Pumpkin, chestnut and Stilton tart recipe
You don’t have to use Stilton. Another blue cheese is fine – though not Roquefort, which is too salty – or mix mature cheddar and Gruyère.
Prep time: 40 minutes, plus resting time
Cooking time: 2 hours
Six to eight
For the pastry
250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
150g cold butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
For the filling
4 ½ tbsp olive oil
½ onion, finely chopped
175g mushrooms, sliced or quartered, depending on their size
500g pumpkin or squash, seeded and peeled (prepared weight), cut into 2cm chunks
50g cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
115g Stilton (or other vegetarian blue cheese), rind removed, crumbled
2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
175ml double cream
150ml crème fraîche
To make the pastry, put the flour, butter and a good pinch of salt into a food processor and whizz until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Mix the yolk with ½ tbsp of very cold water, add to the flour mix and whizz again. Add another ½ tbsp of very cold water if needed for the pastry to come together in a ball. Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Roll the pastry out on a piece of lightly floured greaseproof paper. Line a 25-26cm loose-bottomed tart tin (3cm deep) with the pastry. Trim the edges and wrap the scraps in cling film to keep in the fridge. Prick the bottom of the tin with a fork then chill in the fridge or freezer until firm.
Preheat the oven to 200C/190C fan/gas mark 6 and put in a metal baking sheet to heat up. Line the pastry with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans.
Bake on the sheet for 10 minutes then remove the paper and beans and cook for another 8 minutes. Leave to cool.
Lower the temperature to 180C/170C fan/gas mark 4. Use the leftover raw pastry to patch any cracks.
For the filling, heat a third of the butter and ½ tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan and cook the onion gently, until soft but not coloured. Scrape into a bowl.
Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in the same frying pan and sauté the mushrooms briskly. You want to get a good colour on these. Mushrooms give out water when they cook so make sure you cook this off.
Add another third of the butter towards the end of cooking the mushrooms. Season and add to the bowl with the onions.
Heat the rest of the oil and butter and fry the pumpkin or squash until tender and golden.
Spoon the onion, pumpkin, mushrooms, chestnuts and Stilton into the pastry case.
Mix the eggs, yolks and both creams together in a jug. Season, but don’t use too much salt (the cheese is very salty). Pour on top of the vegetables and Stilton.
Return the tart to the baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the filling just set (it should still be a little soft).
Cool for 15 minutes, remove the tart ring, slide on to a plate and serve.
⇢ Diana's top tip
Be sure to cook all the moisture out of the mushrooms, or the tart flavours will be diluted.