Here in Melbourne, now is the perfect time to preheat the oven and bake some pastry! And if you're seeking some inspiration, we can happily recommend the newly released Wrapped in Pastry by Leigh Drew. This time last year I acted as a recipe tester for this book (including team-testing a number of recipes with K), and I was lucky to receive my copy of Wrapped in Pastry as a thank-you gift from Leigh.
Inside are 18 fillings, sweet and savoury, as well as several start-from-scratch shortcrust recipes. Everything is totally vegan, and there are gluten-free and soy-free options on every. single. recipe. Here's some we prepared earlier!
This tartlet is filled with a tangy bean pate and topped with caramelised onions.
The Aussie picnic pie is pure theatre, filled with legume-based "egg whites" and "yolks" and marinated vege "bacon".
Michael's favourite was the Pate En Croute - there are no photos for you here since I accidentally filled this inside out and it burst a seam, but the loaf of lentil pate and mushroom mousse is photographed in all its refined glory in the book. Don't even try to resist it.
My recommendation is the peanut caramel blueberry pie, an oddball match made in heaven. The great news is that Leigh has released this recipe to promote the book. Try it for yourself to get a taste of what this book's about! On the savoury side, Leigh has also released her recipe for party sausage rolls - we haven't tried it out yet and can't help wondering whether it rivals our own recipe. (Please report back if you ever play them off!)
Not only do these recipes suit a variety of specialised diets; Leigh has also gone to some effort to focus on ingredients that are widely available and not excessively processed - while a little bit of nooch and black salt sneak in, there's no call for mock meat or fake cream cheese. Instead these pies and tarts are bursting with fruits, vegetables and nuts.
My one warning is that the recipes are rather involved, most requiring hours some even days from start to finish. They're not weeknight material for most of us but they're the stuff of some lovely winter evenings, working and waiting by a warm oven.
Look out for Wrapped in Pastry at your local bookshop, or order it online from aduki. I received my copy of this cookbook in exchange for recipe testing and am under no obligation to review it, favourably or at all - I just want to promote an Aussie veg*n cookbook and the deliciousness of pastry!