Butternut squash, gorgonzola & sage tart

I’ve had my eye on a squash, gorgonzola and sage tart recipe for quite a while (since butternut squash came into season nearly two months ago actually) but kept running into two minor issues.  Firstly, I couldn’t find any gorgonzola, and secondly, I couldn’t find any sage.  With two of the three main ingredients eluding me, spot the minor flaw in my plan to try the recipe out…  I can deal without access to gorgonzola – after all, I can always substitute a creamy blue if absolutely necessary – but the lack of sage is a tough one because I have quite a few recipes that require sage, and I’ve definitely read recipes in Kiwi publications that call for sage.  So it must be available somewhere, but the question is where?  After weeks and weeks of unsuccessfully scouring the supermarket aisles, I was starting to think that my squash, gorgonzola and sage tart wasn’t going to happen.

Then, at the farmers’ market on Saturday, I spotted some sage.  I snapped up the last bag a little over-enthusiastically and just managed to stop myself from doing a victory dance on the spot.  I think the stallholder lady thought I was a little crazy (imagine if I had done the dance…), but I really didn’t care.  I had sage, therefore I was winning.  (Winning at what, I have no idea.  The great game of tart-making?)  That afternoon I decided to go investigate the big supermarket that’s rather further than the smaller one that I usually go to (and only barely within carrying-heavy-shopping walking distance) and guess what?  They had Kiwi-made gorgonzola-style cheese.  Jackpot!  Incidentally, they also had sage.  Oh.  So clearly my usual supermarket just makes poor stock choices (they both belong to the same chain).  Good to know.  Anyway, armed with my Kiwi gorgonzola and sage, I enthusiastically  tried the tart.  Which took forever, by the way, because I forgot that you’re supposed to roast the squash first.  But it was definitely worth waiting for!  The wonderfully autumnal flavours are perfect together, with the slight sweetness of the butternut squash cut through by the gorgonzola’s “bite,” and the sage adding that little extra dimension.

Squash, gorgonzola & sage tart

Serves 6-8 as a starter, 3-4 as a main course
Adapted from Baking – 100 everyday recipes

Remember to take the roasting time of the butternut squash when planning this recipe (totally not speaking from experience, ahem).  As a rough guide, I found that 500g was half of a large butternut squash.  Pumpkin would also work instead of butternut squash.  If you’re not too keen on blue cheese, I’d suggest reducing the amount of gorgonzola a little bit, but that depends entirely on personal taste.  This tart is delicious eaten both warm and cold, and can easily be prepared in advance, though the pastry will begin to soften after about a day.

Ingredients

500g of butternut squash
1 tsp organic rapeseed oil
Quiche pastry (click for recipe – it’ll make twice as much as you need)
5 tbsp crème fraîche
2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
200g gorgonzola (or similar creamy blue cheese)
10-15 fresh sage leaves

Directions

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 190°C.  Butter and flour a 24 cm fluted tart tin.

2.  Cut the butternut squash in half (if necessary) and place the halves cut-side up on a baking tray.  Drizzle the cut side with the oil and bake for 30-40 mins until browned and soft.  Set aside to cool a little, then remove the seeds (you can toast them and use them as a snack).  Scoop the flesh out into a large bowl and throw the skin away.

3.  Meanwhile, whilst the squash is roasting, make the pastry.  Roll it out and line the prepared tart tin.  Trim the edges, prick the pastry with a fork and refrigerate for 30 mins.

4.  Blind bake (line the pastry with baking paper and fill with baking beans) the pastry for 10 mins (the oven should still be at 190°C), then remove the baking beans and baking paper before baking a further 5 mins.

5.  Whilst waiting for the pastry to bake, mash the squash flesh with a fork.  Add 2 tbsp of the crème fraîche, season with freshly ground black pepper and mix together.  Set aside.  In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, egg yolk and remaining crème fraîche and set aside.

6.  When the pastry has been blind baked, thinly spread the mustard over the base of the quiche, then evenly cover with the squash mixture, making sure to spread it right into the edges of the pastry case.  Crumble or slice the gorgonzola and spread evenly over the top of the squash layer.  Top this with the egg mixture, making sure that it settles evenly across the tart.  Decorate the surface with the sage leaves.  Bake for 30-35 mins until cooked through and golden.  Allow to rest in the tin for 10 mins before turning out and serving accompanied by a green salad.

