This millet pie is a plant based version of the French-Canadian classic named "tourtière" (or meat pie). This recipe originally comes from a friend of the family. I've been cooking it for a few years already and haven't changed a single thing since it's so good and festive. It's made of millet, a gluten-free pseudo-grain, and oats. This year, I added potatoes (I am a potato addict, remember?) and chestnuts. Yum! If you want, you can substitute the chestnuts with chopped chickpeas (for a more complete dish) or chopped walnuts (for a crunchy twist). Or you can stick to the simple version, using only oats and millet. I've tried every version and they are all delicious.
I served my millet pie with this incredible cranberry-chia-apple chutney.
It's sweet, sour, gingery...
And crunchy! Because of the pomegranate seeds I decided to add at the last minute. Again, if you prefer your chutney with a soft texture, it will turn out as great by only using apples and cranberries. It's a matter of taste!
What about the crust ? Do you have a favorite healthy pie crust recipe ? I now do!
This year I tried a new vegan gluten-free crust. Like I already explained here, I'm not a huge fan of gluten-free pastry and baking (I'm usually disappointed by the taste and/or texture), so I normally try to go with a nut or oat crust instead. But this pie really needed a "real" crust. I normally try to avoid recipes made of potato starch and white rice (since they are refined and not interesting as a nutritional point of view) so I "veganized" a recipe containing healthier flours (millet, brown rice and sorghum flours). Hey, I'm definitely going to keep this one in mind! Look at these cute mini pies! The crust is perfect for any sweet or salty pie. It's golden, flaky and not breakable (extra point here!). It's also tender, buttery and easy to move to the pan.
Here are my tips for a perfect "flaky" gluten-free (and vegan!) crust :
- Make sure your vegan butter is kept very cold in the whole process of working the dough. For that, you need to :
- Freeze your vegan butter (I use soy-free Earth Balance) 30 minutes before using it. Vegan butters tend to be softer than regular butter.
- Use ice cold water. By ice I mean add some ICE in your water.
- Be careful not to "overwork" the dough. You want to leave big chunks of vegan butter (that's what gives the flakiness to the crust).
- Before rolling the dough, divide it into the number of crust you want to make. That way, you won't roll it too much and the vegan butter won't melt too fast.
- Roll the dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap (or parchment paper). Then just transfer the dough onto the pie mold. The dough will less be likely to crumble and brake. If it does happen, DO NOT panic! This dough is super easy to repair. Just place a little bit of dough into the cracks and press with your fingers. Voilà!
As you can see in the pictures, I also cooked another millet pie with organic whole wheat pie shells I bought at Whole Foods Market (the brand is Wholly Wholesome). This crust was surprisingly good too!
Millet pie + cranberry-chia-apple chutney
This millet, chestnut and mushroom pie is comforting, festive and hearty. The sweet and sour chutney is divine and is the perfect sauce for this pie.
Yield : 2 regular pies (or 8 mini pies)
Ingredients for the millet filling :
1 cup organic millet
1 cup rolled oats (gluten-free if you're avoiding gluten)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup gluten-free Tamari (or soy sauce)
1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dry basil
3 tablespoons dry parsley
2 teaspoons dry thyme
2 teaspoons all spices
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1-1.5 cups vegetable broth
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon grounded flax seeds + 3 tablespoons water)
Optional add-ins :
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 cups cooked potatoes, diced into 1 cm cubes
1 1/2 cup (around 300g) roasted chestnuts, finely chopped
Ingredients for the gluten-free crust :
Makes : 2 crusts (1 pie with a top crust) - DOUBLE THIS RECIPE FOR 2 MILLET PIES
2/3 cup sorghum flour
2/3 cup millet flour
2/3 cup tapioca starch
2/3 cup brown rice flour
1 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup cold vegan butter (Earth Balance) - freeze 30 minutes before using it
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/3-1/2 cup ice cold water
Ingredients for the chutney :
2 cups apple, chopped into 1 cm cubes
2 cups organic cranberries
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon (or 2 cinnamon sticks)
1 teaspoon grounded cloves
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)
For the crust :
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, xanthan gum, and salt.
- Add the vegan butter. Use a pastry cutter or knives to cut the butter until it looks like crumbs (approximately the size of a grain of rice). You can leave some larger chunks.
- Add the apple cider vinegar.
- Add in the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time!!! Mix gently with a fork until it easily comes together into a dough. If you need to work the dough with your hands, you should do it as little as possible.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. You can also freeze it if you want and use it later.
- Roll the dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper until thin (about 1/8 inch).
- Remove the top plastic wrap and transfer the dough to your 9 inch pie mold. Flip it over into the mold.
- Note : If you want to pre-bake without the filling: bake for about 20-30 minutes at 375F or until golden brown (prick the bottom with a fork before).
For the millet pie filling :
- Preheat the oven at 375F.
- Cook the millet as indicated on the package (I use a ratio of 1 millet : 1.5 water and cook it for 20 minutes). Set aside.
- In a large pan, cook the onions in olive oil at medium heat for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add the mushrooms (and chestnuts if you like) and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
- Pour in the rolled oats, cooked millet, tamari, nutritional yeast, spices and flax egg. Stir well. Add in 1.5-2 cups of vegetable broth. If you want to add cooked potatoes, pour into the pan at that point. Mix well to combine. Correct the seasonings to fit your taste. Has I said, if you used chestnuts and potatoes, you may have to use a bit more broth and seasonings.
- Pour in the mixture into the pie crusts. Top the pie with another crust and press the sides.
- To golden the crust : "wash" the pies with almond milk or melted vegan butter.
- At that point, you can set aside in the fridge or even freeze the pies.
- Cook for about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
For the chutney :
- In a small saucepan, cook the onions at medium heat until soft in olive oil (about 5 minutes).
- Add the other ingredients and whisk.
- Cook for about 15 minutes and set aside in the fridge.
Enjoy with family or friends! Happy Holidays everyone!