Ever since my first taste of Stouffer’s version, I’ve loved pot pies. Nearly anything topped with a flaky crust got my attention and I’m no different today. Over the years I’ve made a lot of vegetarian and vegan pot pie recipes, but this one is a stand-out. It has a nice medley of vegetables but it’s the sauce that makes it so delicious. Now, when I made this the first time, I kept to the letter on the crust recipe – but it was a complete disaster. I have no idea what went wrong, but all I knew was that dinner was due and I had four adorable but naked pot pies waiting for their crusts so that they could go in the oven. That’s when it came to me: create a crumble crust just as I would for apple or berry crumble, but use savory ingredients instead. Oh my gosh. It came out so well that I think this will be my standard topping for pot pie from now on. It’s certainly a lot easier and faster to make than a traditional crust. This recipe goes on my list for those acceptable to serve up to my beloved carnivores, mom and dad. It’s that good.
Tofu Potpie with Savory Crumb Topping
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 russet potato, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
2 cups extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into 1/4″ cubes
1/2 cup edamame
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/4 cups gravy (recipe below)
2 cups vegetable broth
2 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
salt & pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp. water
1/4 cup soy milk
8 tbsp. vegan vegetable spread (such as Earth Balance)
4 tbsp. vegetable broth
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup regular oats (or a mix of different rolled grains)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Make the filling:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly oil a 2-quart casserole dish, or divide into four individual dishes as I did.
Cook the potato in boiling water until tender. Drain and set aside.
Heat 1/4 cup vegetable broth in a large skillet. Add the onions, carrots and celery and saute until tender. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a large mixing bowl and add the potatoes and edamame. Stir to combine and set aside while you prepare the gravy.
Make the gravy:
In a small saucepan, combine the broth, soy sauce, thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, whisk in the cornstarch mixture and boil, whisking, until the sauce thickens. Slowly whisk in the milk – don’t let it boil. Adjust the seasonings.
Pour the gravy over the vegetable mixture in the mixing bowl and stir to coat. Pour this mixture into the prepared casserole dish (or dishes) and set aside while you make the crumb topping.
Make the crumb topping:
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the oats, flour, thyme, paprika, salt and black pepper. Pulse until the oats have broken up a little bit. Now add the vegetable shortening and pulse again so that you have big chunks – then add the vegetable broth and pulse a few more times. You won’t have a cohesive dough, just a chunky mixture.
Crumble the topping evenly over the pot pie mixture. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top is brown and the filling is bubbly. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
(Another fantastic, homey recipe from The Vegetarian Meat & Potatoes Cookbook, by Robin Robertson. I used edamame instead of peas, completely omitted any added oil to cook the vegetables and I also created a crumb topping instead of the standard pie crust. See above as to why…)