Butternut squash, Stilton and kale pies with walnut pastry
Serves 6-8 | prep 40 mins | total time
Butternut squash, Stilton and kale pies with walnut pastrySubscribe to Sainsbury's magazine
Serves 6-8 | prep 40 mins | total time
Nutritional information (per serving)
For the pastry
- 50g walnuts
- 250g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 150g cold butter, diced
For the filling
- 1.25kg firm pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2cm dice
- 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to grease
- 2 red onions, thinly sliced
- 5 sage leaves, finely chopped
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 200ml milk
- 1 x 300ml carton double cream
- 1 x 220g pack Stilton, rind removed, crumbled, or vegetarian equivalent
- 1 x 200g pack shredded kale, any tough stalks removed
- 1 egg, beaten with a little water
To decorate, optional
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 12 sage leaves
Make up to the end of step 6 then cover with lightly greased foil (wrap well if freezing) and chill for up to 24 hours or freeze for up to 2 months. To cook from chilled, allow an extra 10-15 minutes' cooking time. To cook from frozen, bake the individual pies covered in a preheated oven (160°C, fan 140°C, gas 3), for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and turn up the heat to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Bake for 50 minutes more until crisp, golden and piping hot. For the large pie, from frozen, cook, covered, for 45 minutes at the lower temperature, then 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes at the higher temperature, uncovered.
- Heat the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 7. Spread the walnuts out on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 4-5 minutes until toasted, transfer to a plate and set aside to cool.
- Put the pumpkin or squash on the same baking tray and toss with 1 tablespoon oil and some seasoning. Roast for 20-25 minutes until tender, then set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, use a food processor to blitz the cooled walnuts until finely ground, but don't over-process or they will become oily. Add the flour and butter and a good pinch of salt and pulse to crumbs, then gradually add about 2 tablespoons cold water until the mixture comes together into a dough. Form into a flat disc, wrap tightly with clingfilm and chill while you make the filling.
Tip The walnut pastry is quite fragile, so you can roll it out between 2 sheets of baking paper to make it easier to handle.
- Heat the remaining oil in a wide pan and soften the onions – about 10 minutes. Add the sage and fry for another minute or so. Mix the cornflour with 2 tablespoons of the milk to make a paste, then add the rest of the milk and cream. Pour this into the pan, slowly bring to the boil, stirring, then reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 5 minutes, until smooth and thickened, then take off the heat. Crumble in the cheese and stir until it begins to melt into the sauce, season to taste.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Blanch the kale for 4 minutes, then drain and run under cold water. Squeeze out any extra water and dry well on kitchen paper. Tip into a mixing bowl, add the cooled squash and the cheese sauce and mix together. Divide between 6 x 300ml pie dishes (or spoon into a 2-litre baking dish if making 1 large pie) and leave to cool.
- Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut out 6 pastry 'lids' to cover your pie dishes (or use one large piece to fit the 2-litre dish). Wet the edge of a pie dish with water and then lift a piece of pastry on top, pressing around the edge to seal. Brush with egg and cut a hole in the middle. Repeat with the other dishes and transfer to a baking tray.
- To bake straight away, preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Bake the small pies for 35-40 minutes (the large pie will take 40- 45 minutes) until crisp and golden.
- To decorate, heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the sage leaves and fry until crisp, place on the hot pies just before serving.
A pie that packs in some of the season's best ingredients: squash, kale and Stilton, all topped with a walnut pastry. Not just for vegetarians!