This is a good-for-you pie – just ignore the pastry which is like a sofa for all the other goodies to sit on!
700g (1½ lbs) firm-fleshed pumpkin
400g (14 oz) ready-made puff pastry, thawed if frozen
1 small (size 5) free-range egg, beaten with a fork
Freshly ground black pepper
12 sage laves
100g (1½ cups) sweet cherry tomatoes, halved
175g (6 oz) firm feta, sliced
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
Extra virgin olive oil
1 Cut the pumpkin into chunks, slice off skin and remove seeds. Cut into large cubes and either steam or boil gently until nearly tender; do not overcook. Cool then slice.
2 Meanwhile, roll the pastry approximately 44cm long by 26cm wide. Cut off a piece of pastry 20cm long and put the larger piece on a baking tray (sheet) lined with baking (parchment) paper. This larger piece is the base of the pie. Brush around the edges of the pastry with beaten egg. Cut thick strips, about 2cm wide, off the 20cm long piece of pastry, and position these around the edges of the pie base. Chill the pastry until firm.
3 Brush the strips of pastry around the edges of the pie with beaten egg. Arrange the pumpkin in the centre of the pastry (not on the edges), sprinkle with salt and grind on some pepper, and scatter the sage leaves over. Next, put in the tomatoes cut side facing up, and cover with the feta and sliced onion.
4 Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Bake in an oven preheated to 200°C (400°F) for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.
This colourful pie is bursting with flavour – perfect for a vegetarian main course. If you’re having difficulty imagining how the pastry should look, think of it as a picture frame. What you are doing is making a double layer of pastry around the edges of the pie like a frame, so that it will puff and be the same height as the filled centre of the pie once it is baked.
I prefer to steam the pumpkin because it keeps all its flavour and the texture stays firm and dryish – if you turn it into a puree, its sayonara pumpkin pie.
I use about a quarter of a large grey skinned pumpkin (it should yield about 500g prepared pumpkin).
The pastry can be prepared several hours ahead (wrap it tightly and keep it chilled). The pumpkin can be cooked and the feta sliced ahead, but everything else should be done as you assemble the pie. Pastry is always best eaten the day it is made, although leftovers reheat reasonably well.
The value of onions, tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil in the diet is well known, and pumpkin is rich in vitamins A and C and has plenty of fibre, and feta is a good, low-fat source of protein. Have seconds!