- Serves: makes one 25cm flan
- Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Effort: medium
For the filling
- 1 medium butternut squash, halved lengthways
- 1 olive oil
- 4 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 250 double cream
- 200 parmesan, grated
- handfuls sage leaves, chopped
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pastry
- 90 g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 90 g cream cheese
- 160 g plain flour
- 65 g fine polenta
- 1 egg yolk
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Put the butternut squash cut side up onto a baking tray. Drizzle over the olive oil, season well with salt and pepper and bake for about 45 minutes. The squash is ready when a knife slides into the flesh with no resistance.
2. Remove the squash from the oven and scoop out the flesh, discarding the skin. Using a potato ricer or a masher, mash to a puree. Leave to one side to cool, keeping the oven switched on.
While the squash is cooking, make the pastry.
3. For the pastry, blend the butter, cream cheese, flour and polenta in a food processor. Use the pulse button to make sure you don't over-mix it.
4. When the dough has come together, add the egg yolk and blitz a couple of times to combine. Transfer the dough to a kitchen counter and knead into a neat ball. Squash into a flat disc, cover in food wrap, and leave in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
5. For the filling, lightly beat the whole eggs, yolks, cream, grated Parmesan and the pureed butternut squash together. Season to taste and add the sage, stirring to combine.
6. Roll out the chilled pastry on a floured surface until 4mm thick. Use to line a loose-bottomed 25cm tart tin. Rest in the fridge for another 10 minutes - this chilling time helps prevent the pastry shrinking.
7. Cut out a circle of greaseproof paper, about 4cm larger in diameter than the flan dish. Press this disc over the base and against the sides of the case and fill with baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes at the same temperature as the butternut squash. This process is known as 'baking blind'.
8. Remove the paper and beans and return the pastry to the oven for 3-4 minutes, until beginning to colour.
9. Tip the filling into the tart and level it out. Return the filled tart to the oven, turn the heat down to 160C/gas 2 and bake for about 20 minutes, until the filling has set and the pastry is golden. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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