Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Vegetable Pot Pies with Sour Cream Crust


You know that famous quote by Aristotle, "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts"? It applies here. But that's not to say that each component of this gorgeous dish isn't utterly delicious on it's own. I could easily eat the vegetable stew with half a loaf a lovely big slice of fresh, buttered bread. And would seriously elbow you out of my way to get to a disc of this ethereally light golden crust... with my apron on, standing next to the oven (not that I know anything about that.) But put these two together, and you've got one knock out Pot Pie (or four as it turns out). I'm telling you, if you sit and watch the rain fall from the warmth of your dining room eating one of these, you'll know what comfort food is.

Vegetable Pot Pies with Sour Cream Crust
slightly adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
makes 4

For the Crust:
250g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon fine table salt
185g cold unsalted butter, diced
90 grams sour cream
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
60 ml ice water
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

For the Filling:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 large stalk celery, finely chopped
Pinch of chilli flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
225- to 285g Silverbeet (Swiss chard) leaves, thinly sliced
2 x 400g cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

For the Sauce:
50 grams butter
25g plain flour
765 ml low salt vegetable stock

Make the Crust:
Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and whiz for 10 seconds to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembled fine breadcrumbs. 

In a small dish, whisk together the sour cream, vinegar, and water, and combine it with the butter-flour mixture. Pulsing just until a craggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a board and bring it together with your hands. Pat it into a flattish ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the fridge for 1 hour.

Make the Filling:
Heat the olive oil over medium- high heat in a large, wide saucepan, and then add onions, carrot, celery, red pepper flakes, and a few pinches of salt, and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are softened and begin to take on color, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute more. Add the greens and cook until wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with the additional salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Transfer all of the cooked vegetables to a bowl, and set aside.

Make the Sauce: 
Wipe out the large saucepan; don’t worry if any bits remain stuck to the bottom. Then melt the butter in the saucepan over medium- low heat. Add the flour, and stir with a whisk until combined. Continue cooking for 2 minutes, stirring the whole time, until it begins to take on a little colour. Whisk in the broth, one ladleful at a time, mixing completely between additions. Once you’ve added one- third of the broth, you can begin to add the rest more quickly, two to three ladlefuls at a time; at this point you can scrape up any bits that were stuck to the bottom.

Once all of the broth is added, stirring the whole time, bring the mixture to a boil and reduce it to a simmer. Cook the sauce until it is thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir the white beans and reserved vegetables into the sauce.

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees C.

Assemble and Cook: 
Divide the filling between four ovenproof 2-cup bowls. (You’ll have about 1 1/2 cups filling in each.) Set the bowls on a baking tray. Divide the dough into four pieces, and roll it out into rounds (not oo thin) that will cover your bowls with an overhang, or about 2cms wider in diameter than your bowls. Whisk the egg wash and brush it lightly around the top rim of your bowls and drape the pastry over each, pressing gently to adhere it. Brush the lids with egg wash, then cut decorative vents (not too big) in each to help steam escape. Bake until crust is lightly bronzed and filling is bubbling, about 30 to 35 minutes.


  1. I'm so cold right now and seeing these little pies has just warmed me up.
    Wish I had one to eat for dinner tonight. But alas, it's spaghetti bolognaise for me.

  2. What a great idea! Will have to try this when it gets colder here again (shouldn't be too long).

  3. My heart be still, I LOVE a veggie pot pie. Bookmarking this for when it's not 2764279737637 degrees in Texas.

  4. Comfort food at it's best. I love Swiss chard and those yummy cannelloni beans. Sour cream in the crust? Oh yea, makes my day.

  5. This looks so lovely. I eat pot pies year round, they are too good to consign just to winter. And I love the addition of swiss chard!

  6. Oh my god, that's simply the yummiest thing ever!!! I love sour cream and in a crust, it's absolutely delicious. Plus with all those veggies...WOW! I gotta do this soon :)

  7. Hey Sara. Your family will really love this, I'm certain. Great for a cozy meal in.

  8. Hey Little Kitchie - This is one of THE BEST veggie pot pies I've had. You're in for a treat when the weather cools down.

  9. Thanks Patty. These little pies will warm the cockles of your heart (When your cockles need warming, that is.)

  10. These look so tasty, especially that flaky golden crust. Comfort in a bowl!

  11. Hey Pink Patisserie. Swiss chard is one of those veggies that I throw in everything I can. It grows like crazy in our garden, year-round. Sometimes I use it in place if spinach. I love it's mineral-y taste. I'm with you too, pot pies are an all-season meal for us.

  12. Hey Gabrielle. You will love these, so they are so good.

  13. @Irina: Thanks for stopping by. That flaky golden crust is the crowning glory for sure.

  14. They look beautiful, especially in our weather, :)

  15. Haha, I have that exact same flour and sour cream in my kitchen right now (so excited, as that means I can - hopefully - accurately replicate your pastry tonight!). Love the look of the gorgeous filling also. Yay for green veg!

  16. You poor thing Sam. I'm glad at least the sight of these warmed you up. Make them on a chilly weekend, when you have a little more time. You wont regret it. And, just for the record, I wouldn't kick a bowlful of spaghetti bolognaise out of bed on a cold, wet night. ;)

  17. Hey Laura. Absolutely YAY for green veg. You'll love this sour cream crust whatever flour and sour cream you have - but it pays to use great quality ingredients.

  18. Thanks Sherryll - perfect for a rainy, cold night... so they're perfect for tonight :)