Tourtière is a classic French Canadian savory pie that has a rich, spiced filling all wrapped up in a flaky pie crust. This plant-based version of that traditional recipe is simple, amazingly tasty and it isn’t filled with all kinds of chemical-laden crap. Bonus, it doesn’t take very long to prepare and it can be made in advance, so basically it’s a must if you’ve been invited to a vegetarian (or a traditional meat eating) family dinner! It’ll stop skeptics in their tracks, just you watch.

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Tourtière (French Canadian Savory Pie) [Vegan]

Ingredients

Filling:
  • 2 1/2 cups mushrooms (I used dried morel with fresh shiitake and crimini)
  • 3-4 stalks of celery
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 yellow potatoes
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 3/4 cups homemade or organic vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of water
  • 5-8 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Splash of apple cider vinegar
  • Salt
Crust:
  • 3 cups flour of choice
  • 1 cup cold water, as needed
  • 1 cup cold coconut oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
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Preparation

To Make the Filling:
  1. Place a large stockpot on the stovetop and turn the element on fairly high. You’re looking to get the pot nice and hot while it’s empty, so leave it to heat.
  2. Meanwhile, dice the celery and the onion, cube the potatoes and turn the oven to 400°F. Once the pot is ready, arrange the whole mushrooms in a single layer (you’ll likely have to repeat this step a few times) on the bottom. If they sound squeaky touching the bottom then you’ve got the pot heated enough.
  3. Turn the element down to medium and dry roast the mushrooms in that single layer until they start to have an aromatic nuttiness. Transfer to a bowl and continue until all mushrooms are soft and dry roasted.
  4. While the mushrooms are cooling add the celery and onion to the pot with the coconut oil. Quarter the mushrooms (if using crimini or button) and add them back to the pot. Finish it up with the nutmeg and the allspice, then the vegetable stock and water. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes.
  5. Once the liquid has evaporated and the potatoes are soft remove from the heat, squish them in the pot with a potato masher or the back of a large spoon. Chunky is good, no need to get them into a full mash.  This will thicken up the remainder of the sauce. Add the thyme and apple cider vinegar to taste, as well as a touch of salt if necessary.
To Make the Crust:
  1. Arrange all crust ingredients first. Measure the water into a bowl, cut the cold coconut oil into chunks and get the flour and freshly ground pepper (a fair bit, as long as you dig pepper) into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Using a pastry cutter or two butter knives start with two hunks of coconut oil and begin blending into the flour. Using a tablespoon measure out one or two tablespoons of water at a time. I used about eleven total to form the dough. Control how much you use with each cut, continuing to add water and cubed coconut oil until you’ve formed a crumbly mixture that’s starting to stick together.
  3. Once you see the crumbly bits sticking, start kneading it into a ball. Separate the ball into two pieces the place them in the fridge to firm up for a few minutes.
  4. Once set, flour a flat surface and begin rolling out one ball of dough into a thin sheet. Place the sheet over your pie plate and fit it to the sides.
  5. Using a rolling pin, roll across the top of the pie plate – this will cut the dough to form the bottom crust’s lip. Re-flour your surface, then roll the second ball out to form the top of the crust. Set aside.
Assembly:
  1. Fill prepared pie crust with mushroom filling, gently shaking the filling into the very edge of the crust.
  2. Top with the second sheet of pastry, pinching the edges to form a seal. Brush with water and cut four small ventilation holes on the top.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow it to set for about 10 minutes before slicing.
  4. Serve with roasted tomatoes, garlic oil and maple syrup!

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