Vegan Västerbottenpaj

Västerbottenost (ost, means cheese in Swedish) is something that I believe, unreplaceable with any other cheese, as they are only produced in Burträsk, Västerbotten County in Sweden.

Västerbottenpaj (Västerbotten pie) is a must for almost all holiday celebrations here in Swedish which include midsummer, Christmas, Easter as well as Crayfish party.

For a dish that is so important in Swedish celebrations, I thought creating something plant-based can be meaningful. Although västerbottenost cannot be replace, I was able to recreate this dairy-free cheese pie for plant-based crowd to enjoy on all these special occasions. I must say that this is a great alternative for any day of the week or picnic.

Important tips:

  • Pie crust must be cold prior to baking, this avoid the crust from shrinking during baking.
  • Blind baking for the crust is another steps that should not skipped as this avoid crust being soggy.
  • Using a blender instead of food processor creates a smoother texture.
  • You can use a loose base pie tin so that can be tranfer to a plate or a ceramic pie tin where you can serve directly in it for this recipe

Makes 1 pie

For flaky pie crust:

300g all purpose flour

110g Carlshamn margarine, cold, cut into cubes

2 tbsp vegetable oil

3 tbsp ice water

1.5 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

For filling:

200g Violife epic mature cheddar block, grated

200g Yipin Silken tofu

1 tbsp Cornstarch

2 tbsp Renée Voltaire mild umami nutritional yeast

Salt and pepper to taste

200ml Oatly whipped cream

Recipe Preparation

Standing mixer: Combine flour, sugar, salt and cold margarine cubes in a medium mixing bowl, combine ingredients with a paddle attachment on low speed, until crumbly consistence is formed. Add oil and ice water, continue at low speed until dough starts to come together without any dry bits remains. Turn mixer off, lightly flour a clean worktop, use your hand gently to bring the dough together and form a disc, wrap in cling film and place it in the fridge for 45 minutes or overnight.

Mix by hands: Combine flour, sugar, salt and cold margarine cubes in a medium mixing bowl, combine ingredients with your fingertips until fine crumbs are formed and no dry bits remains. Add oil and water into the mixture and use your hands to gently pressing the crumbs together and form a disc. Wrap dough in cling film and place it in the fridge for 45 minutes or overnight.

Preheat oven to 220C. Remove dough from fridge. Place dough onto a clean, lightly floured worktop. Roll out the disc into a rough round that is about 0.5cm larger than the pie tin (you might need to dust extra flour during rolling and pinch in edges as you roll out the crust until the desire size is formed). Lie rolled dough over the pie tin and gently press down the dough all around against the tin and use the rolling pin to cut off the excess around the edges. Crumble a parchment paper and place it on top of crust. Place baking beads, raw rice or beans on parchment paper and spread out evenly so that they are right at the same level as the top of the pie crust. Blind bake the crust in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 190C and continue for another 5 minutes. Remove parbaked crust from the oven and return heat back to 220C. Remove beads/rice/beans carefully. Set pie crust aside.

Meanwhile, place nutritional yeast, corn starch, salt and pepper, silken tofu and whipped cream into a blender. Blend until smooth. In a medium mixing bowl, mix grated cheese and tofu mixture until well combined. Pour everything into the parbaked crust, smooth out the top with a spatula. Place it back to the oven for 20 minutes until the top is browning (Tips: Place a baking tray over the top shelf above the pie if it browns too quickly). Remove pie from the oven and let it cool to room temperature before serving.

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