Nut butter pastry is a revelation!
Have you ever sat eating something in a cafe and wondered just how they managed to get that tart to taste so good? It recently happened to me. Having coffee with my friend Jenni at the Canteen in Nailsworth, we decided to share a savoury sweet potato pie. Oh boy was it good. It had just the right amount of texture, the flavour was spot on. It was smooth, spicy and comforting. But what exactly was in it?
We later managed to quiz the chef more about it. To our astonishment it turned out to be completely vegan. How was that wonderful flavour achieved? It was the cashew nut butter in the pastry combined with the filling of onion, sweet potato and spices topped with toasted nuts. Total comfort food.
Creating the ultimate nut butter pastry
Determined to recreate it, I researched pastries made with nut butter (thank you in particular Steph Clubb). Peanut butter seems quite popular, but there are few pastry recipes with cashew nut butter. Time to try one!
To balance the nut butter I used Trex (solid vegetable fat). I used standard plain white flour. You could also turn this into a gluten free supper with the use of gluten free flour.
My pie is a pretty good re-creation of the one at the Canteen. I guarantee that everyone who tastes this will enjoy it. You can then drop into the conversation that it is vegan (or not!) Or if you’re in Gloucestershire do visit the cafe.
Vegan Nut Butter Tart Recipe
Sweet Potato Nut Butter Tart
- 20 cm round baking tin
- Baking parchment
- Ceramic baking beans
- Rolling pin
- Blender or food processor
- 160 gr plain flour wheat or gluten free
- 50 gr cashew but or other nut butter smooth not chunky
- 40 gr Trex or other solid vegetable fat
- pinch salt
- 15-30 ml water add as needed
- 400 gr sweet potatoes
- 1 large red onion about 200 gr
- 1 clove garlic
- 5 gr cinnamon
- 5 gr allspice
- 20 gr mixed seeds eg a selection of some or all of sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, linseed, chia seed
- 50 ml olive oil for cooking and drizzling you might not need the whole 50 ml
- FillingThis can be prepared well before you assemble the final dish. Peel and slice the sweet potato. Peel the garlic clove. Place in an overproof dish. Sprinkle with the cumin, allspice and cinnamon. Drizzle with the oil. Cover with foil and cook until tender. This will take at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop the onion finely. Heat 2 tbs of oil in a saucepan and cook gently until really soft with a lid on. If it is starting to brown a lot, add some water. This will take at least 10 minutes
- When the sweet potatoes and onion have cooled add to a blender or food processor and mix to a puree. Set aside.
- Whilst the oven is still hot, toast the seeds. Put the seeds into a dish in a single layer and bake for about 7 minutes until golden. Set aside
- PastryFirst make the pastry. Rub the Trex and nut butter into the flour and salt. Add enough water so that you can form a ball. Nut butters do vary, so the amount of water you may need to add will vary too.
- Roll out to fit your 20 cm tin or ring. Gently place in the tin, pushing the pastry into the corners.
- Trim the edges and place in the fridge for at least 10 minutes to firm up
- Preheat your oven to 190°C
- Line the uncooked pastry case with baking parchment. Add ceramic baking beans (or as I do dried beans). Cook the pastry for 10 minutes (blind bake).
- After 10 minutes, take the baking parchment and beans out of the pastry case. Bake for another 5-7 minutes until it is golden brown.
- AssemblyTaste the sweet potato, onion and garlic mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.
- If your oven is not currently on, heat to 190°C
- Fill the pastry case with the sweet potato and onion filling. You may find you have a little more mix than needed. If so, you can serve separately
- Use a fork to make grooves across the top and drizzle with oil.
- Put the pie in the oven to heat through for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the seeds before serving.