There is always something appealing about individual pies. These are filled with vegetables in a parsley sauce and topped with a light shortcrust pastry flavoured with tasty Cheddar and fresh chives.
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175g plain flour
85g sunflower or soya spread suitable for baking, chilled and diced
25g mature Cheddar cheese, finely grated
2 tbsp snipped fresh chives
600ml vegetable stock
200g broccoli florets
1 leek, sliced
200g shelled broad beans
(fresh or frozen)
125g shelled peas (fresh or frozen)
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tsp cornflour
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Method Prep:40min › Cook:25min › Ready in:1hr5min
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. To make the pastry, place the flour in a bowl and rub in the spread with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the cheese and chives, then add 2–3 tbsp cold water to bind the mixture to a soft, not sticky, dough. Wrap in cling film and chill, while you make the filling.
Heat the stock in a large pan until boiling, then add the broccoli, leek, beans and peas. Bring back to the boil, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the vegetables, reserving 300ml of the stock.
Place the vegetables with the tomatoes in 4 x 350ml individual ovenproof pie dishes. Mix the cornflour with 1 tbsp cold water and stir in the reserved stock. Pour into the pan and stir over a moderate heat until thickened and smooth. Add the parsley and season to taste. Pour over the vegetables.
Roll out the pastry and use to cover the pie dishes, sealing with a little water on the rims. Cut a small steam vent in each pastry lid with the point of a knife. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes until the pastry is firm and golden brown. Serve hot.
Use any selection of fresh, seasonal vegetables. Tomatoes add a splash of colour, but you could use sweetcorn or diced red pepper instead. * For meat-eaters, add 4–6 diced rashers of lean bacon to the filling.