Chestnut and butternut squash pie

Make this stunning, lightly spiced pie as a main course or pleasurable snack to enjoy cold
By Angela Nilsen
Chestnut and butternut squash pie
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Prep Time:
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2cm chunks (800g-900g prepared weight)
  • 9 shallots, peeled and quartered
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and halved lengthways
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1½ ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp dried red chilli flakes, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 7 tbsp olive oil
  • 150 g spinach leaves
  • 25 g butter
  • 200 g vacuum-packed cooked, peeled chestnuts, halved or roughly chopped
  • 300 g chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp leaves lemon thyme, plus sprigs to decorate
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 500 g ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
  • 1 beaten egg, to glaze
  • flaky sea salt

To serve

  • roast beetroot, dressed with yogurt

Tips and Suggestions

The vegetable and chestnut filling mixtures can be made a day in advance of serving and chilled overnight, making the pie quicker and easier to put together before your guests arrive.

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Tip the squash, shallots and garlic into a large roasting tin. Mix the ground cumin, coriander and chillies with 5 tablespoons of the oil. Pour it over the veg and toss everything together. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for about 20-25 minutes until the squash is tender but still holds its shape and the shallots and garlic are soft and turning golden.

2. Remove the veg from the oven and gently stir in the spinach so that it wilts in the warmth of the tin. Set aside to cool. Lower the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.

3. Heat the butter in a large frying pan, toss in the chestnuts and stir-fry for a few minutes until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl.

4. Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil into the butter left in the pan, heat through, then throw in the mushrooms and stir-fry over a high heat until the mushrooms have browned and there is no liquid in the pan.

5. Add the mushrooms to the bowl of chestnuts. Stir in the thyme, parsley and cranberries and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.

6. Put a baking tray in the oven. When the squash and chestnut mixtures are cold, roll out two-thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a 20cm springform or deep, loose-bottomed tart tin.

7. Spoon in half the squash mixture, then top with all the chestnut mixture. Finish with the rest of the squash (dont worry if it doesnt quite fill the tin).

8. Roll out the rest of the pastry for the lid. Brush the edges of the pastry lining the tin with beaten egg and lay the lid on top. Seal and trim the edges, then flute the pastry edges using your fingers so they sit up straight. Brush more egg over the pastry lid then sprinkle over a few dried crushed chillies. Bake on the hot baking tray for 15 minutes, then raise the heat to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and bake a further 25 minutes until the pastry is golden.

9. Remove the pie from the oven and leave in the tin for about 10 minutes. Release the pie and carefully transfer to a flat serving plate using a wide spatula. Scatter over some sea salt flakes, freshly ground pepper and a few thyme sprigs. Serve hot (or cold) with roast beetroot and yogurt if liked.

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