A vegan ode to Holland’s cheese and onion pies (or, butternut squash & caramelised onion shortcrust pastry pies)

A vegan ode to Holland’s cheese and onion pies (or, butternut squash & caramelised onion shortcrust pastry pies)

A vegan ode to Holland’s cheese and onion pies (or, butternut squash & caramelised onion shortcrust pastry pies) / Makes 6 individual pies (4" wide, 1" deep)

An homage to one of my very favourite foods, the Holland’s cheese and onion pie.I used 6 individual pie tins, with 4” diameter and 1” depth, and used Jus-Rol’s shortcrust pastry from the freezer aisle (suitable for vegans)

Filling ingredients

  • 400g butternut squash
  • 4 onions, finely sliced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 300ml almond milk
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 7 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp English mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Pastry

  • 600g shortcrust pastry (I cheated and used Jus-Rol, but make your own by all means)
  • 1 tbsp aquafaba (chickpea brine)

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 200C. Chop the squash into small pieces, toss in 1 tbsp olive oil and roast uncovered for approximately 40 minutes until tender. Once ready, remove from the oven (set aside), keeping the oven on at 200C. 

Heat 3 tbsp olive oil over a medium-low heat and add the sliced onions. Fry on a medium-low heat until very soft and translucent (around 15-20 minutes). Add 100ml hot water from the kettle and continue to cook until the liquid has almost completely evaporated. 

Place the roasted butternut squash and half of the onions in a food processor and blend for a few minutes until smooth. Set aside the remaining onions. 

Heat 1 tbsp vegan spread in a saucepan over a low heat. Once melted, add the almond milk and cornflour, whisking to remove clumps. Add the nutritional yeast and mustard, continuing to whisk well, then stir in the blended squash and onions, plus the unblended onions. Cook for around five minutes until the sauce/filling is nicely thickened. Season to taste (I used around a teaspoon of sea salt). 

Cut out circles of baking paper and line the bottom of each pie tin. Roll out the the pastry and cut out two sets of pastry circles for each pie tin; a larger circle for the bottom part and a circle just slightly larger than the tin diameter for the lid.

Line the bottom of each pie tin with the larger pastry circle, bringing up the sides. Spoon in the filling, then place the pastry lid on top, pinching around the edges to close. Press around the edges with a fork to crimp, then lightly brush aquafaba over. Pierce two small holes in the centre with a knife. These are now ready to go in the oven*. Place the pies on a baking tray in the middle and cook for 45-50 minutes until the pastry is nicely golden.

Serve with vegetables of your choice. Or, of course, chippy chips...

*at this point any pies which you wish to store away can be put in the freezer.