Vegetarian Nut Roast Pie

Impressive nut roast pie with vegetarian hot water crust pastry, the perfect vegetarian Christmas option - Domestic Gothess Like fruitcake, nut roast is another very divisive and much-maligned food; oft-mocked and shunned by vegetarians in favour of something a little less clichè, it is rare nowadays to find it on a menu anywhere. Which is a shame as it is both incredibly nutritious and, if done well, extremely delicious. I make nut roast fairly regularly, both I and my fiance love it, and it works perfectly with all of the usual roast dinner trimmings; any leftovers also make great sandwiches with some cheese and chutney. It is also perfect for Christmas dinner as a vegetarian option (though it does also go down well with the meat eaters) as it can be served with all the same sides as the main roast. A regular nut roast is a little plain-looking though, too boring for a proper festive dinner; this pie however makes for a very impressive centerpiece, making sure that any vegetarians don’t feel left out and under-catered for.

Vegetarian nut roast pie, the perfect festive centerpiece - Domestic GothessI’m not going to pretend that this is a quick recipe, but it is easy to make and the filling can be prepared the day beforehand and kept, covered, in the fridge; let it come up to room temperature before assembling and baking the pie. I made a vegetarian version of hot water crust pastry (which usually contains lard) which is very easy to make and very forgiving; it contains far less fat than shortcrust which does mean that it isn’t as rich and crumbly, but the stronger structure means that it can easily support the large, lofty pie without caving or falling apart when you try to move it. It is a slightly strange method which involves mixing flour, salt and beaten egg together, heating butter and water until boiling then beating it into the flour mixture. The resulting pastry is quite soft but give it ten minutes or so in the fridge and it becomes easily workable and there is no need to be gentle with it unlike shortcrust. The recipe makes a generous amount, enough to easily line the tin, make the lid and leave some to cut out some festive decorations to adorn the top of the pie. I went for a simple star design (I have a limited selection of cutters) but let your imagination run wild. Because it is such a large pie it does take a while to bake, up to 1 1/2 hours and you will need to cover the top with foil after a while to prevent it from burning.

Vegetarian Christmas nut roast pieFor the filling I used a mixture of nuts – brazils, cashews, almonds and walnuts, which I toasted to intensify the flavour before finely chopping them and mixing with breadcrumbs, mature cheddar (you can use stilton if you are that way inclined, I’m not.), cooked onion, garlic and mushrooms, herbs and mashed parsnips and eggs to bind. The pie is hearty and filling, with a rich, savoury flavour;  I served it with creamy root vegetable gratin, greens and homemade cranberry sauce, but it would also be good with roast or mashed potatoes and some vegetarian gravy.

 Vegetarian nut roast pie with hot water crust pastry, perfect for a Christmas centrepiece - Domestic Gothess

