Roasted Butternut Squash and Mushroom Pie with Cheddar Pastry

Autumn 2011
food and drink

BY: Julia Aitken

This rich vegetable-packed pie is so full of flavour, you won’t miss the meat. It’s a great pie to serve cold, too, and perfect to tote along to a late-summer picnic.

8 cups (1 L) ½-inch (1-cm)
cubes of butternut squash
(about 1 medium squash)
1 large banana shallot, finely chopped
4 whole cloves garlic, unpeeled
¼ cup (60 mL) olive oil
½ tsp (2 mL) each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pkg (14 g) dried porcini mushrooms
8 oz (250 g) sliced brown mushrooms
½ cup (125 mL) homemade or low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh sage
⅔ cup (150 mL) crumbled soft goat cheese

3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 mL) paprika
½ tsp (2 mL) table salt
½ cup (125 mL) each cold unsalted butter and lard, cubed
1⅓ cups (330 mL) shredded extra-old cheddar cheese
⅓ cup (80 mL) ice water
1 tbsp (15 mL) white vinegar or fresh lemon juice

1 egg
1 tbsp (15 mL) cold water

1 For filling, preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

2 In a large shallow roasting pan, toss squash, shallot and garlic cloves with 2 tbsp (30 mL) oil and ¼ tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper. Roast, uncovered, for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.

3 When garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze cloves out of skins and mash smoothly. Add garlic to squash and toss well.

4 Combine porcini mushrooms and 1 cup (250 mL) water in a 2-cup (500-mL) glass measure. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and pierce plastic wrap in several places with the point of a knife. Microwave on high (100 percent) for 30 seconds. Let stand for 5 minutes. Remove mushrooms, squeezing out and discarding soaking liquid. Rinse and drain mushrooms, then chop finely.

5 In a medium nonstick skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add brown and porcini mushrooms and remaining salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often, until tender. Add stock and bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from bottom of skillet. Boil stock until it has almost completely evaporated.

6 Scrape mushroom mixture into a large bowl. Stir in squash mixture and sage and let cool completely. Stir in goat cheese. Season with more salt and pepper if necessary. If you’re not completing the pie immediately, cover and refrigerate the filling until ready to proceed, removing it from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before assembling the pie.

7 For cheddar pastry, pulse flour, paprika and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and lard and pulse 3 or 4 times just until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add cheese and pulse just until combined.

8 In a small bowl, stir together water and vinegar. With motor running, add to food processor through feed tube and process just until dough holds together, adding a little more ice water if necessary. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead just until it forms a ball. Cut dough in half and pat out each piece to a disc. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

9 Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

10 On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 piece of pastry to a 12-inch (30-cm) round. Carefully roll pastry around rolling pin and transfer to a large lightly greased baking sheet. Spoon butternut squash mixture onto pastry, leaving a 1½-inch (4-cm) border around edge.

11 In a small bowl, beat together egg and water to make egg wash. Brush edges of pastry on baking sheet with egg wash. Roll out second piece of pastry to a 12-inch (30-cm) round. Carefully roll pastry around rolling pin and transfer to top of pie. Seal edges well and trim them, reserving trimmings. Crimp edges decoratively. Cut 2 or 3 holes in top of pie for steam to escape. Cut decorative shapes from reserved trimmings and use to decorate top of pie, using egg wash to make them adhere. Brush top of pie with egg wash.

12 Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.

Serves 6 to 8