Enjoy!

PS – I apologise for the dreadful photos – I was pretty hungry by the time this came out of the oven, so I made do with my phone.  Turns out that was a bad plan.

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8 Comments

Filed under Recipes, Savoury Foods

8 responses to “Butternut squash, gorgonzola & sage tart

  1. Really nice quiche, Ems! Just sold the last piece of a Squash/Sage tart in my restaurant. It always seems to go down well. Great colour too. Vibrant. Poor you in your ingredients endeavours. I have the best fruit and veg store on my restaurant doorstep in Auchterarder. Sage 365 easy. Squash, likewise. I pick up a great gorgonzola from Lidl in Perth and it goes on one of our sandwich combinations. Supermarkets are generally rubbish for anything other than ‘same old’ veg. You need to get access to an independent. No more dances of delight, just quiet satisfaction. Keep up the great work. Your website is a delight….

    • Mel

      Thank you! Squash and sage are a wonderful combination, so I’m hardly surprised! And I love the colour as well. You’re very lucky to have a wonderful greengrocer on your doorstep! I go to the farmers’ market most weeks, but they don’t have everything (even if they do have sage!) and independent shops in the centre of Auckland are rather sparse, so one must make do. Cheese is the most difficult one – cheesemongers seem to be a rare occurrence here for some reason. Though I know from experience that just because a shop is independent, that doesn’t automatically make it the best.

      • Hi Mel. Firstly, apologies for the Ems reference..another food blogger (oops!). I forgot that being rather more isolated in Auckland, than generally soggy Scotland, would give you supply issues. I think that little independents are making quite a comeback here, as people realise that shopping can be a pleasurable experience, rather than the 100 metre dash round the supermarket. You are of course correct that they are not always best, but tend to stock more artisan ranges, that bigger stores don’t feel the need to. Perhaps you should consider opening a small cheesemongers. Don’t wait for the demand, create it!! Look forward to more of your excellent posts.

        Regards,

        Colin.

      • Mel

        No worries Colin! I agree that independents seem to be making a bit of a comeback in the UK, but they’re also battling against an economic downturn. Not everybody is willing or, importantly, able to pay the slightly (and occasionally very) elevated price at independents, even for produce of far better quality than might be found in the supermarket, particularly during a recession. So although independents may be gaining in popularity, I don’t think it’s universal across society (unfortunately). I think I’d make the worst cheesemonger ever – I’d probably eat all the cheese I was supposed to be selling! Haha.

  2. You are of course correct, Mel. It seems such a shame, especially as food shopping really could do with small outlets, to add much needed variety. However, not everyone has been decimated by our new austerity world and if you can open a cafe/bistro/restaurant/retail outlet in an appropriate area, there is still satisfaction to be had. Yes, it’s still location, location, location. As for the cheesemonger idea…yeh, eating your own stock is definitely a profit killer!

    • Mel

      I agree, independents do add great variety, and I also love having a little chat with the shopkeepers – it really adds to the shopping “experience” and makes it enjoyable (although can make shopping take forever!), as I think you mentioned before. You’re totally right, the success of independents is definitely dictated by location. I think that might change if everybody appreciated the importance of good quality, healthy food, but there’s a lot of work to be done for that to happen! I think I’ll just have to keep searching for a cheesemonger.

      • Ah Mel, if only everyone could be turned on to top quality foodstuffs. Sadly, I don’t see that happening in my lifetime, because we opened the ‘junk’ closet a long time ago and it’s tough to close. It’s a fast moving world and eating fast has become an obsession for so many. However, there are also a lot of people for whom a more considered eating experience is important and in my line of work, they are the ones I have to concentrate on. Meantime, keep up your end of the bargain and I’m sure many of your readers will enjoy the benefits of great recipes and the sheer fun of creative cooking.

      • Mel

        If only, if only – sadly I think you’re right. For many people, food is just a necessity and nothing more. The quicker, easier and cheaper the better. And I’ve no idea how those attitudes are going to change. It makes me sad that that’s the case – food is so enjoyable and such an important part of my life. And I have a feeling that the vast majority of my readers are already well aware of how wonderful home-cooked food is. But perhaps somebody will stumble across and be convinced (one can always hope to make a little difference!).

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