Vegetarian Nut Roast Pie
serves 6-8
  • Filling
  • 450g (16oz) mixed nuts (brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts etc)
  • 30g (2tbsp) butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 250g (9oz) mushrooms, finely chopped
  • a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped
  • a few fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 500g (18oz) parsnips (unprepared weight)
  • 140g (5oz) fresh brown breadcrumbs
  • 175g (6.2oz) extra mature cheddar, grated
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Pastry
  • 500g (4 cups + 2tbsp) plain flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 150g (1/2 cup + 2tbsp) butter
  • 180ml (3/4 cup) water
  • 1 egg, beaten, to glaze
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Grease a deep, 18cm loose bottomed cake tin. Spread the nuts out on a roasting tray and place under a grill, stirring occasionally, until golden. Set aside to cool.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pan and add the onion and garlic, cook gently for about 10 minutes until translucent. Add the mushrooms and herbs and cook until the mushrooms are soft and any liquid has evaporated; set aside to cool.
  3. Peel the parsnips, cut into chunks and cook in a pan of salted water until soft; drain then mash, set aside to cool.
  4. Place the nuts in a food processor and blitz until they are finely chopped. Tip into a large bowl with the breadcrumbs, mix in the cheese, cooled vegetables and mashed parsnip and season generously with salt and pepper, taste, then mix in the beaten egg until well combined.
  5. For the pastry, mix together the flour, salt and eggs in a large bowl. Place the butter and water in a pan and heat until the butter has melted and the mixture just comes to a boil. Quickly beat it into the flour mixture, a little at a time until it has all been combined and the mixture is smooth, it should be quite soft. Shape into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for 10 minutes until it has cooled to warm room temperature.
  6. Give the pastry a very brief knead then set aside two fifths for the lid and decorations. Roll the remainder out on a lightly floured surface until it is 5mm thick. Carefully lift it into the tin, easing it into the corners; trim off the excess pastry, leaving 1cm hanging over the edge of the tin.
  7. Spoon the filling into the tin and press it down. Brush the exposed pastry rim with the beaten egg. Roll out the remaining pastry to 5mm thick then cut out a circle 1cm wider than the tin. Place the pastry over the top of the pie and press the edges together to seal then crimp them. Cut a slit in the middle to let any steam escape.
  8. Re-roll any leftover pastry and trimmings then cut out decorative shapes such as stars or holly leaves with a pastry cutter. Brush the underside of each with a little beaten egg then arrange them on top of the pie. Brush the whole of the top of the pie with beaten egg.
  9. Bake for 1 to 1½ hours until hot all the way through, a metal skewer inserted into the centre should feel hot to the touch. Cover the top of the pie with tin foil after 20 minutes or so to prevent it from burning.
  10. Leave the pie to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then carefully unmould it. If the sides are too pale, you can place it on a baking sheet and pop it back into the oven for 10-15 minutes (keeping the top covered) until it is golden. You can also brush the sides with beaten egg before you put it back in the oven if you want the whole pie to be shiny.

Impressive hand raised vegetarian hot water crust pastry nut roast pie, perfect for Christmas - Domestic GothessI used British Lion Eggs for the filling and pastry, British Lion is a safety standard mark which means that the eggs have been produced to the highest standard of food safety; since it’s introduction in 1998, salmonella has effectively been eradicated in British eggs. Make sure when buying eggs that they are stamped with the lion mark so that you can be sure they are safe to eat.

I am sharing this with Saucy Saturdays hosted by The Flavour Bender, Take Two Tapas, La Petit Chef and Mid-Life Croissant, Meat-Free Mondays, Fabulous Foodie Fridays, Fiesta Friday hosted by Caroline’s Cooking and La Petite Paniere, Foodie FriDIY, Foodie Friends Friday and Friday Features

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28 Comments on Vegetarian Nut Roast Pie

  1. supergoldenbakes
    December 14, 2015 at 4:30 pm (10 months ago)

    Look at the height of this pie! Looks amazing and perfectly baked too. Have never tried my hand at hot water crust pastry but looks like I need to judging by this fabulousness!

    • hannahhossack
      December 22, 2015 at 5:48 pm (10 months ago)

      Thanks Lucy 🙂 I do have a bit of a thing for really tall bakes! Hot water crust is really easy to make and so forgiving to work with x

  2. Angela / OnlyCrumbs Remain
    December 17, 2015 at 9:49 am (10 months ago)

    Ooh yum! I love hot water crust pastry, and the nut roast filling sounds delicious.
    Angela x

    • hannahhossack
      December 22, 2015 at 5:42 pm (10 months ago)

      Thanks Angela 🙂 I’ve never tried proper hot water crust pastry made with lard, but the vegetarian versions I’ve tried have all been fantastic, perfect for a big pie! x

  3. vegeTARAian
    December 17, 2015 at 10:06 am (10 months ago)

    Dang, that is one gorgeous looking pie! I would certainly love a big slice of that at my holiday table.

    • hannahhossack
      December 22, 2015 at 5:40 pm (10 months ago)

      Thank you! it does make a very impressive centerpiece for the holidays 🙂

  4. bakeplaysmile
    December 17, 2015 at 6:40 pm (10 months ago)

    I’ve never heard of nut roast before… but now I really want to try it. This looks incredible. I love the height of your pies and cakes! Thank you so much for all of your support of Fabulous Foodie Fridays throughout the year. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Years! xx

    • hannahhossack
      December 22, 2015 at 5:39 pm (10 months ago)

      Thank you Lucy 🙂 nut roast is something of a vegetarian cliche in the UK but it is really delicious and works perfectly with all the usual roast dinner trimmings. I do have a bit of a thing for tall bakes don’t I! Hope you have a lovely Christmas xx

  5. carolinescookingblog
    December 18, 2015 at 1:43 pm (10 months ago)

    This looks so pretty! Funnily enough I was thinking of trying to make a ‘good’ version of a nut roast but it never quite happened. Yours sounds great! Thanks for bringing it to Fiesta Friday.

