125 g plain flour
125 g light spelt or wholemeal flour
1 tsp sea salt
a few sprigs fresh thyme, leaves roughly chopped
125 g butter, cold from the fridge
4 - 6 Tbsp ice-cold water
a little beaten egg
1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 butternut squash (about 850 g), peeled, deseeded and grated
200 g kale, stalks removed, leaves shredded
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 organic or free-range eggs
400 mL whole milk or almond milk (approx.)
nutmeg, for grating
100 g Gruyère cheese
1. You can make the pastry by hand or in a food processor. Start by mixing the fours, salt and thyme together and pulse in the processor or mix with a wooden spoon.
2. Next, add the butter and either pulse in the processor or rub between your fingers until you have a rough breadcrumb consistency.
3. Now add the water, tablespoon by tablespoon, pulsing or mixing each time, until the mixture comes together as a dough. Shape into a circle, wrap in baking paper and pop into the fridge for 30 minutes or so.
4. Preheat the oven to 210°C/fan 190°C/gas 7 and have a cup of tea.
5. Once the pastry is chilled, roll it out on a floured surface into a large circle just bigger than a 24cm fluted loose-bottomed tart tin and about the thickness of a £1 coin. Roll the pastry over your rolling pin and lay it over the tart tin. Use your fingers to push the pastry into the edges of the tin and the scallops around the edge of the tin. Pop it into the fridge for another 10 minutes if you have the time.
6. Cover the pastry with baking paper and use baking beans, rice or old dried beans to weight it down. No need to trim the sides – I do this at the end, as that way you’ll be sure your pastry doesn’t shrink down. Bake for 15 minutes, then take it out of the oven, remove the beans and paper, brush with a little beaten egg and pop it back into the oven for 10 minutes. When it’s ready, take it out, leaving the oven on.
1. Meanwhile, get on with the filling. Heat a large pan, add a splash of olive oil, then add the onion and cook for 10 minutes, until soft and sweet. Add the grated squash and the shredded kale, plus a good pinch of salt and pepper, and cook for a couple of minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. Break the eggs into a measuring jug and beat well. Pour milk on top of the eggs until it reaches the 500 mL mark, then add a good pinch of salt and pepper, a good grating of nutmeg (about a quarter) and the grated cheese. Mix together.
3. Once the squash is cool, add the egg mixture and mix well. Pour the whole lot into the blind-baked pastry case and level the top. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, until just set. I like to serve this with caramelized leek and potato salad.