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Roast Pumpkin & Rye Quiche

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This was the most exciting quiche to make! My friend Naomi's mum GROUND THE FLOUR that I used for the pastry. My Mum GREW THE PUMPKIN I put in the filling, and my brother's chickens LAID THE EGGS that made the quiche mix! I can't even get over it! It's clear I'm about to go full on hippy if this pattern continues, so please excuse me while I go and find myself a dream catcher, some jingly jangly anklets and a rainbow skirt made out of hemp. 

Also, go buy yourself some rye flour because it's DAMN good! I've never used it for a pastry case before and it was nutty and incredibly flavoursome and crunchy! I'm sure the fact that it was home ground helped too, but from now on I'm planning on getting much more adventurous with the types of flours I use. Wheat, you smug bastard, move aside and share the spotlight! 


Ingredients

For the pastry

125g rye flour

a pinch of salt

55g butter, chopped into cubes

2 Tbsp cold water

 

For the filling

1/2 a butternut pumpkin (around 400g), chopped into chunky cubes 

1 tsp smoky paprika

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

6 eggs

1-2 tbsp milk (or whipping cream, if you want to be indulgent)

1 Tbsp pepitas

1 tbsp sunflower seeds

1 tbsp pinenuts

1/4 cup pecorino cheese (sharp Parmesan would work too)

A few sprigs of thyme

Method

For the pastry, combine the flour and salt, then rub in the butter until the whole thing forms the consistency of breadcrumbs. Then add the water and knead until a smooth dough forms. Wrap it in cling film and put it in the refrigerator for half an hour. 

While the pastry is chilling in the fridge, toss the chopped pumpkin in the olive oil, smoky paprika and salt, making sure it's well coated. Spread it on baking sheets and roast at around 180-200˚C for about 40 minutes, or until the pumpkin is cooked through and has started to caramelise a little on the outside. Remove from the oven and let cool a little. 

Rub some olive oil around the base and edges of one of those quiche pie dish things. Roll out your pastry into a thin sheet. It might break up (mine did) but don't stress! Put it in the pie dish and press it down so that it's covering the whole dish evenly and goes all the way up the sides. Then you want to 'blind bake' it*, which means you put some baking paper on top of the pastry, and pour some rice or pastry 'beads' on top of the baking paper. These are to weigh it down. Put it in the oven at around 180˚C and cook for 10-15 minutes, then remove the rice and baking paper and put it back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until the pastry looks crisp and slightly browned all over (make sure it's definitely cooked at the bottom because you don't want it to get stodgy once you add the filling).

Whisk your eggs and milk with salt and pepper to taste. Once the pastry shell is cooked, fill it with your roast pumpkins, pour your egg-milk mixture over the top (it should rise up to around the level of the edges of the pastry). Top with the grated cheese, sprinkle over the pepitas, pine nuts, sunflower seeds and the sprigs of thyme, and put in the oven for about 20-30 minutes. It might take longer - you'll know it's ready when it doesn't look liquid-y anymore^.

Serve warm from the oven with a nice fresh side salad to add some extra crunch. Feeds four hungry people.

*Side note 1: I learned the other day that blind baking is what stops the sides of the pie shrinking down as the pastry cooks, so you do it to make sure you still have good height to your quiche!

^ Side note 2: Cooking time varies because of heaps of things, like how watery your fillings are, your egg-mixture-to-pumpkin-ratio and a heap of stuff, so don't worry if it takes a little longer, just keep an eye on it and take it out once it looks firm and you can't see any liquid in the centre. 


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