Easter came around so fast, I wasn’t sure if I’d be prepared for it all. Bet you are excited to be off work, right?!
Well for me, Easter in my family, is almost as important as Christmas! Yes you heard that right! Well for my St Lucian side anyway. In much of the Caribbean, the dominant religion is Christian and in St Lucia we mostly identify as Catholic.
So you know, religiously, this is a really important time in the religion.
Whilst many (including members of my family) give up a treat at this time of year – think chocolate, ice cream, crisps and even alcohol or smoking – Good Friday is a major foodie day! And the reason why, is because on this day, as a family, the only protein we eat is fish! Some of the younger generation are modern in their choices of fish – Salmon, Sea Bass, Tuna and/or Cod – but for the more traditionalists in our family, prepare to see bucket loads of Red Snapper (one of my culture’s favourite type of fish), flying fish and also Saltfish. I cant wait to tuck into my Gran’ Saltfish Fish Cakes, they really are incredible!
Whilst I love these options, I wanted to bring my own dish to the table. So instead of frying, baking or even handling fish (I cant take the smell in my hair & in the house) I opted for a Vegetarian dish I know my whole family will love and appreciate. Especially my cousins and brother, because lets face it, it can get a little overwhelming, even if it is just for one day.
With the help of Jus Roll, who invited me to make a dish using their products, I chose to bake my very first pie! And yes, it was a Vegetarian pie but it was also full of loads of cheesy goodness plus an added nutritional element of Butternut Squash. However I don’t know if it was nutritious at all considering how I prepared it!
Go on! Give it a try! This will be 30 mins well spent in the kitchen and you can go and grab ALL the ingredients you need from your local grocers or supermarkets including Sainsburys & Tesco!
Trust me, you’ll love it!
SPINACH, GOATS CHESSE, MOZZARELLA
& BUTTERNUT SQUASH
PREPARATION TIME: 20 MINUTES
COOKING TIME: 1 HOUR
FEEDS: 4-6 PEOPLE
2 Knobs of Butter
Pinch of Salt & Pepper for seasoning
Bag of Spinach
Half of a Butternut Squash
Pack of Flour (any)
x1 Pack of Mozzarella
X1 Pack of Goats Cheese
x2 Packs of Jus Roll Puff Pastry (The green one)
The best way to begin making your pie is to start preparing your vegetables. In this case, I heated butter in a saucepan until it liquidized, then I poured in the chopped and peeled Butternut Squash and let that cook on a low heat.
Once you can see this getting softer, preheat the oven at Gas Mark 6 and stick the baking tray in here for 10 minutes also, before you start rolling out your Jus Roll Puff Pastry sheets. If the pre-rolled pastry was previously kept in the fridge, I’d let it cool to room temperature for 10 minutes or so too.
On your preparation surface, dust with flour (I’d say 2 tablespoons of the magic dust), grab your rolling pin and roll out one pack of puff pastry to the size of 1cm.
Check on the squash. If its soft and a fork can pierce it thoroughly without splitting it, you are all good! Drain this and leave to cool away from the hotplates.
Carefully remove your baking tray from the oven and line it with brown paper to completely cover the dish and enough to have paper sticking out over the edge. Then carefully place in here your rolled pastry sheet and try not to let it rip. If it does, carefully seal it back together with the tips of your fingers.
Now its time to fill your dreamy pie!
Start chopping the cheeses into slices and layer this simultaneously with your spinach leave and what ever ingredients you wish to add to the pie including your cooled squash.
Then again dust your surface area with flour and repeat the previous pastry rolling trick. This time, you must cover the bottom layer and pie fillings with this sheet and pinch it together at the edges, all the way around the pie/ baking tray.
Normally you advised to now slick a beaten egg paste over the finished pie, but as I don’t like nor eat egg, I melted more butter (or use the butter you used to cook the squash if you don’t want to be wasteful) and paint the top of your pie with this, remembering the edges too! My gran says you can do this with milk too, but I didn’t want to take the chance.
Now you are done! Place the filled baking tray into the over, lower the temperature to Gas Mark 4 and then let it cook! But if you are like me, you’ll want to watch it cook until it’s perfectly golden brown and ready to remove.
Let your delicious pie cool and then start slicing and serving and watch those mouths drool!