Butternut squash and stilton filo pie
This impressive pie is packed with so many rich, hearty flavours that it not only makes an excellent vegetarian Christmas recipe, but it can serve as an alternative Christmas main for meat-lovers as well. You can even make this pie a month in advance and cook it straight from frozen, for minimal effort on the day.
- Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large lidded pan over a medium heat. Add the squash, season, then cover and cook for 10 minutes, until softened.
- Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for 1 minute more. Tip the mixture into a bowl and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in the same pan. Add the mushrooms and fry for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl with the squash.
- Meanwhile, put the spinach in a colander set over the sink. Pour over a kettleful of boiling water to wilt. Squeeze out the excess water; season.
- Grease a 22cm (9in) springform tin with butter. Brush 1 sheet of filo with butter and line the base of the tin, leaving an overhang. Repeat with 4 more sheets, layering each one at different angles for folding up later.
- Fill with half the veg mixture, followed by half the spinach, and then half the cheese. Add the remaining spinach, then top with the remaining veg mixture and cheese. Fold the final filo sheet in half and use to cover the filling. Fold over the overhanging pastry and scrunch up the ends. Brush with melted butter and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before serving.
Freezing and defrosting guidelines
Make the pie according to the recipe, brush with butter and then cover (uncooked and in the tin) in clingfilm and til foil (to prevent freezer burn) and freeze for up to 1 month.
Bake from frozen with a few extra minutes added to the cooking time, or until the filling is piping hot (test by inserting a skewer into the middle of the pie) and the pastry is crisp and golden.
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