Thursday, 14 June 2012

Filo Vegetable Pie

This is my ultimate, favourite (originally vegetarian) meal. This is the only recipe I know  that everybody(I mean it) likes and even without meat it tastes delicious even for a big meat-eater.

Filo Vegetable Pie

270g filo pasty (shop bought)
150g butter
230g leaks, sliced to 1cm pieces
230g carrots, cubed/sliced
230g mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
150g cream cheese
120g Roquefort or Stilton or other blue cheese
150ml double cream
2eggs, beaten
250g cooking apples, peeled,cored and cubed
200g cashew nuts or pine nuts toasted
salt and pepper for seasoning
400g chicken breast (if you vegetarian just leave the chicken out and add a few slices of vegetables each to make up the space loss)

Preheat the oven to 180C. Heat 50g of the butter in a large pan and cook the carrots over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the leeks, mushroom and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, then take off from the heat.

Cut the chicken breast into 2cm pieces and fry them on some butter in a hot pan for 2-3minutes. It doesn't have to be fully cooked, as it will be baked for 40minutes in the pie.

Whisk the cream cheese and blue cheese, cream and eggs in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetables. Add the apple, toasted nut and the chicken.

Melt the remaining butter. Brush the inside of a 23cm loose based spring form cake tin with melted butter. Brush two-thirds of the filo pastry sheets with butter, one at a time, and use them to line the base and sides of the tin, overlapping the layers so that there are no gaps. Basically you have to prepare a nest from the filo pastry sheets, thick enough to hold in all the lovely juices inside. 

Spoon in the vegetable-chicken mixture and fold the excess filo pastry over towards the centre of the pie to cover the filling. (See the picture-sorry I meant to take a picture from the empty "nest" itself, but it is quite hard to do everything at the same time and the guest were already at our place at this stage)

Brush the remaining filo sheets with butter and tear them into 2.5cm strips. Cover the surface of the pie with the strips, arranging them decoratively in a rough mound. 
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy all over. Allow to stand for 5 minutes to cool, then carefully remove the cake tin and transfer the pie to a serving plate.

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