Squash, winter herb & crispy butter bean pie
- Preparation and cooking time
- More effort
- Serves 8
Make this hearty squash pie to serve as an alternative vegetarian Christmas centrepiece. It's festive and contains plenty of herby flavour
For the pastry
For the filling
- 700g butternut squash , peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 bulbs of garlic , cloves separated and peeled
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp runny honey
- 2 sprigs each of rosemary and thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped, plus extra to serve
- 220g lancashire cheese or mature cheddar, crumbled or cut into cubes
- 150g crème fraîche
- ½ lemon , juiced
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- small bunch of parsley , finely chopped
- dash of vegetarian Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- 2 large eggs , beaten
For the topping
- STEP 1
Put the flour in a mixing bowl, and add the butter and ½ tsp fine salt. Rub gently with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, or blitz in a food processor. Stir through the herbs, lemon zest and cheddar. Beat the egg yolk with 50ml cold water, add to the bowl and mix until it forms a dough. Add more water, 1 tsp at a time, until it comes together into a smooth dough. Wrap and chill in the fridge while you make the filling.
- STEP 2
Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Toss the squash pieces with 1 tbsp olive oil and some seasoning. Tip onto a baking tray and roast for 25-30 mins until golden and tender. Leave to cool.
- STEP 3
Meanwhile, put the cloves of garlic in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 mins, then drain. Wipe the pan dry, add the garlic back in with 1 tbsp olive oil and fry on a high heat for 2 mins until golden. Add the balsamic vinegar and 100ml boiling water, bring back to the boil then turn down and simmer for 10 mins.
- STEP 4
Add the honey, most of the rosemary and thyme and a good pinch of salt. Continue to cook on a medium heat for a further 3-5 mins, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the garlic cloves are coated in a dark syrup.
- STEP 5
Tip the cooled squash into a bowl and add the cheese, crème fraîche, lemon juice, mustard, parsley, a splash of Worcestershire sauce and the beaten eggs. Add a good pinch of salt and black pepper and gently fold in the garlic cloves.
- STEP 6
Roll out the pastry on a work surface dusted with flour to 3-4mm thick. Line a 23cm-diameter springform or loose-based cake tin with the pastry, ensuring a little spills over the edges (the pastry is quite short – you can patch up when lining the tin, if needed). Pour the filling into the pastry case.
- STEP 7
Pat the drained beans dry using kitchen paper and dress with a little olive oil, most of the lemon zest and a good pinch of salt, then scatter over the squash filling. Finish with the reserved rosemary and thyme, the sage, and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 1 hr-1 hr 10 mins or until the filling has set and the beans have popped and are crisp. Trim the edge of the pastry to neaten.
- STEP 8
Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little (about 20 mins), then take it out of the tin. Scatter the remaning lemon zest and more herbs on top and serve warm. Leftovers are great cold, too.