I love pot pies; they're so easy. The white sauce works well with the vegetables here, but I also use it for seafood pies – using cubes of white fish, or prawns, or scallops. Use any vegetable you like in this recipe, but it must be cooked before the pie goes in the oven. The sauce heats up and the crust goes golden, but most raw vegetables won't cook in time.
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
400g carrots, peeled and cut into 4cm lengths
400g butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into 4cm cubes
1 tbsp milk
1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
pinch of cayenne pepper
75g (½ cup) plain flour
60ml (¼ cup) dry white wine
500ml (2 cups) milk, warmed
½ tsp Dijon mustard
60ml (¼ cup) thin pouring cream
zest of ½ lemon, finely grated
1 small handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1. You will need four large ramekins or similar. Using a ramekin as a guide, cut four rounds from the pastry about 1cm larger than the bowl. Using a 3cm cutter, cut out four rounds and place in the centre of the larger rounds. Refrigerate until needed.
2. Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan-forced).
3. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add the carrots, cook for 10 minutes and remove. Repeat with the pumpkin, and let cool.
4. To make the sauce, heat the butter and olive oil in a saucepan over low heat. Add the leek, fennel, garlic, cayenne pepper and a pinch each of the sea salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the flour and cook until the mixture bubbles and becomes grainy.
5. Gradually pour in the wine, stirring constantly, then gradually stir in the warm milk. Continue stirring until the mixture bubbles and thickens slightly. Stir in the mustard, cream, lemon zest and parsley, then check the seasoning.
6. Fold the carrot and pumpkin through the sauce, then divide the mixture among the ramekins and top with the pastry, pressing the edges to seal. Whisk the egg and milk together, then brush over the pastry. Pierce the top of each pie to allow steam to escape.
7. Put the pies on a baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Serve warm with a green salad.