In my house, meat is a bit of a contentious topic. I love to make and eat vegetarian and vegan food; my other half, on the other hand, will be upset if the meal doesn’t feature a large hunk of animal flesh. My man is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. I mean, he’ll eat almost anything I put in front of him, but his heart lies with meals like steak, pulled pork, and bubbling chicken pot pie. It’s easy enough to throw together and I don’t mind making it for dinner every now and then, but I really wanted to be able to join in the flaky, crusty, savoury, oozy pot pie fun… minus the meat. Enter these delicious White Bean and Winter Squash Pot Pies with a flaky spelt flour crust.
This pie filling is incredibly easy and can really be made with whatever you have on hand. It can be made gluten free and/or vegan by using corn starch instead of flour to thicken the almond milk in the filling, and replacing my whole grain spelt pie crust with your favourite gluten free or vegan pie dough.
You’ll notice that I used large amounts of garlic and herbs in the filling; we need to build all that flavour to compensate for the fairly plain cannelini beans. I used unsweetened almond milk, as I avoid dairy, but you can definitely use regular cow’s milk if you prefer! You can also use whatever winter squash you have on hand, or even sweet potato if you have nothing else. I used some leftover butternut squash which worked beautifully with the beans and the rosemary and sage.
White Bean & Winter Squash Pot Pies with Flaky Spelt Crust
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon each rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 cups diced winter squash (butternut, acorn, delicata)
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk
- 2 heaped tablespoons all-purpose flour or corn starch
- 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup butter, frozen for 30 mins
- 6-8 tablespoons cold water
- Optional: beaten egg, for brushing pastry
- First, make the pastry. Whisk together the flour and salt and use a box grater to grate in the frozen butter on top. Combine the butter and flour, using your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour slightly.
- Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, stirring until a loose shaggy dough forms. Turn onto a floured surface and scrape the dough into a rough ball. Pat down to a disc about 1" thick, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
- Preheat the oven to 400F and place 6 ramekins or mini pie plates on a large baking sheet.
- While the pastry is chilling, place a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Saute the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the salt, pepper, herbs, carrot and squash and stir to combine. Add the white wine and stir to scrape up any goodness on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the veggie broth and almond milk and bring to a full boil. Cover and simmer at medium-low heat for 20-25 minutes, until the squash and carrots are soft.
- Put the flour in a small cup and add just enough hot liquid out of the pot to make a pourable liquid. Add it all back into the pot and stir as the sauce thickens. Add the white beans and stir to combine.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out on a floured surface to about 1/4" thickness.
- Divide the filling between the ramekins. Using an extra ramekin or pie plate, cut 6 circles out of the pie dough and place one on each pie, pressing the edges down with a fork.* Pierce the pastry to allow air to escape. If desired, brush with egg wash or more almond milk.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the crust is nicely browned.
*To create a lattice top as pictured, I wove 1/2" strips of pastry together on my counter top, then cut circles out of the woven mat.