Saturday 5 August 2023

Baking with Plant Milk - Homity Pie

My daughter, Miss M baking with me when she was 4 years old

{This is a collaborative post}

The Importance of Baking

I'll be honest when my kids were small there was nothing I loved more than baking with them, as it was engaging, fun, and also presented a fabulous learning opportunity. You can include maths, science, reading, and all the core subjects when you cook or bake together. 

I had a few go-to recipes that I would follow with the children. Of course, we did classics to start, like crispie cakes, refrigerator biscuits, and cupcakes. It become more fun when they were a little older and a bit more skilled and then we moved on to things like cheese and bacon flan or banana and chocolate chip bread. This former recipe is still being made in our house at least once a month as it has established itself as a staple, with a recipe that I tweaked to perfection. 

It didn't start out as my recipe though, it was one I had baked with my own mum when I was young. We were often baking as my dad was a milkman when I was a child and he would bring a couple of his milkman friends home most days for a cuppa once they finished their rounds. Cake or biscuits were a must-have alongside your cuppa.

I was interested to see recently how much has changed in the milk delivery business. When I was a child and would sometimes help dad out on his round we had about 5 different coloured tops of milk to deliver and now there are dozens, as you have all the plant milk alternatives, as well as organic, free-range, and sterilised dairy milk. 

Baking with Plant-Based Milk

Plant-based milk has become really popular in recent years as more and more people are seeking healthier alternatives in their lives. Health benefits such as plant-based milk having lower saturated fat and cholesterol levels, as well as the lack of lactose, which poses such issues for some people, make them a good choice. It can make a great alternative to dairy milk in baking too.

There are so many great recipes out there for recipes to bake with plant-based milk. The Modern Milkman has a few goodies, especially the oat drink blueberry muffins which are light and delicious and you get that fabulous burst of fruit as you bite into them. or why not look on BBC Good Food, that is my go-to site for recipes that work and these easy protein pancakes are a real winner every time I make them.

Why not try baking this tasty Vegetarian Homity Pie?

The Homity pie is a really simple supper that you can eat alone or have with salad or veggies for some extra goodness. I first discovered this pie by visiting the famous original veggie restaurant Cranks, but it is said to date back to WWII.

Here's what you need for the pastry -

  • 125g wholemeal flour
  • 125g plain flour
  • 150g block butter (or vegan alternative)
  • A little plant-based milk
  • Pinch of salt

For the filling -

  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 4 medium onions (and/ or leeks if you fancy)
  • Oil for frying
  • 100g frozen garden peas
  • 200ml plant-based milk (or vegan cream)
  • 3 eggs (or egg alternative)
  • 2 teaspoons of dijon mustard
  • 150g grated hard cheese 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Method

  1. Make the pastry, by putting both flours and salt in a large bowl. Chop up the cold butter into cubes and add it to the flour, rubbing with your fingertips to make a breadcrumb-like consistency.
  2. Add a little plant milk at a time and mix, to bring the dough together. Do this slowly as you want it formed but not sticky.
  3. You need to bake the pastry blind for 20 minutes at 180 degrees, so cover it in greaseproof paper and put something like beans, lentils, or rice inside to hold the paper down (then you can keep them to use again and again).
  4. While the pastry is baking, peel your potatoes and chop them into 1cm cubes and peel and chop your onions.
  5. Par boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes
  6. Saute the onions until they are translucent and tender, I like them with an extra bit of flavour and allow them to caramelise a bit. 
  7. Layer the onions into the par-cooked pastry case and then add some frozen peas and the cubed potatoes.
  8. Mix the plant milk, 3 eggs, and 3/4 of the grated cheese up together.  Then pour this all over the potato, onion, and pea mixture. Letting it drip right through.  
  9. Sprinkle some more cheese on the top before you bake in the oven at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes.  You can leave it a little longer if you like a more browned and crispy top!
Then enjoy! It is a truly delicious meal and no one will miss the meat or dairy if you choose to make the vegan version. It is so hearty and divine. 

Do share with me your favourite plant milk recipes in the comment.