To make the pastry, into a bowl, sieve the plain flour and add a small pinch of salt. Take the cold butter and cut into tiny cubes and add to the flour. Lightly work together the butter and flour with you finger tips or a pastry blender until a breadcrumb consistency is achieved. Add a splash of water, roughly three table spoons, then lightly work in, trying not to over work. Shape into a flat block, wrap in cling fling and leave in a cold fridge for an hour or so.
Remove the skins of the beetroot and butternut squash and chop into rough sized cubes. Put on a tray with a drizzle of oil and a scatter of salt then loosely cover with kitchen foil. Roast at 180°C for 45 minutes.
After the pastry has rested, roughly the same time as the vegetables finish roasting, roll out on a floury surface into a circle larger than the dish, allowing for the sides, it should be roughly 4mm thick. Grease the dish by lightly covering with butter and dusting with flour, shaking any excess off.
To blind bake. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Gently lift the the pastry over the dish and coax into to edges while lifting the excess edge so it does not catch and tear. Slice or tear some of the excess pastry off from around the edge.
With a fork, prick the base all over. Now loosely cover with cling film and add some baking beans or similar and scatter over the base, enough to keep the sides from falling in. Bake for 12 minutes and then a further 3 minutes after removing the cling film and baking beans. Then leave to cool while you move on to prepare the filling.
Leave the oven on 180°C
Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the cream, eggs, thyme, nutmeg and a good crack of black pepper.
Now to assemble, into the pastry base first put the roasted vegetables then crumble the goats cheese over. Slice the onion into rings and scatter over, pour the cream and egg mixture over the top topping with a generous amount of cracked black pepper.
Place in the oven for 35 minutes, let rest for 10 minutes and serve.
With Autumn firmly set in, all hopes of an indian summer shattered and the leaves that have already turned starting to fall. For me, it is the best time of year!
The landscapes filled with amazing warm colours, all the vegetables that have been growing all summer are ready to eat, the seasonal dishes are more hearty, boxes of coats and jumpers can reemerge, drinking red wine in misty windowed pubs…nothing better.