To give this pot pie a deep, savory flavor, I adapted my favorite umami-packed vegetarian gravy recipe from AllRecipes.com. It contains nutritional yeast, which has a nutty, somewhat cheesy flavor. The crust is adapted from Savvy Vegetarian and uses Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks for a surprisingly buttery flavor and texture. I highly recommend it but feel free to substitute any other favorite pie crust recipe or even ready-made puff pastry.
The recipe may look long and complicated but don't worry, it's really quite easy! The key is to chill the crust ingredients and to chop and prep the filling ingredients before you start cooking. Dicing the vegetables into similar sizes will also ensure even cooking. Frying the tofu gives it a firmer texture and richer flavor but you may omit this step if you wish.
Vegan Tofu and Vegetable Pot Pie
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 stick or 1/2 cup frozen Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
8 ounces super or extra firm tofu
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Russet potato, diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 teaspoon finely chopped sage
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
Salt and pepper
2 (12-ounce) ramekins or other oven-safe dishes
For the Crust (Part 1)
The secret to this crust is chilling the ingredients and tools. Place the flour in a mixing bowl and chill in the freezer while you are preparing the filling. Also place a pastry blender or fork in the freezer.
For the Filling
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Cut tofu into 1/3-inch dice and press between clean kitchen towels or paper towels to rid of excess water.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook tofu until golden on all, or most, sides. Remove tofu from skillet and set aside.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the same skillet. Add onion, celery, carrot, and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent.
Add potato to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until tender but not mushy.
Add flour, nutritional yeast, and soy sauce to the skillet and stir into the vegetables.
Add vegetable broth and stir until combined, scraping all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add tofu, peas, sage, and thyme and stir until combined.
Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
For the Crust (Part 2)
Take the supplies out of the freezer.
Cut the Earth Balance into smaller cubes or slices and add to the flour. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut the mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Then, using your hands, quickly rub the mixture together so that the Earth Balance is absorbed into the flour.
Gradually drizzle ice water into the bowl, mixing with the pastry blender or fork until the dough just comes together.
Quickly shape the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Place on a floured surface a roll out to 1/8 inch thick.
Place the ramekins upside-down over the dough and use a paring knife to cut out circles about 1/2 inch larger on all sides.
Assemble and Bake
Divide the tofu and vegetable mixture between the ramekins.
Place a dough round over each ramekin and tuck the sides under to form a thicker crust around the edge. Press to seal around the edges of the dishes and crimp with a fork. Cut a slit in the middle.
Bake in the oven until golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
Let sit for about 5 minutes before serving.