Roasted Acorn Squash Quiche with Chestnuts, Bacon and Stilton

There are so many lovely pumpkins and squashes around at the moment and I love trying as many as possible.

Squash, bacon & Stilton Quiche

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.

Squash, bacon & Stilton Quiche2

Crust:
400g all-purpose flour
1 pinch of salt
230g very cold butter cut into cubes and chilled again
95ml iced water

Ingredients:
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

Method:
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.

Squash, bacon & Stilton Quiche3

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.

Squash, bacon & Stilton Quiche1

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.

Squash, bacon & Stilton Quiche slice

This quiche is really good hot or cold and half of one of these makes for a really nice lunch with a little salad.

Squash, bacon & Stilton Quiche plate1

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.

Roasted Autumn Vegetable Plait

Now we are into September, I think we can officially break out the Autumn recipes. While it might not be time for scarves, gloves and thick coats, I am definitely thinking of all things Fall.

With cooler temperatures and squashes and pumpkins arriving into the shops, my thoughts turn to roasts, soups, stews and casseroles. One of my favourite ways of cooking vegetables is to roast them and with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, autumn and winter vegetables really taste at their very best.

Kale

This vegetable plait consists of roasted seasonal vegetables, deep green Cavolo Nero, together with fragrant, woody herbs, chestnuts and blue cheese. They all go exceptionally well together and form a perfect vegetarian dinner dish. It’s also really good served cold the next day with salad, or in a lunchbox.

Autumn veg plait

Ingredients:
1 small Acorn or Queen squash, or a small butternut squash, washed, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
2 small red onions, halved and sliced
Small bunch of Cavolo Nero, washed, ribs removed and roughly torn up
Small bunch of Sage, rolled and cut into very fine strips
1 tbs Thyme leaves, chopped
200g Blue cheese like Stilton, rind removed and broken into fairly large crumbles
1 Pack of vacuum packed chestnuts, broken up a little
Puff pastry – either home-made or shop bought and rolled into a rectangle (approx 35cmx23cm)
Olive oil
Butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Egg and a little milk for brushing

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C

Rub the squash with 1tbs of olive oil, 1tsp salt and ½tsp pepper and place on a baking tray and roast until tender and just catching at the edges. This will take around 30 minutes. When ready, allow to cool.

While the squash is roasting, gently sauté the onions in a small knob of butter, a little oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until softened, translucent and golden. Remove from the pan and allow to cool. In the same pan, add a little more butter, the kale and a tbs of water. Stir around until it has wilted a little.

Place the puff pastry onto a lined baking sheet and cut thick strips around the edge, leaving a centre rectangle intact.

Autumn veg plait1

Gently, mix together the squash, kale, chestnuts, cheese, sage and thyme and place onto the pastry. It should be fairly compact as you are going to wrap the strips of pasty around it to form a parcel.

Brush the strips with a little of the egg wash and fold over the ends first and then alternate side strips until the filling is encased. Cover with cling film and chill for an hour or overnight if you are making ahead.

Autumn veg plait slice

When you are ready to bake, brush the egg wash all over the pastry and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.

Autumn veg slice

Bring on Autumn, I love it!