I love everything pastry and pies! So this challenge was not only very exciting but the end product was delicious and made a very nice dinner (and leftover for lunch)!
It is something that I will surely make again and again!
Recipe source : Good Food online
I used a loaf tin. And as I wanted to get clean slices, I layered the ingredients with a mixture of pureed tofu and soymilk so that everything will hold together nicely.
I made the shortcrust pastry myself. I made it by hand and then used a hand mixer (with the spiral hook; it’s the smaller swirly one that usually comes with hand mixers) to form the dough. For shortcrust pastry to always turn out nice, using metric measurements is best; it is much more accurate (especially in this case).
Tofu en Croute
Ingredients (for 1 loaf tin, 6 servings)
For the shortcrust pastry
(no cup measurement for this; it’s difficult to measure cold margarine by the cup!)
500g plain flour
220g vegan margarine/butter (as cold as possible)
14 tablespoons water (this may vary depending on how firm/soft the margarine is and also maybe on room temperature)
- Cut margarine into small pieces.
- In a big bowl add flour and margarine pieces.
- Cut through margarine pieces in the flour to make them smaller while mixing with the flour.
- Rub in the margarine into the flour using the tip of the fingers to make the lumps of margarine as small as possible. Try not to overwork the dough.
- Lift the flour while rubbing in (to incorporate air into the mixture) until it ressembles fine bread crumbs.
- Start mixing with a hand mixer (with spiral hook) while adding a few tablespoons of water.
- Check to see if dough is holding together and soft (but not sticky).
- Test by pressing with the hands. Knead only 2-3 times.
- Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight. (Can also be frozen for later use).
I found this video (provided in the challenge post) very helpful: Making shortcrust pastry
For the filling
4 portobello mushrooms (250g)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon margarine
Salt to taste
- Heat margarine in a non-stick pan. Add garlic and mushrooms. Add salt.
- Sautee until mushrooms are soft. Remove from heat. Set aside.
- There will be quite some liquid coming out. Either discard the liquid (or use as part of the marinade for the tofu).
1½ block (375g) firm tofu
½ teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
½ teaspoon turmeric
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil for shallow frying
- Cut tofu into large slices (to fit in the width of the tin).
- Mix all the remaining ingredients (except oil) together in a bowl.
- Dip each piece of tofu in the marinade. (Or you can leave them to marinade for a little while if you like).
- Shallow fry in the oil until golden and slightly crispy.
The green stuff:
150g watercress, spinach and rocket
¾ block (approx. 190g) firm tofu
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt
- Mix all ingredients in a blender. (I used a hand blender and it was fine). Set aside.
The tofu puree:
¾ block (approx. 190g) firm tofu
100ml soy milk
½ onion (or 1 shallot) chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
- Mix all ingredients in a blender. Set aside.
Rolling and Arranging:
- Separate the dough into two, one-quarter and three-quarter.
- Roll the bigger dough out the size of the baking tin (accounting for the sides, of course, and little surplus.
(This video, provided in the challenge, is a good one: Rolling out pastry)
- Roll out the smaller dough for the top.
- Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
- Line the tin with some greaseproof paper. (This makes removal easier).
- Place the dough inside the tin. Shape the corners by pressing lightly with a little ball of dough.
- Top with a layer of pureed tofu.
- Then add another layer of tofu.
- And a layer of puree.
- A layer of mushrooms, then the tofu puree again.
- Finally pour in the green puree.
- Cover with dough. Close the edges properly.
- Make 3 clean cuts through the dough (to allow steam to escape).
- Bake for 1 hour. Pastry should be golden and dry. Check by inserting a skewer in the middle. It won’t be super dry because of the moist ingredients inside but it should be fairly clean.
- Allow to cool for a while then remove from tin by pulling the greaseproof paper and lifting. Slice using a serrated knife (preferably).
The flower decoration:
The flowers I placed on top were coloured using beetroot juice (because food colour usually freaks me out! So, I try to avoid them). Instead of using water, I used beetroot juice to form the flour mixture into dough. But you only need a little bit of the flour mixture and a tablespoon or so of the beetroot juice.
I just cut out small circles that I arranged into flowers.
I braided leftover dough pieces and placed them around the edges of the loaf.