For the pastry
- 300g plain flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 75g chilled butter, cut into pieces
- 75g white vegetable fat, cut into pieces
For the filling
- 300g sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 200g fresh spinach, washed
- 210g pack mozzarella cheese, drained and sliced
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 150ml pot crème fraiche or single cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Basil leaves, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6.
- Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Rub in the butter and white vegetable fat with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in just enough chilled water to make a soft but not sticky dough. Knead for a few moments, then wrap and chill for 10-20 minutes.
- Put the sweet potato chunks into a roasting dish, add the olive oil and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Add the red pepper and roast for 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
- Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line the Loose-Based Rectangular Flan Tin. Line with greaseproof paper and baking beans or crumpled foil and bake ‘blind’ for 15 minutes.
- Take the flan out of the oven and remove the paper and baking beans or foil. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/Gas 4.
- Put the spinach into a large colander and pour a kettleful of boiling water over it to wilt the leaves. Run cold water over it, then squeeze the spinach with your hands to remove the excess water.
- Arrange the peppers and sweet potatoes in the pastry case with the spinach and slices of mozzarella cheese. Beat together the eggs and crème fraiche or single cream. Season. Pour into the flan case, then bake for 35-40 minutes, until set. Serve warm or cold, garnished with basil.
Tip: Try not to handle the pastry too much – it should be kept as cool as possible to give a light, crisp finish.
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