sweet potato, butterbean and macadamia nut pie

25 May

We celebrated my mum’s birthday on Saturday with a giant feast in Dulwich Park. I dusted off the old picnic basket, and packed up heaps of food. Both Mum and I are big fans of a traditional picnic, with real cups and plates and cutlery and dainty little tea towels, which meant that this picnic was a no-waste affair, hurrah!

I’ll admit I went a bit crazy with the food. I had a browse through the Veganomicon before heading off to the shops and picked up almost all I would need for a Pineapple-Cashew-Quinoa stir fry (substituting in bulgar wheat because I’m apparently living in a quinoa-free zone), a lemon poppyseed loaf (recipe to come), potato salad, pita crisps and this delicious pie.

I had some puff pastry in the freezer, which was on the verge of passing its use-by date, so I used it in place of regular crust. Though I reckon this would work just as well with your basic pie crust, I’m so glad I did! It turned out beautifully.



1 500g packet puff pastry
1 very large sweet potato, coarsely diced
1/2 large red onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic
400 g butter beans
400 g chickpeas
170 g macadamia nuts
handful of fresh thyme (or 2–3 tbsp. dry)
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch of nutmeg
3 large handfuls of spinach
olive oil


In a saucepan, bring the sweet potatoes to the boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for about 12 minutes. Heat about 2 tbsp. olive oil in a shallow baking tray. Once the sweet potatoes are done, drain them and arrange on the baking tray with the 2 cloves of garlic. Roast at 425 C/gas 7 on the highest shelf in your oven for 20 minutes.

While the potatoes are roasting, saute the onions until translucent, then leave to cool.

In a large bowl, using a hand blender, or a food processor, blend together the sauteed onions, butter beans, chickpeas, thyme, macadamia nuts, salt, pepper and nutmeg. You might want to add the beans a bit at a time. Scrape down the sides as needed to make sure you get everything. Once the potatoes and garlic are finished roasting, allow to cool (until no longer steamy),  then add to the bowl and pulse through to mix with the other ingredients.

Place covered in the fridge for at least half an hour, though its’s best if you can leave it for longer.

Leave the pastry in the fridge until you’re ready to roll it out. Cut the block so that one piece is a bit bigger than the other. The bigger piece will be the bottom crust; roll it out to fit a large baking tray (mine is about 12×18 inches, so I rolled out my dough into a roughly 10×15 inch rectangle). Roll out the second piece so that it’s about 1 inch smaller all round.

Place the bottom piece on your greased baking tray. Spread the filling out, starting in the middle and spreading gently outwards, leaving a 2-inch fold allowance. Layer the spinach generously over top, then lay the top crust over. Brush the top piece lightly with olive oil, then fold up the bottom edge and gently seal all the way around. Drizzle the top with olive oil and a bit of black pepper before sticking it in the oven.

Bake in a pre-heated 375 C/gas 5 oven for 45 minutes, or until golden.

If you’re going to picnic with it, make sure it is completely cooled before transferring into whatever container it’s going to travel in!


One Response to “sweet potato, butterbean and macadamia nut pie”


  1. lemon poppyseed loaf « loumms - 27 May 2009

    […] May 2009 by emmms Part of Mum’s Birthday Picnic Feast Bonanza was this delicious Lemon Poppyseed Loaf, and let me tell you, it was delicious! If I have time I […]

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