper finely diced
- 3 tbsp cooked sweetcorn
- 3 sheets filo pastry cut into squares
- 6 cherry tomatoes
- spray oil
- Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/350f/gas mark 4.
- Grease a muffin tray.
- In a mixing bowl, mash the cream cheese to soften it, then add 6 tablespoons of grated cheddar and the nutritional yeast. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
- Add the chopped spring onion, red pepper and sweetcorn and mix again.
- Add a square of pastry to 5 muffin cups (you may have enough pastry for 6) and brush or spray with a little oil.
- Add another 2 or 3 layers (I used 3 layers altogether), at a slightly different angle each time so you are creating a frill around the muffin cup with a spray of oil between each layer.
- Add a scant tablespoon of red pepper paste to the bottom of each pie, then top with a big scoop (2-3 tbsp) of the cheese mix.
- Top each with a sprinkle of the reserved cheese and slices of cherry tomato.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden and the cheese has melted.
- Leave to cool in the muffin tray for a few minutes then serve warm or move to a baking rack to continue cooling. A spoon will help to ease the pies out the tray.
- You may use spay oil or melt some vegan butter or spread to coat the pastry between layers.
- If you don't have red pepper paste, sundried tomato paste is good. you can use tomato puree and stir in some dried herbs, but use less.
- Leftover filo can be covered with a damp tea towel if you are using it for another dish after making these or making a double batch.
- If you want to use the leftover pastry another day, wrap it firmly in cling film then place in a firmly sealed freezer bag and keep it in the fridge for a few days until you need it.
- These pies are best served the same day, hot or cold, while they are at their crispest. They can be chilled in an airtight container for a few days. They are still tasty but not crisp.