Comfort food at its best - vegan pot pie with chicken-style seitan in a creamy cashew sauce. This cozy dinner is a great main course for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or holiday get-togethers. But since it's made with frozen, store-bought pie crusts, there's no need to wait for a special occasion! Enjoy this main course anytime you need something soothing. Makes 1 pot pie.
Aquafaba**liquid from can of chickpeas or olive oil, to use as vegan egg wash on top of pie crust
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Take the frozen pie crusts out of the freezer, and put them on the counter to thaw.
Make the cashew cream. Put the raw cashews into a high speed blender with ½ cup of water. Blend until it is completely smooth, a thick cashew cream. Set aside.
Bring a soup pot to a medium heat with extra virgin olive oil. Saute onion in oil for about 5 minutes, until it has softened slightly and is fragrant. Add garlic, celery, dried rosemary, dried basil, and saute for for a minute more. Add remaining 1 ½ cups water, vegetable bouillon cube or Better Than Bouillon, carrots, potato, green peas, ½ teaspoon salt, and seitan chicken. Bring to a simmer. Then lower heat, cover, and cook for 7 minutes, until the potato has softened slightly.
Add cashew cream from blender and cook for 5 minutes more over a low medium heat, so that the cashew cream can reduce slightly and flavors can combine. Stir occasionally. Taste for salt. Add the remaining ¼ teaspoon, if necessary. But keep in mind, the filling will continue to condense while it bakes.
Use a ladle to put the filling into one of the crusts.**
Then take the second crust and invert it over the top of the bottom crust. Remove the tin from the second crust. Gently pull the top crust, so that it lightly lays evenly over the bottom one. If the top crust has any tears, dab your fingers into aquafaba (chickpea liquid) or water. Then use your moistened fingers to smooth out the tears.
Remove any excess crust from the top crust. Press the tines of a fork along the edges of the crust all the way around to secure the top and bottom crusts. Then dab your fingers into chickpea liquid or olive oil (or use a pastry brush if you prefer), and add a very light coating to the top of the pie. (Aquafaba is what vegans use instead of egg wash. It helps the crust to brown.)
Cut a few slits into the top of the pie. They will be air vents, so that steam can escape while cooking.
Put the pie onto a baking sheet. It will catch any filling that may bubble over. It also makes it easier for putting the pie into and out of the oven. (The aluminum pie tin is a little wobbly otherwise.)
Bake on the bottom rack for 30 minutes. If it doesn't look brown enough on top, bake for up to 15 more minutes.
The pie interior will be bubbling hot when you remove it from the oven. So wait at least 15 or 20 minutes before slicing into it. The longer you wait, the firmer the filling will be when you slice into it.
*If you aren't using a high speed blender, you'll need to soak the raw cashews in additional water for several hours to soften and then drain before continuing with the recipe. Or grind the dry raw cashews in a clean coffee grinder until they are fine like a flour. Then add them to your standard blender with the water. If you're using a high speed blender, you can skip this step.You can use store-bought seitan or make your own seitan chicken from scratch.**If you'd rather, you can finish the pot pie with a very light coating of olive oil. It helps the crust to brown nicely.***Some people say that warm filling going into a cold pie crust will make for a soggy bottom crust. If you're concerned about it, you can let the filling cool on the stove before ladling it into the pie crust. Or you could make the filling ahead of time, chill it in the refrigerator, and then put the crust out to thaw for a while before putting the whole thing together. Personally, I didn't have any complaints with the warm filling going into a cold crust.