Squash, Spinach & Goat’s Cheese Pie

Lately, it seems that whenever I go out to eat, a homemade, rustic vegetarian pie tempts me on the menu. However, with the low FODMAP restrictions resulting in no garlic, onion or gluten, pies are pretty much a no go! I therefore decided to have a go at my own version, amalgamating various recipes on the internet to combine my favourite ingredients encased in a crisp gluten free shortcrust pastry. This recipe can be adapted to dairy free diets, by replacing the cheese with more veg, or even creating a meat-based pie.

The recipe for the shortcrust pastry was taken from the NOSH gluten free cookbook as I have tried this recipe before, and found it to be quick and easy, and could even be mistaken as containing wheat (it’s that good)! The recipe for the pie filling was adapted from the Delicious Magazine website. The ingredients below make a pie to serve 4 people, however I made the pie to serve 2, with enough leftovers to make it again the next day! (Using the dish right, purchased from Tesco for £4.50)…

Ingredients (serves 4)
For the shortcrust pastry:
360g gluten free plain flour (I used Dove’s Farm)
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
175g butter
1 egg
75ml cold water
Beaten egg (for brushing)

For the filling:
1 butternut squash (peeled, deseeded and cubed)
250g baby leaf spinach (a large bag)
Pinch of chilli flakes
Pinch of cumin seeds
200g ricotta
200g button mushrooms
2 tbsp garlic infused oil (Waitrose version for low FODMAP)

Method
First – to get the hardest part out of the way – peel, de-seed and dice the butternut squash. Scatter the pieces on a baking tray and season with cumin seeds, chilli flakes and the garlic infused oil. Bake this (Gas Mark 6 or 200 degrees Celsius) for 40 minutes.

While the squash roasts, prepare the pastry. Put the dry ingredients into a bowl (flour, xanthan gum, salt) and add the butter. Rub the ingredients between your thumb and fingers to create fine crumbs (almost like breadcrumbs). Then, add the wet ingredients (egg, water) and knead into a soft dough. Wrap this in cling film and place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the filling.

To cook the spinach, place half of this in a colander and pour boiling water over it, followed by cold tap water. Wring out the spinach to remove any excess water, and mix with half of the ricotta in a separate bowl. Put this to one side.

Chop half the mushrooms (if you are unable to tolerate mushrooms, you could instead use another vegetable, potentially red cabbage for the top layer of the pie). Fry these with a little oil for a few minutes until slightly brown in colour.

Cut the pastry in half (save this for your second pie), and then use two thirds of this half for the base of the pie. Place a layer of cling film on the kitchen work surface and roll out the pastry and place in the pie dish. Begin by placing a layer of the spinach and ricotta in the bottom of the dish. Next add a layer of butternut squash, sprinkled with the goat’s cheese.

Repeat (with another layer of spinach and ricotta, and another layer of squash and goat’s cheese) and place the mushrooms on the top.

Roll out the remaining third of pastry for the lid of the pie (leaving a little leftover for decoration), and brush with the beaten egg. Bake in the oven at Gas Mark 6 / 200 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes (until the top is golden). Serve with a light green salad.

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