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    Pumpkin, goats’ cheese and sage pie 

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    Pumpkin, goats’ cheese and sage pie 

    By Nokx Majozi

    “I’m obsessed with the vibrant colour and sweetness of pumpkins, which is why I love this pie so much. Shortcrust pastry is one of the simplest and most satisfying pastries to make at home, and baking the pie in a loaf tin means it’s easy to assemble.” 

    • Preparation time: 55 minutes, plus cooling and chilling
    • Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
    • Total time: 2 hours 25 minutes

    Serves: 8 - 10

    Ingredients

    1.5kg pumpkin or squash, peeled, seeds removed, cut into 2cm chunks
    1 tbsp olive oil
    ½ x 20g pack rosemary or thyme
    1 tbsp salt
    ½ x 20g pack sage, leaves roughly chopped
    50g cavolo nero pesto
    170g hard goats’ cheese, sliced
    1 egg yolk

    Pastry
    500g plain flour
    250g unsalted butter, diced and chilled
    10g salt
    2 eggs, lightly beaten

    Method

    1. To make the pastry, put the flour, butter and salt in a mixing bowl; rub in the butter with your fingers until you have a crumble consistency. Add the eggs and 60ml water and mix until it just comes together. Transfer to the work surface and gently knead by hand until smooth. Flatten, then wrap and chill  for at least 1 hour.

    2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220˚C, gas mark 7. Put the pumpkin and oil in a roasting tin with the rosemary or thyme sprigs (don’t season yet as salt will draw out the moisture from the pumpkin). Toss together and roast for 25-30 minutes until tender and lightly caramelised, but not so soft it will mash. Turn off the oven (it will be a while before you cook the pie). Season the pumpkin with the salt and set aside to cool (about 30 minutes). When cold, gently stir through the sage and pesto. 

    3. Roll out the pastry to a rectangle roughly 50 x 40cm (about 0.5cm thick). Cut out a 15 x 25cm rectangle from the longer edge of the pastry for the lid; put on a small board and set aside. Cut away any excess from the remaining pastry to make a rectangle again, then use your rolling pin to carefully lift and lower the pastry into a 900g loaf tin. Gently move the pastry until the tin is neatly lined, then trim off the excess from the edges and set aside (for the decorations). Press the pastry inside the loaf tin (patch any thinner areas with the excess pastry if need be) and chill the tin and pastry lid for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cut out decorations from the reserved pastry, then chill. 

    4. Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6. Pack ¹⁄³ of the pumpkin mixture into the pastry-lined tin, firmly pressing down so that it’s even. Add ½ the goats’ cheese in an even layer, then repeat and finish with a final layer of the pumpkin, ensuring the top is as flat as possible. Put the pastry lid on top and firmly press the edges together to seal. Trim so that there is an even, small amount of pastry overhang all the way around. Crimp the edges by using your finger and thumb to pinch the pastry while folding over towards the centre of the lid with your other hand (see tips, right). Continue this all the way around the rim of the tin. Mix the egg yolk with 1 tbsp water and brush it over the top of the pie. Arrange the pastry decorations on top and brush with more egg wash. Bake for 45 minutes-1 hour until golden brown and crisp. Allow to cool in the tin for 30 minutes before carefully turning out and serving.

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