VEGETARIAN JUMBO PASTIE

The idea of a pastie came to me as a lady who owns a lunch shop brings leftover pasties and pies to the shop where I volunteer.

I really like pasties (I think it is an Australian expression!) however in the bought ones, there are a lot of chemicals and preservatives, so I decided to make my own, and also make them vegetarian.

I was a vegetarian for many years and really enjoyed it however I have now gone back to eating poultry and occasionally red meat also, and when I have visitors I will generally cook meat.

So, back to the pastie - I had very little vegetables in the fridge so decided on pumpkin and feta, and as I grow my own parsley and spring onions, I added these as well.

It is not a "traditional" pastie, however the idea came from the original version of a pastie!

Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 4 - 5 servings

Ingredients
2 sheets puff pastry -defrosted
455 g peeled pumpkin, diced into small pieces
1 tbsp oil
¾ tsp cumin
3 spring onions, chopped
115 g rice, cooked
1 small egg
100 g feta
½ cup parsley, chopped
½ lemon zest and juice
1 small egg yolk

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°/180° fan forced.

Put the pumpkin on baking paper, and drizzle the oil on top.  Sprinkle with the ground cumin and add some salt and pepper.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until it is just starting to go brown.

Transfer the pumpkin to a large bowl and add the spring onions and cold rice.

Add the egg, parsley, crumbled feta, lemon juice and zest.  Add some pepper and salt (though the feta is quite salty), and mix thoroughly and carefully.

Leave till it cools down and meanwhile put a baking tray in the oven to heat it.

I like the pastry thin, so I roll the unfrozen sheets with a rolling pin to make them thinner.

Put one sheet on some baking paper, slightly larger than the tray in the oven.

Add the pumpkin mixture in the middle in a large pile, leaving space at the edges.

Brush these thin edges with the egg yolk and put the other piece of pastry on top -the second piece can be slightly smaller than the first.

Roll the bottom piece over the top one to seal it and press these edges together.

Using a fork (optional) make a pattern around the edges as this also seals it better.

With a sharp, small knife cut small indentations in the top of the pastry.

Brush the top with the remaining egg yolk.

Take the hot baking tray out of the oven (be careful!) Lift the whole pastie including the baking paper onto the tray and bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until it is crisp and going a golden colour.

Let it stand for about 5 minutes before cutting.

If you prefer you could, of course make normal shaped pasties however I preferred this as there is less pastry.

Add tomato sauce when serving if desired - keeps for up to a week - reheat in the oven and not the microwave.

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