Raised honey nut squash and cashew pie
Balancing the quantity of squash with the other ingredients I wished to experiment with I ended up with a considerable amount of filling. 1/3rd of it went into this pie. So I also made a family version that filled a 9″ steel bowl and would serve at least 8. As a result I made two different hot water crusts and this particular recipe was easier to mould. The crust quantity below is for this pie.
Hot water pastry requires long baking, and with this in mind I took the chance that the squash and potatoes would be steamed inside the pastry. Wanting to avoid too much moisture I precooked the aubergine and courgette.
Two of us sat down for lunch and have almost demolished my first effort, it was colourful, succulent and tasty but we think it could be improved by adding an ingredient with crunch as the cashew nuts could be clearly seen but lacked texture. Bearing all this in mind I have posted a follow up recipe that I think may remedy this deficiency and use up the spare filling.
- 1 honey nut squash
- 1 aubergine
- 1 courgette
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 2 baking potatoes
- 1 tsp herbs de Provence
- 3 dessert spoons of pumpkin seeds
- 125g cashew nuts
- salt and pepper
Hot water pastry crust
- 5oz plain flour
- good pinch salt
- 1 1/4 oz vegetarian “lard,” I realise this is hydrogenated, and purists could substitute oil, but I have used what I know.
- 1/8 pint water
In advance of the rest of the preparation slice the aubergine and courgettes longways to give strips about 1/2″ wide, salt and leave aside to degorge some of their liquid. After an hour or so wash off the salt and pat the slices dry, then cut into 1/2″ dice. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the diced vegetables, fry over a high heat. Whilst I stirred them occasionally I had time to prepare the Squash.
I cut the squash in half length ways as it made peeling down to the deep orange flesh easier, then cut it into 1/2″ dice. Tip the fried vegetables into a colander lined with kitchen paper to absorb any spare oil, taste them to see if they are salty. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients except the potatoes.
Peel and grate these into the mixture at the end to avoid any discolouration (baking potatoes have a high starch content that can go black on contact with the air, but residual olive oil coats the potatoes and inhibits the blackening. The addition of the starch helps to bind the filling during cooking.) Season to taste. Red pepper or cumin/corriander or curry powder could be used instead of the mixed herbs, if you prefer them.
Making the pastry
Seive the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Melt the lard in a pan add the water and bring to the boil taking care it does not spit. Using the handle of a wooden spoon stir the boiling liquid into the flour and shape it into a ball. Knead until smooth. The oil on your hands is sufficient to coat the outside of a 1lb glass jam jar, a convenient mould, before flouring it.
Reserve and cover about 1/4 of the paste for the top and rolled out the rest, I did try to mould the pastry by hand but found it was considerably easier to manipulate after rolling with a pin, press out the inevitable tucks and cut off the spare to end up with a a pie crust 4 1/2″ – 5″ deep. Add the spare to reserve for the the top. Put the mould in the fridge and allow it to chill. I had to gently ease the pastry away from the side of the jar with a knife but the shape held up very well. Put onto an oiled baking sheet.
Fill the pie, pressing gently but firmly to exclude any air. Roll out the top, dampen the edge of the pie and crimp the top to seal the edge.
Bake at 200c for 1/2 hour then reduce to 180c for 1 1/2 hours, turn the sheet during cooking to allow the colour of the baking pastry to develop evenly.
Allow to cool before serving.
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