Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Wilted kale and chickpea pies

So here in a different guise are the tomatoes and kale that I picked up at the farmers market. Here they are transformed into compact, portable 'kale and chickpea pies'
I've been making hot water crust pastry for years now with various vegetarian: mosaic carrot and green bean pie, spinach and feta pies and vegan fillings: carrot and Brussels sprouts pie and basil - cauliflower pies. This time, I thought I'd pay a little more attention to the presentation of the outer shell too. As my previous efforts, although I love them and been rather proud of the way they've turned out, I have to admit they have been rather rustic. This time, the outer casing of the pies are rather elegant. Just look at those curves from the fluted tins. Groovy.

For individual pies, I actually found these pies rather big for me to eat in one go. I ate half and came back to the other much later, whereas D seemed to have performed some kind of magic disappearing act of the pie. One minute it was there on the plate, the next it was gone.
Although I have put an optional glaze suggestion in the recipe. I have to admit I did not glaze any of my pies and they tasted just fine. The only thing I would definitely do a little different is add a tomato to the filling, as the filling, namely the chickpeas were a little dry and would have benefited from a little moisture. Hence the reason I served it with a quick home-made tomato relish (above). But other than that it was really good. One to keep in mind for a day trip or a picnic.
Kale and Chickpea pie
Makes 4
For the filling
1 x 400g tin, cooked chickpeas, drained and set aside
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 fat cloves of garlic, sliced
3 large handfuls kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a wide pan and cook the onion until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and kale and cook until the kale has wilted and the garlic soft. Add the chickpeas, optional: chopped tomato, seasoning to taste and a splash of water and cook a little further until well combined. Gently with a masher, press down some of the chickpeas. Set aside to cool. Note: If you don't mash the chickpeas, you will find when you bite into the pie or cut into it, some of the chickpeas will come skating out. Mashing them a little will encourage them to stick together.
For the hot water crust pastry
To line 4 tins x 5 inch by 1 1/2 inch deep or slightly smaller
350g plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
100g solid vegetable fat, chopped (I use Trex)
100ml water
Olive oil or beaten egg to glaze (optional)
Mix together the dry ingredients.
Melt the fat in the water and heat until about to boil.
Add the liquid to the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough is formed.
Now you have to work very quickly, as the dough will get cold and be tough to work with.
Divide the dough in four. With one quarter roll out the dough quickly and line the tin, pressing down so that it is snug to the tin and in its grooves. Then fill the tin with quarter of the cooled filling. Press gently down with a spoon. Cut of excess dough around the tin and roll out again so that it fits the top of the pie filling as a lid. It will overlap, just cut off the excess with a knife to make it look presentable. Place the lid over the filling, then gently press or pinch into the side of the pie so it seals or with a fork. Repeat with the remaining three.
Optional: Brush with egg wash or oil and make a small steam hole in each pie.
Bake in preheated oven Gas mark 6 for 25 to 35 minutes till golden. Serve warm or cold.
Original Hot water crust recipe can be found here.
Updated: 13/09/2011: A variation of these pies was made by Vintage Mom, please follow this link.


  1. i can't wait for this sweltering summer to be over so I can use my oven again!all your foods look divine!

  2. They look good. I have a thing for pies at the moment, especially ones cooked in those same little pie tins...they just look pretty! I haven't used vegetable fat before- will have to look out for it.

  3. love the idea of "portable" pies just the right size to hold :)

  4. You and your kale pies. You go girl! Packed with nutrition!

  5. Those pies are just lovely! You wouldn't find anything nicer in the finest shop. I am rather intimidated by pastry, but am anxious to give your recipe a go.

  6. Like this pie....i usually make cold butter pastry/pie crust but got lot of veg. shortening to use so I guess next time I'll try this version. thanks for sharing.

  7. Kale and Chickpeas, good combo.

    Thank you so much for the research Mango, i put my comment here so that you can find it. I used Derris Dust but only a little, and on seedlings... but here gardeners use kilos...and Parkinson disease does look scary ... the fact is that many 'keen' gardeners (i.e. the perfectionists in the 'aesthetics' use tons of it (and of everything else, organic or not).

    Even organic products should be used with discretion, I think, and with so little organic insect repellents around i feel ... sad! In the Bush I share the garden with billions of insect and other animals, it is not the ideal place to plant veggies, but it is the only place i have...I may ask my husband, who is back in NZ, to stock up with Derris dust for the future...

  8. This looks great. Love the idea of making any veggies into a portable pie. Have been following your blog for ages but been lazy about leaving comments. Really enjoyed your tales from the Highlands. Although a Glaswegian, I used to live and work up there and really loved it.

  9. Those pies are cunning, Mango. A great way to use your kale. I bet the tomatoes would have been good in the filling. I will have to remember this recipe for our next picnic. Thanks for sharing.

