Sometimes the universe sends you a ridiculous amount of reasons to celebrate and hence to make cake. Let me just get our big news out of the way so that we can get to the business of food. The reason I’ve been so suddenly budget conscious and penny-pinching of late is that our loan got approved yesterday and Man-thing and I will be home owners! 😀 That’s right, the dream house I was swooning about? It has a stunning blue kitchen and is just lovely and spacious. We’re properly horrified and respectful of the interest rate on the loan (yeesh, you may more than triple what you actually require at the end of the day!) but we are absolutely ready to move out and expand our possibilities.
One sad side effect of this enormous glee and responsibility, however, is that I will have to be infinitely more prudent with our budget and the frequency with which I can experiment…certainly for the next 20 years! Gah! Ergo blogging may have to become rather minimalist, but we will see what happens. Certainly the big hope is to get an “adult job” that can fund not only the loan, insurance, cats and social obligations, but also this wonderful world of food and interacting with others across the globe. I truly think I would have gone insane these past few years had I not stumbled across this amazing passion, but alas our home at present is driving me crazier with its limited space for photography and food creation, so everything balances out.
For today, therefore, I’m going to share two treats that we’re eating today – chocolate cake (for celebration) and samosa skull pie (because why not?). The chocolate cake is just a simple variation of my protein pear cake, so I won’t add the recipe here, but I figured I should show that we’re celebrating this good news in the proper manner! Also, my aunt came for a visit today and that’s always reason enough to bounce up and down and share noms.
Other than sharing in real life, I’m also sharing this as part of the Vegan Virtual Linky Potluck, hosted by An Unrefined Vegan, Bunny Kitchen, and Canned Time. It’s always lots of fun to take part, and ridiculously dangerous to follow, because there is honestly SO much tasty business happening every week. Mmmm!
This pie was going to be something completely different, but I couldn’t manage to cut straight lines for a lattice, and eventually I asked Man-thing how we should decorate it. He suggested a skull (not sure if he was originally serious), but I agreed and his glee was rather fetching as he was carving it out and prettily arranging it on top. He’s playing Warhammer today with a pal (hence the super different meal to our usual soup), so I guess the skull theme fits in perfectly with all the destruction and mayhem they get up to in their fantasy worlds.
I made a LOT of pie (more than skull pie) because we had lots of filling, but this is the happy sort of meal you want lots of anyway. Still, I’m going to list what it takes for one large tart tin, because that’s what’s at the heart of this whole experiment. I’ve wanted to make samosas for a while now and figured I’d combine it with one of Man-thing’s favourite treats: pastry. He’s a lamb and all that, so I figure he can get pie and cake all in the same day ❤
Samosa skull pie (serves 6-8 depending on how you cut):
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced finely – steam for 2 or so minutes
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 medium peeled and grated apple (I used Granny Smith)
- 1 medium tomato, chopped finely
- 1 plum, peeled and chopped
- 1 leek, chopped finely
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/4 cup frozen corn nibs
- 1 TBSP curry powder
- 2 TBSP tikka cook in sauce
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup juice of choice (I used diluted make-it-yourself juice because we don’t really keep that sort of thing in the house, or otherwise use water)
- 1 TBSP jam of choice (no sugar added)
- 2 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 TBSP mustard
- paprika, fennel, Chinese 5 spices, all spice, cayenne, etc.
- 250 – 300 puff pastry (depends on the size of your dish)
- Soy milk for brushing on
- Let your puff pastry defrost beforehand.
- After steaming your sweet potatoes a bit add all ingredients to a large pot and fry for a few minutes over medium heat, splashing water when it sticks.
- Preheat the oven to 180C and spray your tart tin (it should come apart at the bottom, or else use a large loaf pan/square pan). My tart tin is approx 25cm in diameter.
- Add the liquids, curry powder and spices together in a cup and pour over the veggies, stirring well. Bring down to a low simmer whilst you prepare your pastry.
- Roll out your pastry thinly between two sheets of baking paper (or just use flour for your surface and pin roller) until it stretches out to line the bottom of your tart pan and up the sides. Press the sides in to conform to the grooves of the tin. Press a few holes with a fork across the surface of your pastry.
- Spoon your filling into the tart tin until it reaches the top of your sides.
- Quickly roll out a covering for your tin, large enough to completely cover the top.
- Layer this covering gently on top, then press down the edges/sides of the pastry so that it squishes into the bottom pastry half – I didn’t do this 100% and as a result I had a few gaps. Press in a few holes with a fork.
- If you like, add some decorations if you have spare pastry (such as a skull) 😀
- Brush some soy milk on top.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes at 180C until the top is golden. I forgot the soy milk so mine took a bit longer – so sad!
- Let it cool before removing the fluted side panel of your tart tin. Heat up or serve cold – delicious either way!
This pie will teach me lessons – I completely winged it and didn’t write anything down beforehand, which is why I forgot to brush it with soy milk, and hence why I baked it for an hour without it getting as golden as it should. Ai!
Anyway, serve with lots of gravy and maybe even some of the Tolerant Vegan’s plum ketchup, as I did 🙂 This pie is totally an excuse for the bloody coloured (and therefore highly fitting) ketchup, which I made before as a holiday gift with much swooning on my part. I’ve been eyeing the price of plums for a while now and decided I could jump into action – SO tasty! It takes such a quick amount of time and I even managed to send my aunt home with a sample (along with some cake for my poor uncle, who was very sad not to get cake the last time she visited).
What a happy and filling pastry! I made a second one in a loaf pan, covering just the bottom and sides with pastry, but I left it undercooked on purpose because I want to do something with it the next time my oven goes on, and luckily it will last a few days in the fridge. So much fun to eat knowing there’s a skull at the centre! Also, delicious samosa flavours have just sent me to the moon and back – I haven’t had a samosa now in years because I never know if it’s going to be vegan friendly or not, and to have it in glorious pie form just makes for glee.
Anyway, now begins the real task of making lists (which I love), packing (which I love less), and paying over hard earned cash to the bank (no love!). Still, I’m so grateful we managed to secure this place – within the first few moments of being in that house for the first time I just knew it was our forever home! I’m so thrilled and blessed to finally have one spot in the universe to settle into after a life of passports, airports and new schools, friends and cultures. I don’t regret being a diplomatic brat, but it is really a phenomenal feeling to consciously make a decision to cultivate a life for oneself around a centre. ❤
ETA: Thought I’d share that our skull love goes back a way – these skull and brain red velvet cupcakes were our wedding cake almost two years ago! 😀
What is your favourite pie filling?