GOAT CHEESE, SWEET POTATO AND CHIVE PIE

I love making this pie during winter, especially in December. Flaky pastry filled with sweet potato cream and sharp goat cheese is an absolute showstopper and makes a perfect dish to share with family and friends. I used gluten-free flour instead of regular flour to ensure everyone can enjoy this recipe but feel free to use spelt flour or plain flour if you wish.

This pie not only looks great, it is also packed with nutrients like beta carotene which is great for the health of your skin and your hair and essential for eye health.

Additionally, fibre and vitamins A, C, K boost your immune system and strengthen your bones. The preparation of this comfort dish takes a little bit longer than others but makes for a lovely afternoon of cooking with your family.

GOAT CHEESE, SWEET POTATO AND CHIVE PIE

(serves 6)

INGREDIENTS:

For the pastry:
• 250 g gluten free flour (I used Doves Farm Gluten & Wheat Free Plain White Flour)
• 125 g best quality butter, cubed
• ½ tsp salt
• 60 g vegetarian Parmesan, grated
• 5 g chives, finely chopped
• 4 tbsp cold water

For the garlic butter:
• 50 g good quality butter
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tsp chives, chopped
• 1 tsp fresh lemon juice

For the filling:
• 1 kg sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes
• 1 large onion, chopped
• Olive oil
• Sea salt and black pepper, to season
• 2 large garlic gloves, minced
• 500 g baby spinach, washed
• The zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
• 50 g of crème fraiche
• 30 g chives, finely chopped
• 2 eggs
• 150 soft goat cheese
• 100 g cashews, finely chopped
• 30 g mixed seeds (I used pumpkin seeds poppyseeds)

METHOD:

• Put the flour, cubed butter, and salt into a large bowl.
• Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
• Add 60 g grated Parmesan and the chives and mix all the ingredients together.
• Measure 4 tbsp cold water and add a little at a time until the dough sticks together.
• Knead it gently until it forms a ball, wrap in the clingfilm and chill for a minimum of 20 minutes.
• Alternatively, if using a food processor, place the flour, butter, and salt in a food processor bowl and pulse until the butter is rubbed into the flour. Add the Parmesan cheese and the chives and pulse again. Gradually add the water until the dough sticks together.
• Preheat the oven to 220°C and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
• Toss the sweet potatoes and the chopped onions in the olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for 30 minutes.
• Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large size pan over a medium heat and add the minced garlic cloves and spinach, cook gently for around 5 minutes until the spinach softens. Add the lemon zest.
• Remove the sweet potatoes and onions from the oven and lower the oven’s temperature to 180°C.
• Place the sweet potato mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add 50 g of crème fraiche, chives and one egg and the spinach, season with salt and pepper and mix gently.
• Roll 2/3 of the chilled pastry out on a clean, floured work surface to 3 cm thick. Line the base and the sides of 20 cm diameter cake tin with the pastry, fill with a half of the sweet potato mixture and top with the goat cheese and chopped cashews. Top with the other half of the mixture.
• Roll out the rest of the pastry and lay on top of the pie and seal all around the edges with your fingers.
• Make a hole in the centre of the pie for steam to escape.
• Brush the top all over with the beaten egg and sprinkle with mixed seeds.
• Bake for 45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
• Remove from the oven, leave it to cool and remove it from the tin.