Halloween came and it felt like an appropriate time to investigate the mysterious Franken-squash. This was the name I gave to the hybrid squash which grew on the allotment this year, covered in this previous post.
The Kent Potters Association was having a master day with Doug Fitch and Hannah McAndrew. As usual there was a ‘bring and share’ lunch and I was down to provide something savoury. I decided to make a pumpkin, onion and sage pie from ‘200 veggie feasts’ by Louise Pickford, in the Hamlyn all colour cookbook range. I’ve made it several times before, with pumpkin and with uchiki kuri squash.
The flesh was an encouraging firm orange, rather like a butternut. The seeds looked mature too so I’ve saved some for next year. Who knows what that might produce? The faff with this recipe is that you have to slice the pumpkin fairly thinly and then grill the pieces on a ridged griddle pan. It’s worth it because you get a good six to eight servings. It re-heats well and is also good cold. When M, from the stained glass class I go to, tried the recipe she added a layer of spinach. I had lots of Swiss chard on the allotment so I wilted some of the leaves and included that.
Well, it went down very well at the lunch and several people asked for the recipe so here it is:
(6 generous servings)
600g Onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1kg pumpkin, peeled and deseeded
1 tablespoon olive oil
500g block of puff pastry
plain flour for dusting
250g fontina cheese, sliced (I’ve always substituted a hard goat cheese)
1 egg, beaten
salt and black pepper
Melt the butter in a pan and fry the onions, garlic and sage over a medium heat for 20-25 mins until soft and golden brown. Season with salt and black pepper and leave to cool.
Slice the pumpkin into 5mm slices, Brush each with oil and put oil side down on a ridged griddle pan. Cook for 2 mins, brush the upper surface with oil and flip them for a further 2 mins. Put them aside to cool and repeat with the remainder in batches.
Cut the pastry block in two, very slightly unevenly. Put the larger piece to one side and roll out the smaller one into a rectangle. Lay it on a baking sheet on on parchment on a sheet. Spread with half the onion mix, leaving a border of 2.5cm (1 inch), top with half the pumpkin and then slices of cheese. Repeat the layers. Roll out the remaining pastry to a little larger than before. Brush the border of the base with beaten egg and drape the top over it, pressing the edges together. Go round the edges with the tines of a fork to complete the seal. Brush the top with the egg and then run a knife over to make criss-cross lines.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C (Fan) for 20 – 25 mins. Turn part way through if it is browning unevenly and turn the temperature down if it looks as though it will brown too much.
Would be very good served with mushy peas, or puy lentils.
The original recipe said 2 x 350g blocks of pastry to serve 8 but that would be huge, any anyway my pastry came in 500g blocks. I reduced the onion from 750g to 500g, but in fact it needs a bit more than that so try 600g. I’ve used ordinary pumpkin and Uchiki Kuri squash, also known as Onion, Hokkaidoor or Potimarron Squash.
An alternative to puff pastry is to use filo. 4 sheets for the base, each brushed with melted butter before adding the next. Then 4 sheets for the top.
200 Veggie Feasts, Louise Tucker, Hamlyn all colour cookbook