29 October 2013

Flying saucer squash pies

Maybe some of you, dear readers, have already seen my mysterious #iwanttobelieve tweets predicting the arrival of a flying saucer squash recipe. I obtained a magnificent flying saucer squash at the Arundel food festival and wanted to feature it as my this year's spooky Halloween ingredient par excellence.

I thought hard about it how to use this wonderful vegetable and I decided to make two different dishes, as that huge squash easily made two full meals, and this is the first of them. I wanted to make a hearty autumn pie and I think it turned out to be very tasty. The pastry is also homemade and is partly made of spelt flour. This recipe can be made with any squash or pumpkin in case you can't get hold of a flying saucer.

The pastry

150g spelt flour
150g wheat flour
150g butter
4-8tbsp cold water

The filling

½ flying saucer squash
1 cup red lentils
1 cloveless garlic (or 2-3 cloves of regular garlic)
2 shallots
1 cup oak matured Somerset vintage cider (or other dry cider)
1tbsp vegetable stock powder
Vegetable oil (for roasting the squash)
Olive oil
A bunch of fresh thyme sprigs
A small chunk of Sussex Charmer cheese
Black pepper
1 egg (for brushing the pastry)


Make the pastry first. Mix the flours together and pinch soft butter cubes among the flour until the mixture reaches a similar texture to breadcrumbs. Add cold water for binding the dough and knead it even. Wrap the dough in cling film and let it rest in the fridge during the other preparations.

Cut the flying saucer in half and save the other half for later (another recipe is coming soon to this blog!). Peel it, remove the seeds and cut it into small cubes. Place the cubes into an oven dish and brush them with vegetable oil. Roast the squash at 180C for about 30 minutes until soft.

Parallel to this rinse the red lentils and boil them in water until soft. Add vegetable stock powder to the water for boiling.

In another large pan heat some olive oil and sweat the shallots and garlic. Then add the roasted squash and make a cider addition to the pan. Let it simmer and the cider evaporate. Then also add the lentils and season the pie filling with salt, pepper and generous amount of fresh thyme. Add some grated hard cheese and add more vegetable stock powder or cider if you want a heartier taste.

Then roll out the pastry and place it into one large baking tin or smaller tins or ramekins. Put the squash filling in and close the lid on them. Make some air holes on the lid, which can be decorative. Brush the pastry with a beaten egg and place also some more thyme leaves on the top. You can also brush the edges of the pie with the egg before placing the lid on. That way it will stick better to your main pie.

Bake the pie(s) at 200C for about 20-25 minutes. Enjoy and let the lovely pie goodness warm your heart!

Your VegHog

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Thanks for reading! I would very much appreciate any comments or suggestions from you.