There are so many lovely pumpkins and squashes around at the moment and I love trying as many as possible.
I think my favourite way of cooking squash is to roast it in the oven. Either simply with olive oil, salt and pepper, or adding spices and chilli.
These quiches contain roasted Acorn squash and I have left the skins on as they are fairly thin and roast up really nicely. Sometimes the older and bigger squashes have very thick skins and I tend to peel those.
Along with the squash, these quiches have crispy, smoked bacon, chestnuts and plenty of Stilton cheese, so lots of big flavours going on. I don’t add any salt to the eggs and cream as I think the bacon and Stilton add enough salt of their own, but this is my preference.
This recipe makes four individual quiches. I used 12.5cm, deep fill tartlet tins with removable bases, but you can easily make one large one.
400g all-purpose flour
1 pinch of salt
230g very cold butter cut into cubes and chilled again
95ml iced water
2 Acorn squashes, topped, tailed, halved and seeds removed
5 extra-large eggs
¾ pint double/heavy cream
300g Blue Stilton cheese broken in to large crumbles
320g Good quality smoked streaky bacon
180g pack of prepared sweet chestnuts, roughly broken up
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbs olive oil
Add the flour, salt and butter to a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until the butter is the size of small peas, or rough breadcrumbs. Add the iced water a little a time while pulsing the food processor, just until the dough just comes together. You might not need all of the water.
Form the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic. Leave to chill for 30 minutes.
On a floured board, roll out the pastry and then, taking care not to stretch the dough, line the tins with the pastry, re-rolling until all the tins are done. Place the pastry cases in the fridge and chill for another 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F
Line the pastry cases with parchment paper or foil, fill with baking beans and place in the oven to blind bake for 15-20 minutes. Take the pastry shells out of the oven, remove the paper and beans and then return to the oven for further 5 minutes or until the pastry feels dry. Leave to cool before adding the filling.
Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/430°F
Cut the halved squashes into slices, just over 1cm thick and rub them all over in 1tbs olive oil with 1tsp of salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Roast them in the oven until the squash is tender and catching on the edges. This will take around 20-25 minutes, depending on how thick the slices are.
While the squash is roasting, fry the bacon until the fat renders out and it is crisp, set aside on kitchen paper to cool before chopping into small, bite-sized pieces.
Lower the oven to 180°C/360°F
Place the blind baked pastry shells on a baking tray to make transporting to the oven easier.
Place a couple of slices of squash in the bases of each quiche, then layer over the bacon, chestnuts and chunks of Stilton cheese. Divide the filling between the 4 cases and top each one with another couple of slices of the squash.
Whisk the eggs, cream together with more freshly ground black pepper and pour over the quiches until each one is full.
Taking care not to spill, place the tray with the quiches in the oven and bake for around 30 minutes or until just set in the middle. The quiche will be nicely puffed and golden brown and will smell very good indeed.
This quiche is really good hot or cold and half of one of these makes for a really nice lunch with a little salad.
The big autumnal flavours of the quiche make it perfect for an autumn party, picnic, Thanksgiving or Christmas and just the thing for a lunchbox.