In preparation for last week’s dinner party I had bought two 300g packets of ready-rolled JusRol pastry, because the recipe needed 500g. (Incidentally, there are three reasons that I buy ready-rolled pastry: 1 I do not have a rolling pin, or much counter space for rolling. 2 JusRol pastry is vegan, and vegan fat is tricky to work with. 3 I am lazy.) I should have remembered that the last time I bought two packets of JusRol pastry for a 500g recipe, I only ended up using one of the packets – presumably because machines can roll pastry thinner than people bother with, which should be number 4 on my list – but I did not remember that so I bought two.
And therefore I had a packet left over! I also had half a red bell pepper and a whole sweet red pepper, so I googled “vegan red pepper pie” and came across this recipe which looked delicious and didn’t need any ingredients I didn’t already have, except parsley because I hate parsley. Ugh. Anyway. Since I already had the pastry, and I’d actually remembered to take it out of the fridge in advance of wanting to use it so that it would unroll neatly, I set to work.
People, it was delicious. Obviously I didn’t follow the recipe precisely, because I have a genetic inability to follow recipes precisely, but it was pretty close. I didn’t chop the pepper as finely as suggested, which on reflection might have been a good idea as it would have been more evenly distributed. I did try blending the bigger chunks with a stick blender after I’d mixed the whole lot together and decided I wished I’d chopped the pepper more, but it was a messy splattery business with no discernible effect on the size of the pepper but a ruinous effect on the texture of the lentils so I stopped. I used a red onion instead of a white one, because the red onions were older, and as mentioned I didn’t use parsley because parsley, ugh. In fact I didn’t use any seasonings at all. A bit of black pepper and possibly a pinch of salt might have been nice but it wasn’t necessary.
It wasn’t until the pie was basically cooked that I remembered my intention to cook some vegetables as a side, so I turned the oven right down to keep it warm without burning and hastily chopped some potatoes, broccoli and savoy cabbage (I’m currently awash with savoy cabbage – I still had half of last week’s left when this week’s box arrived with another one). Fortunately this is a pie which does not mind being kept warm for twenty minutes, so the end result was a delicious, well-balanced and very colourful meal. And I have at least another three portions of pie to go!
The only thing I was disappointed by was the fact that the filling didn’t set as much as I’d hoped and that made it hard to cut a beautiful slice without it blobbing everywhere. It would have helped if I had a triangular pie slice instead of a square one. The recipe says to bake until the filling is very firm, but if I had left it much longer the pastry would have burnt.