Sunday, 22 August 2010

A changeable pie

Essentially a left overs pie, this can be changed according to whatever happens to have caught your eye that week. I fell in love with the pretty stripy squash at Borough Market, and the goats cheese was left from a dinner I held on Friday night. Some thyme and rosemary from the garden give the whole thing an aromatic lift.

Makes one pie:

For the pastry ~

450g sifted plain flour
200g cold butter, cut into small dice
½ tsp salt

For the filling ~

400g of squash, diced into 1½cm pieces
100g spinach (weight after having juices squeezed out)
the kernals from one cooked corn-on-the-cob
1 medium onion
100g cooked peas
1 bulb garlic, broken into cloves but with the papery skin still on
2 eggs and 1 extra yoke, beaten
75g goats cheese, diced
75 cheddar, grated
1 tsp each of fresh thyme and rosemary, chopped
olive oil
salt and pepper

For the wash ~

1 egg, whisked

1) First make the pastry: rub the flour, salt and butter together between your fingers in a large mixing bowl until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add enough cold water to make a dough that only just holds together - try not to handle the pastry more than necessary or it will become tough. Chill for 30 minutes.

2) Chop the onion into thin wedges and place in a roasting tin with the squash, then drizzle over 1 tablespoon of oil and roast for 25 mins at 400f/200c/gas mark 6, then stir in the garlic and roast for another 10 minutes. Remove the garlic skins when they have cooled enough to handle.

3) Once cooled, place all the filling ingredients together in a large bowl and gently stir together. Season with salt and pepper, taste, and season again if necessary.

3) Divide the pastry into two pieces, one a little larger than the other. Take the larger piece and roll out to a 3mm thick circle. Grease and flour a 20cm loose bottomed tin, then line with the pastry, prick the base with a fork and leave to chill for 15 minutes. Line with baking parchement and fill with baking beans (or rice). Bake for 15 minutes then remove the beans and paper, brush with eggwash and bake for a further 10 minutes.

4) Trim any excess pastry from the edges of the pie and fill with the vegetable mixture. Brush some eggwash around the edges of the pie, then roll out the remaining pastry to 3mm and lay over the top. Push the edges firmly to the base to seal and cut a couple of slits to allow the steam to escape. Brush eggwash all over the top of the pie, then bake for 50 minutes at 350f/180c/gas mark 4, turning halfway through the cooking.

5) Once cooked, the pie should be golden brown - if not, pop it back in the oven for a further 5-10 minutes.

This is a sturdy pie so would travel well to a picnic, or more prosaically, to work for lunch.

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