  10. These look delicious! I love the decorative edges on the pies. I must get a set of those small tart pans.

  11. Thank you Darlene.
    Its supposed to be summer here, but no sign of it sweltering, so the oven has been on and off.

    Thank you cityhippyfarmgirl.
    I came to liking pies much later, there were only meat variations around which I would never touch when i was young!
    Please do try this version too.

    Thank you soooo much Jacklyn.

    Thank you Ali of YumVeggieBurger.
    They are def good to take out with you if your travelling or working :)

    Thank you Carissa.
    Packed not only with nutrition, but flavour and substance too!

  12. Thank you so much Lexa.
    You know your right. You wouldn't find these pies at any of the bakers here.

    Please don't be intimidated by pastry. I was too at the start, but with more experimentation have become more confident. Please do give it a go.

    Thank you Spice.
    I make shortcrust pastry with butter too, but this hot water crust one with vegetable fat.
    Please do give this go a version, its tastes just as good.

    Thank you Alessandra.
    Happy to read your comment about the Derris dust here or anywhere else.

    Thank you for sharing more of your insight into this product. I haven't been to the garden centre for a while, but when I do, I will check out and see if they are still stocking up on it and what the response is for the U.K.

    I think its a good job that there are people like us, who are not concerned about the aesthetics of the vegetables, but more the flavour.

    I totally agree that even organic products should also be used with discretion. Other than the slug pellets, I don't think I've used anything else.

    By the way How is your new cookbook getting on?!

  13. Hi Lou,
    Its been a while since i've heard from you. Do hope your well. Don't worry about posting comments, though i do appreciate this one as I had been thinking of you whilst reading my blogroll.

    So delighted to read that you enjoyed my little Highland adventures. I was in Anstruther, Fife early this week for work too. I will be posting that either today or later in the week. It was one of the reasons I made pies to take with me.

    Thank you so much Barbara GF.
    Yeah the tomatoes would have def. added another dimenstion to the pies, plus moistness. Still they were good.

    Thank you soooo much Sally.
    I am thinking of getting another two myself. I am not a girl for shoes, but kitchen things and I'm there.

  14. Oooh lovely...im stocking up on chickpeas tomorrow to have a go at these. Ive got a feeling my other half will perfect the same disappearing trick as yours!

  15. Thank you freerangegirl.
    I hope that you both enjoy.

  16. Hi Mango! Awesome recipe again! THese little pies are tooooo cute!

  17. I LOVE the combination of greens and chickpeas. If you can ever get your hands on indian spices, pick up some hing and add that to the mix, along with some toasted fennel and cumin seeds, and maybe a little tomato. One of my most favorite meals, and I bet it would be even better wrapped in delicious pastry.

  18. Thank you Morgan. Way to pretty to eat, but they had to be ravaged.

    Thanks Monica.
    Yes, I agree the addition of spices and tomato would have brought the pie to another new level.

  19. I am loving your pie series the last few days. I am going to try them in a muffin tin like you did first, but I officially have the mini tart pans on my amazon wish list, because those pies are too darn cute.

    One question, it looks like you also poked a steam hole in the bottom crust in that photo there, is that right? Want to make sure they turn out at fantastic as yours!

  20. Its so lovely to hear from you Sarah.

    Please do have a go in the muffin tin first as you'll get used to the texture of the warm pastry, then go onto the mini tins.

    I hope the mini tins ar soon ticked off your Wish List. They do certainly make the pies look more appealing.

    I have made a steam hole in all of the pies, (see cooking instructions by Optional egg wash and oil) but whilst cooking they do tend to shrink. I do hope you enjoy them. I got one more pie to post this weekend and then that will be me with my pies for a little while.

  21. I made this for dinner tonight and we loved it. I must admit to adding just a bit of feta and a few sliced black olives but I think the recipe would have been just as good as written. I did have a slight problem with the pastry, mangocheeks, but then I have never made raised crust before. I found I had to add quite a bit more water before the dough would come together but I wonder if it is the type of flour - unbleached all purpose flour (Robin Hood brand)? Anyway, I am very keen to make other of your pie recipes and look forward to more pastry practise! Thank you for another great recipe.

  22. Thanks Judith.
    I think adding both feta and sliced black olives was a good call, as I do recall this recipe being a tad dry.

    It does take a little practice to perfect the pastry. I have to admit, I don't know of the brand of flour you used. I normally use ordinary plain four, and have never had to use additional water. So it could just have been to do with the flour type, hopefully next time it will be a bit easier, but regardless sounds like your pies turned out grand!

    I have to say Thank you to you too for making these recipes, it does give me a happy boost.

    Kindest of wishes.


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