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Friday, 19 December 2008

Ratatouille Christmas Tree Pie

Ratatouille in a pie! And it was delicious! They tasted very homemade and comforting. The good thing about ratatouille is that you can use any vegetables that are in season and it actually tastes better the next day. So you can make it ahead of time. I actually used what I had on hand, cauliflower, green peppers and I added some chickpeas.

Maybe you’re not going to serve this for Christmas but I think it can make a good brunch, no special occasion needed.

For this braided Christmas Tree Pie, I was inspired by one of the Daring Bakers Challenge where the participants had to do a Danish Braid. I don’t participate in Daring Bakers (yet!), but I remembered being really impressed by some of the participants work and especially Marika’s braid (from Madcap Cupcake). I had bookmark this to try one day.

Instead of puff pastry though, I just used the same pastry dough from the 3am Curry Pies.

Ingredients (5 large pies)
3 cups cauliflower florets (broken or cut into small pieces)
1 small green pepper (capsicum), diced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup boiled chickpeas
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ can tomatoes, finely chopped (or use tomato puree if you prefer)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or olive oil)
Salt to taste
Soymilk with a pinch of turmeric (optional) for glazing

  • Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a deep fry pan or wok.
  • Add onions and garlic. Stir and let fry for a few minutes.
  • Add cauliflower. Stir and cook until starting to brown lightly but not mushy.
  • Add tomatoes and chickpeas. Stir and mix well.
  • Cook uncovered (adding water occasionally as required) until cauliflower is almost tender (but again not mushy).
  • Sprinkle the dried thyme in.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Lastly stir in the peppers and mix well. Remove immediately from the heat.
  • The heat from the sauce will cook the peppers slightly. (They will cook more while being baked and there’s nothing worse than soggy peppers in a pie!)
  • Allow to cool completely before filling in.

  • Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Using the pastry dough from here, divide in 5.
  • Roll each one out on a floured board and brush with some oil.
  • Sprinkle with some dried thyme.
  • Fold in 3 lengthwise and again in 3 across the width to make a square. Roll out again into a square approximately 15 x 15 cm (6 x 6 inches).

  • Fold 2 opposite sides towards the centre to create a rough mark on the dough.


    Fold sides back. Make cuts (about 1cm wide) perpendicular to the mark.

  • Cut the bottom like in the picture to form the tree trunk.

  • Photobucket

    • Place some filling in the middle on the dough; don’t put too much filling on the stem part.


    • Begin closing by folding over the strips and alternating from the top.


    • Fold over the bottom to close and form the trunk. (Press on either side to enclose).


    • Place on a greased baking tray. Brush with soymilk (I added a pinch of turmeric in the soymilk to obtain a nice golden colour).

    • Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until pastry is a nice golden colour.
    • Remove and let cool slightly before serving.

    People who have made this:
    Becks from I am not a rabbit! - Her trees were so cool!
    DJ Karma from VegSpinz who made a variation with puff pastry
    Vegan4One - Tourtière Tannenbaums
    Sin salir de mi concina
    Cooking with Siri
    Vie de la Vegan


    1. Those are, truly, a work of art! And I bet they didn't taste half bad, either! ;) YUM!

    2. That is genius! And beautiful! I totally love it!
      Why has it taken me so long to find your awesome blog???

    3. hello LovlieButterfly!
      thanks for your comment on me blog! :)
      yes, I did make it meself! :D

    4. GORGEOUS!!! And YUM!!!

    5. Again, beautiful! You are so creative! You need to make a cookbook. Martha Stewart style vegan delights! :)

    6. how festive & awesome! i love these! i am a big ratatouille - and i looooove pastry, too! yay! thanks for the recipe & instructions, Lovlie! ;)

    7. Another genius creation! Looks delicious AND festive - my two favorite things!

    8. What a great idea, and such a beautiful presentation, too!

    9. So beautiful! I love it.

    10. Great idea! I just happen to have made a HUGE batch of ratatouille with the last of all my garden veggies, and still have some in the freezer looking for a use. Now I have a quick way to make something fancy and festive out of it :-)

    11. Wow - very clever and very cute!

    12. Those are beautiful!! I wish I had the patience to make things like this :)

    13. impressive! and thanks for the step by step instruction! I love it.

    14. How pretty! What a creative idea. It looks wonderful and I bet it tastes even better. Yum!

    15. Mmm I love ratatouille! And your trees are adorable!

    16. It is crazy how talented you are. Wow!

    17. Beautiful!And looks delicious too!

    18. So pretty! And tasty too! And btw, I love the blog layout...

    19. tooo yuummmyyy!!
      i wonder when i'll be able to make such lovely dishes :)

    20. Lauren, I think there's a long way for me to go before I can reach Martha Stewart's level!

      DJ, thanks for commenting about the blog layout. But then sometimes I wish blogger would provide more customizable ones though.

      And thanks to all of you for all the nice comments!

    21. OMG!! I am SO adding these Christmas tree pies to my list of awesome vegan Christmas goodies! Wow, they are beautiful!

    22. Those are, without a doubt, the cutest savory pies I have ever seen!

    23. i just made these- AMAZING. my dad even stole half of my grandma's.

    24. Taylor, that's really funny! I'm glad you liked it though! :)

    25. Those are lovely!!!
      I know Christmas is over but I'm going to have to try them :)


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