Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Delicious vegan flan

Yup, you heard me right. Another favourite recipe, this time from Sarah Brown's Vegetarian Cookbook:
Serves 4
Preparation time: 30 minutes. Cooking time: 45 minutes
100g wholewheat flour
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
25g butter
25g solid vegetable fat
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2–3 teaspoon water
2 teaspoon oil
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
175g red lentils
350ml vegetable stock
350g spinach
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

  1. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. Rub the fats in with your fingertips until you have a mixture resembling fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Dissolve the sugar 2 tablespoons of water. Mix in the oil and add this to the flour mixture. Add a little more water if necessary to bind the mixture. The dough should be on the wettish side. Leave to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 or 200°C.
  4. Roll out the dough to line an 18–20cm (7–8 inch) flan dish. Press it in well, prick the base all over and bake for 5 minutes to set it.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan and gently fry the onions and spices for 3–4 minutes.
  6. Add the lentils to the pan together with the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for 10–15 minutes until the lentils turn to a stiff purée.
  7. While the lentils are cooking, wash the spinach, drain it well and gently cook in its own juices in a covered pan for 6–8 minutes until just done. Drain and chop. Mix it into the lentils with the lemon juice and seasoning.
  8. Spread the filling over the prepared flan base. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 25–30 minutes until the pastry is cooked and filling hot. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve hot, warm or cold.

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