Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while will know about my nostalgic obsession with autumn. It’s always sad to say goodbye to summer but nice to welcome hot water bottles, cocoa and the smell of real fires. Alas, there is a long-running debate in our house about adding a real fire or logburner and I appear to losing, so I have to take my smoky fixes where I can (note: I realise that this makes me sound like an arsonist so, for the record, I’m not).
When it comes to cheese I can be a bit of a
snob purist and don’t tend to like it mucked about with but I have to admit a penchant for a good smoked cheese. So when Iona Hill from Ribblesdale Cheese, as well as sending me some of her Goat Gouda, also included some Ribblesdale Smoked Goat I was in sniffing and tasting heaven. I’d tried the cheese before, when I came across it on an East Anglian market stall and wrote about it here. This time I decided to cook something with it and a suitably seasonal butternut squash sitting on the sideboard gave me the idea for this recipe. It’s cold-weather comfort food, with its buttery pastry, smoky cheese and hearty squash chunks. Obviously, the French would be as likely to accept that this is a tarte tatin as they would permit me to dance in the Folies Bergère, but I’m sticking by it anyway on the basis that it’s upside-downy and contains pastry.
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper
1 small red onion, sliced
1 tsp thyme leaves
80g smoked goat’s cheese, grated
320g pack of puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 200˚c / 180˚C fan assisted / Gas Mark 6. Peel and de-seed the squash and cut it into small chunks (half-inch-ish). Toss them in the olive oil, drizzle with the honey, season with salt and pepper and roast for 20-25 minutes until soft.
Meanwhile, fry the red onion slices in a little olive oil until they are soft and starting to brown at the edges.
Grease a round roasting tin or shallow cake tin and then line it with greaseproof paper. Cover the bottom with the goat’s cheese, then arrange the squash chunks evenly over the top, followed by the onion and thyme.
Roll out the puff pastry into a rough circle and press it on top of the mixture in the tin, trimming the sides of the pastry and poking it down into the sides of the tin. Roll out any remaining pastry and press that down on top.
Bake it in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden. Remove it from the oven and carefully flip it over on top of a chopping board or similar flat surface. Peel back the greaseproof paper and you should be able to move it with a fish slice onto a plate. Serve warm or cold, with slippers and a slanket.