You won’t miss your meat with this veggie combination. It’s a classic
- Make the pastry. By hand: sift the flour, salt and ginger into a bowl. Add the sugar. Cube the butter or butter/lard mix. Rub it lightly into the flour between your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Don’t over-work it. Add the egg yolk and two-thirds of the chilled water. Mix it in with a fork. Add as little extra water as it takes to make a dough that’s neither dry (it will crack when you roll it out) or sticky (hard to handle and a leathery finish). Pull it together very lightly with your fingers. Sit it on a piece of cling film. Press it down lightly into a disc. Wrap it well. Put it into the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes. By machine: pulse the dry ingredients with the butter in a processor. Add the egg yolk and water gradually. Pulse it between additions. Stop and test with your fingers to check it’s not too dry. Roll, press, wrap and chill as above. You could make this a day ahead but let it return to room temp before use.
- Roast the butternut squash. Pre-heat the oven to 220C gas 7. Cut the squash with a serrated bread knife or sharp kitchen knife. Scrape out any seeds or fibre if appropriate. Peel the squash. Cut it into a few large chunks. Throw it onto a baking tray. Roll it in 1 tablespoon of the oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast it for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove and leave it to cool.
- Fry the onion and garlic. Heat ½ tablespoon oil and the butter in a frying pan. Add the onion, garlic, a pinch or two of salt and pinch of sugar. Fry, stirring gently for 5 minutes until soft and very lightly coloured. Remove and leave to cool.
- Bake the pastry tart blind. Pre-heat the oven to 190C/gas 5. Sit the pastry on a lightly floured board. Grease a 23 x 3 cm loose based tart tin. Roll the dough out in a circle (roll then quarter turn for an even shape) to fit the tin plus 5 cm extra all round. Roll the pin under the pastry. Lift it over and down into the tin. Support the edges with one hand. Press into the base and sides for a close fit without it cracking. Use spare pastry to fill any holes/breaks and save any extra for later repairs! Roll the pin over the top of the tart to neaten or leave an overhang. The pastry can shrink. Prick the surface lightly with a fork.
- Line the case with a piece of greaseproof paper to protect the base and sides. Fill it with baking beans or dry beans or rice to weigh it down. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges are hardening up. Remove the beans and paper. Brush the base lightly with a little egg white.
- Bake for another 4 minutes. Remove. Sprinkle the hot base with finely chopped sage and the onion mix. Evenly place one-third of the squash, cubed and the sliced goat’s cheese.
- Using a stick blender or processor, blend the rest of the squash with the whole eggs, egg yolks, cream and season well with salt and pepper. Or mash with a fork. Stir in a little extra egg or milk if the mix is too thick to pour once blended.
- Pour the lot evenly into the tart case. Sprinkle very lightly with ground or grate fresh nutmeg.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until set and golden. Let it settle for 10 minutes before cutting.
- Remove the outer ring and serve this hot or warm for slicing at the table. Or pack it up in the tin when cold to take for a picnic. If you’re staying in – serve with baby new or seasonal jersey royal potatoes and some good raw and textured tasty salads. Heading out – turn the cooled potatoes with some garlic mayo for potato salad. Enjoy with crusty bread and maybe some chilled cider or a sauvignon blanc.