Butternut squash and fondue pie with pickled red chillies

Cheese lovers unite: this pie is for you Raclette is a semi-hard cheese from the Swiss and French Alps that eats well when melted. If you can’t get your hands on some, then just replace it with equal amounts of gruyere. The heat and acidity of the pickled chillies helps cut through the richness, but a zingy green salad would also pair well here. You can serve this pie warm, but it tastes just as good at room temperature, so is a perfect bake-ahead option.


25 min


1 hr 50 min

Serving size

6 people


1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 red chilli, thinly sliced into rounds, seeds and all (10g)
1 small butternut squash (800g), peeled, halved, deseeded and cut into 1½ cm thick half-moons (700g)
1 onion, peeled and cut into 5 x 1½ cm thick rounds (150g)
1¾ tsp ground cinnamon
3½ tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
6 garlic cloves, crushed
120ml dry white wine
1 tbsp picked thyme leaves, roughly chopped plus 5 extra sprigs
250ml double cream
1 large egg, plus 2 yolks
1 tbsp cornflour
120g gruyere, roughly grated
120g raclette, roughly grated
7 sheets feuilles de filo pastry (175g)
65g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
Salt and black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 220C. Grease and line the bottom and sides of a 23-centimetre spring-form cake tin with parchment paper.

2. Add the vinegar, chilli and 1/8th teaspoon of salt to a small bowl and set aside to pickle while you continue with the rest.

3. Add the butternut squash, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of oil, ½ teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper to a large bowl and toss well to combine. Transfer to a parchment lined baking tray then add the onion rounds to the same bowl along with 1½ teaspoons of oil, 1/8th teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper and toss gently to coat, keeping the onion rounds intact. Add the onions to the tray with the squash and roast for 30 minutes, turning the vegetables over halfway (keeping the onions intact), until softened and well browned. Set aside to cool slightly. Turn the oven temperature down to 180C.

4. Meanwhile, add the remaining tablespoon of oil to a small frying pan on a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the garlic and cook, stirring, until just beginning to colour, about 90 seconds. Add the wine and chopped thyme and cook for 6 minutes, or until reduced by about half. Set aside to cool slightly.

5. Add the cream, egg, yolks, cornflour, ½ teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper to a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Stir through both cheeses and the cooled wine mixture and set aside.

6. Lay one sheet of filo out onto a clean work surface and brush liberally with some of the melted butter. Lay the sheet over the prepared cake tin, pushing down to fit into the bottom and sides, allowing the excess to hang over the tin. Repeat with the remaining 6 sheets of filo, rotating them slightly so that the overhang falls at a different angle. Add two-thirds of the squash to the base of the tin along with three of the onion rounds then pour over the cheese mixture. Add the remaining squash and onion rounds and three thyme sprigs, pushing them gently into the cheese layer, but not completely submerging them. Bring in the overhang, scrunching it so it creates roughly a 3 centimeter border around the sides, with the centre exposed. Brush the scrunched up filo with the remaining melted butter. Place onto a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes. Use a tea towel to carefully release the outer round of the tin, discarding the parchment paper around the sides. Return the pie to the oven for another 20 minutes, or until the outsides are golden and cooked through. Set aside to cool for about 20 minutes.

7. To serve, transfer the pie to a board or serving platter. Spoon over the pickled chilli mixture and garnish with the remaining 2 thyme sprigs.