In this tart, the sweetness of butternut squash is tempered by the heat of chilli and the aromatic sage. The bright yellow squash also makes it look very attractive. The tart can be eaten either hot or cold, which makes it great for picnics or cold buffets.
For the pastry:
- 275 g (10 oz) plain flour
- 125 g (4 oz) fat (I use a mix of half butter and half Trex as I think this makes the lightest pastry)
- A little water
For the filling:
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 onions
- 50 g (2 oz) butter and 1 tablespoon oil
- Salt and pepper
- Half a fresh red chilli (you can add more or less depending on how much you like chilli)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3–4 fresh sage leaves (or a teaspoon of dried sage)
- 100 ml (4 fl oz) double cream
- 3 eggs
- 75 g (3 oz) strong cheddar cheese (grated)
- Set your oven to 180 C, 350 F or Gas Mark 4.
- Make the pastry. Put the flour in a bowl. Add the fat and combine – either by “rubbing in” by hand or processing – until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Add a little cold water (2-3 tbsp) and shape the mixture into a dough.
- Peel and chop the onions. Peel and chop the butternut squash into small cubes.
- Heat the butter and oil in your frying pan. It helps if the pan is good quality with a thick bottom as this will disseminate the heat evenly and prevent burning.
- Add the chopped onions and cubed butternut squash to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook at a very low heat for about 30 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they are not burning and stir occasionally. They will be done when the onions and squash cubes are soft and, when tasted, are sweet.
- Finely chop the chilli, garlic cloves and the sage leaves and add to the onion and squash mixture. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly.
- Roll out your pastry and use it to line your quiche or flan dish. Bake for 20 minutes in the oven to allow the pastry to “set”. This will stop the filling making it soggy.
- Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, add the cream, and beat until combined. Finely grate the cheddar cheese and add to the mixture.
- Now place the onion and squash mixture in your pastry case. Pour the egg mixture over it.
- Place your quiche or flan dish in the oven and cook for 25 minutes.
- The tart can be eaten hot, room temperature or cold.
Keywords: butternut squash, chilli, sage, tart