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Mushroom, Leek and White Bean Pie


Adapted by Susan---from Vegan Brunch, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

This is the savory pie I brought to the potluck. Since I was cooking for a crowd, I doubled the filling recipe and used a double-pie-crust recipe (see below) in a rectangular (11 3/4 x 7 1/2 x 1 3/4-inch) baking dish. ---Susan


450 g 1 pound cremini mushrooms (I used a combo of shiitake and chanterelles from the Springwater Farm stand at the PSU farmers market)
30 ml2 tablespoons olive oil
710 ml3 cups leeks, thickly sliced crosswise (white and green parts)
3 garlic cloves, chopped (mine were mega cloves)
Heaping teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or less-heaping teaspoon, dried)
Black pepper

240 ml1 cup shelled walnuts
350 ml1 1/2 cup cooked cannellini beans (or one 15-ounce can, rinsed and drained)
1 to 2 tablespoons water
30 ml2 tablespoons cornstarch (I reduced this to 1 tablespoon, because I don’t like the taste of cornstarch)
4 ml3/4 teaspoon salt
A few sprigs of thyme for decoration

1 nine-inch pie crust, store-bought or homemade (see below)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Thinly slice 4 mushrooms and set them aside for decoration. Roughly chop the rest.

Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Sauté the leeks in the oil for about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 7 minutes more, until their moisture has released and they have softened. Add the garlic, thyme, and pepper. Sauté for another minute, then remove from the heat.

Prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork and/or weight it to prevent the bottom from puffing up, and bake it in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven.

Prepare the filling: Pulse the walnuts in a food processor to a fine-crumb texture. Add the cannellini beans and 1 tablespoon of water and process (add another tablespoon of water if necessary to make the mixture smooth). Add the cornstarch and salt. Blend until the cornstarch is no longer visible.

Add the leek mixture to the food processor, but before processing, use a spoon to combine the leek mixture with the walnut-bean mixture. You’re going to be pulsing the mixture to combine but not completely blending it in, so it’s important to pre-mix. Pulse a few times, so that the leeks and mushrooms are still visible, but chopped small.
Spoon the filling into the partially baked crust, and smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Press the reserved mushroom slices into the perimeter of the pie and press a few sprigs of thyme in the center.

Bake for 40 minutes. Allow the pie to cool at least 30 minutes before serving. It’s very good at room temperature, too.

Louise Piper’s Oil Pastry
Makes one 9-inch double-crust pie

This pie crust recipe was a revelation to me when I saw it in the Oregonian on October 2, 2007. Their information came from “Pie,” by Ken Haedrich. Apparently Ms. Piper has been using the recipe for almost 40 years for her pies, which according to the Oregonian are perennial winners at the Iowa State Fair. The crust is very easy to make—the hardest part being rolling it out to size, but I always find the rolling to be the most difficult part of making pies; this recipe is easier and less mysterious than any other I’ve tried. For the savory pie I made for the potluck, I used this recipe to make a single crust in the 11 3/4 x 7 1/2 x 1 3/4-inch baking dish. If you are using a regular 9-inch pie plate, just halve the recipe.* If you want a deep-dish (more than 2 inches high) pie, increase your quantities proportionally. Following is the vegan version (Ms. Piper uses cow’s milk instead of water for hers, but I have no complaints with the water-moistened version. Or you could try a non-dairy milk for the liquid.)

2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup unbleached white flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon salt
(I added 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola oil; a note in the Oregonian says you can substitute olive oil)
1/4 cup cold water or non-dairy milk

Combine the flour, salt and thyme, if using, in a large bowl. Measure the oil and water into the same liquid measuring cup but do not stir. Pour the liquids into the flour and mix briskly to combine. The dough will pull together into a ball.

Divide the dough in half. Roll out each half to 1/8 inch thick between 2 sheets of waxed paper. Use as directed in your recipe. If it calls for baking at a high temperature (400 degrees F, say), consider putting a strip of foil over the rim of the pie to prevent burning as it bakes.

*Because this crust is made with oil, the dough must be used right away. After a day in the refrigerator, the oil will start to separate and seep out.