    • hannahhossack
      December 22, 2015 at 5:30 pm (10 months ago)

      Thanks Caroline 🙂 nut roast can be terrible but I love it when it is done well, even die-hard meat eaters like this one 😛

  6. skd
    December 18, 2015 at 3:02 pm (10 months ago)

    OMG!!! This is something exotic. Restaurant level or even better!!!

    • hannahhossack
      December 22, 2015 at 5:28 pm (10 months ago)

      Lol! Thank you!

  7. chefjulianna
    December 18, 2015 at 6:39 pm (10 months ago)

    Stunning! I can’t believe what you have created! What a gorgeous Christmas treat! 😀

    • hannahhossack
      December 22, 2015 at 5:26 pm (10 months ago)

      Thanks Julianna 🙂

  8. Hilda
    December 19, 2015 at 4:24 pm (10 months ago)

    Thanks so much for posting this. I will definitely be adding this to my Christmas table for the vegetarians, and the rest of us too.

    • hannahhossack
      December 22, 2015 at 5:22 pm (10 months ago)

      Thanks Hilda, it goes down very well with everyone, meat eaters included 🙂

      • Hilda
        December 26, 2015 at 2:59 am (10 months ago)

        I made it for our Christmas dinner. It turned out beautifully, and everyone asked that I make it for future Christmases. Besides being delicious, it made a beautiful centrepiece. On behalf of the whole gang, thanks, and merry Christmas.

        • hannahhossack
          January 6, 2016 at 1:19 pm (10 months ago)

          Oh fantastic! I’m so pleased that everyone enjoyed it 🙂 it is always nice to hear when people have made and enjoyed my recipes! I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

  9. lapetitepaniere
    December 20, 2015 at 1:58 pm (10 months ago)

    That looks divine. Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe at Fiesta Friday and Happy Holidays! 🙂

    • hannahhossack
      December 22, 2015 at 5:22 pm (10 months ago)

      Thank you, it is really delicious, I ate rather a lot of it just to make sure… 😛

  10. Martin @ The Why Chef
    December 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm (10 months ago)

    Kudos on the pastry work there! I’m not a vegetarian, but if veggie pastry can achieve that then I’m going to give it a try! Cheers!

    • hannahhossack
      December 22, 2015 at 5:09 pm (10 months ago)

      Thanks Martin! I was slightly dubious about the pastry before I tried it as it’s a slightly strange technique but it worked perfectly 🙂

  11. CrumblesAndKale
    January 4, 2016 at 9:28 am (10 months ago)

    omg, this looks fabulous! looks awesome and I’m sure it will be a great treat for vegetarians, I always struggle with coming up with recipes that isn’t boring, thank you for this idea 🙂

    • hannahhossack
      January 6, 2016 at 1:13 pm (10 months ago)

      Thank you! This pie is exactly the kind of thing I like to have for the vegetarian option for Christmas dinner, there’s no chance of the vegetarians feeling left out if they’ve got this to eat! 🙂

  12. janet @ the taste space
    January 5, 2016 at 1:46 pm (10 months ago)

    Wow, Hannah. This is simply gorgeous. I couldn’t imagine people not wanting to eat this over the holidays. What a show stopper.

    • hannahhossack
      January 6, 2016 at 1:05 pm (10 months ago)

      Thanks Janet 🙂 It is a very impressive looking pie! Really worth the effort to make it

  13. Helen at Casa Costello
    January 6, 2016 at 7:56 pm (10 months ago)

    I’ve never tried a Nut Roast – The ones I always see pictured don’t tend to look very appealing but this is something else! Thanks so much for all your input into #Bakeoftheweek – really appreciate it. x

  14. Edna husband
    February 7, 2016 at 2:44 pm (9 months ago)



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