Butternut Squash and Fondue Pie With Pickled Red Chiles
Cheese lovers unite: This pie is seriously, intensely cheesy. Raclette is a semihard cheese from the Swiss and French Alps that eats well when melted. If you can’t get your hands on some, replace it with equal amounts of Gruyère. The heat and acidity of the pickled chiles help cut through the richness, but a zingy green salad would also pair well here. You can serve this pie warm, but it tastes just as good at room temperature, so it's a perfect bake-ahead option.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 5tablespoons/65 grams unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
- 1tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1red serrano chile, very thinly sliced at an angle into rounds, seeds and all
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1small butternut squash (about 1 3/4 pounds/800 grams), peeled, halved, deseeded and cut into 1/2-inch/1 1/2-centimeter-thick half-moons
- 1 ¾teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3tablespoons and 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra for greasing
- 1yellow onion (about 5 ounces/150 grams), peeled and cut into five 1/2-inch/1 1/2-centimeter-thick rounds
- 6garlic cloves, crushed
- ½cup/120 milliliters dry white wine
- 1tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped, plus 5 extra sprigs
- 1cup/240 milliliters heavy cream (double cream)
- 1large egg plus 2 yolks
- 1tablespoon cornstarch (cornflour)
- 4 ½ounces/125 grams Gruyère, grated (about 1 1/2 lightly packed cups)
- 4ounces/115 grams raclette, grated (about 1 1/3 lightly packed cups)
- 7sheets phyllo (filo) pastry (about 10-by-13 inches/26-by-34 centimeters each, or similar), thawed if frozen
Step 1Heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit/230 degrees Celsius. Grease and line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch/23-centimeter springform cake pan (tin) with parchment paper.
Step 2Add the vinegar, chile and 1/8 teaspoon salt to a small bowl, and set aside to pickle.
Step 3Add the butternut squash, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of pepper to a large bowl, and toss well to combine. Transfer squash to a parchment-lined baking sheet (tray) and arrange in one layer. Add the onion rounds to the same bowl along with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt and a good grind of pepper, and toss gently to coat, keeping the onion rounds intact. Add the onions to the baking sheet with the squash and roast for 30 minutes, carefully turning the vegetables over halfway (keeping the onions intact), until softened and well browned. Set aside to cool slightly. Turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees Fahrenheit/190 degrees Celsius.
Step 4Meanwhile, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to a small skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the garlic and cook, stirring, until just beginning to color, about 90 seconds. Add the wine and chopped thyme and cook until reduced by half, 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
Step 5Add the cream, egg and egg yolks, cornstarch (cornflour), 1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of pepper to a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Stir in both cheeses and the cooled wine mixture and set aside.
Step 6Lay one sheet of phyllo (filo) out onto a clean work surface and brush liberally with some of the melted butter. Lay the sheet over the prepared cake pan, carefully pushing it down to fit into the bottom and sides without tearing, allowing the excess to hang over the pan. Repeat with the remaining 6 sheets of phyllo, rotating them slightly so that the overhang falls at a different angle. Add two-thirds of the squash to the base along with 3 onion rounds, then pour the cheese mixture on top. Add the remaining squash and onion rounds and 3 thyme sprigs, pushing them gently into the cheese layer but not completely submerging them.
Step 7Bring in the overhanging phyllo dough, scrunching it so it creates a 1-inch/3-centimeter border around the sides, with the center exposed, taking care to make sure the parchment stays securely against the side of the pan. Brush the scrunched-up phyllo with the remaining melted butter.
Step 8Place onto a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Use a tea towel to carefully release the outer rim of the cake pan, discarding the parchment paper around the sides. Return the pie to the oven for another 20 minutes, or until the outsides are golden and cooked through. Set aside to cool for about 20 minutes.
Step 9To serve, transfer the pie to a board or serving platter. Spoon over the pickled chile mixture and garnish with the remaining 2 thyme sprigs.