Fondue Savoyarde meets a Greek pie – it must be Ottolenghi. My mushroom and fondue filo pie is based on Yotam’s recipe from NY Times Cooking.
Ottolenghi’s pie with a twist
My take on Ottolenghi Butternut Squash and Fondue Pie cuts a few corners, like home-pickled jalapeños for instance. That’s simply because I had an open jar of good pickled jalapeños in the fridge and waste is what I dislike more than cutting corners.
Raclette Savoyarde (not)
Let alone shop-bought pickles, I think the Savoyards would be much more appalled at Yotam putting Raclette cheese into a filo nest. Raclette’s place on earth is in a half-wheel placed on a tilted holder, the cut side exposed to a powerful heater.
All looks a little like an old-fashioned tanning lamp for the cheese. The outside layer melts and oozes down, to be cleverly caught onto a dainty little shovel and oozed onto baked potatoes or charcuterie. Not a crumb of filo pastry in sight.
Why twist an Ottolenghi recipe?
But I, not a Savoyarde, have a problem with butternut squash rather than the Raclette sacrilege. I know, people tell me all the time that it’s lovely when well-seasoned and smothered with cheese, but a lump of cardboard probably would too in such circumstances.
And if there’s a vegetable (I KNOW it’s not a vegetable) that goes with cheese, it’s mushrooms. Plus, I skip the onions. I have an open plan kitchen so I skip onions whenever I can. That’s a joke but I’m sure a few people will sympathise with the above sentiment.
It’s not complicated
Mine is a much simpler recipe than Yotam’s, obviously (OBVIOUSLY!). I roast the mushrooms like he roasted the butternut squash and they take much shorter.
For the filling I cut out the whole egg YO includes as I wanted to avoid the quiche-y feeling. You can easily cut the yolks too and keep just the cheese and cream if you want to make it less rich. But don’t omit the wine infusion – it makes the filling taste gorgeous.
How to build the fondue pie
It’s a tart rather than a pie – we Brits believe a pie must have a closure. Not unlike spanakopita, though the Greeks agree with the Brits in that matter, always closing their pitas with a covering of filo. Brushing the filo layers with butter makes them crispier but use oil if that’s your preference.
Fanning out the pastry layers makes a nest for the cheese and a tin helps to keep the filling contained as it’s a little runny. But a cake tin isn’t de rigueur: you can use a little wider flan or tart dish.
The filling is made of the cheese or cheeses, the wine and herb infusion and the egg yolks, with a little cornflour to help bind it. It’s layered with mushrooms in the filo nest but if you’re wondering if it can all be mixed together, you guess right. The layering is pure Yotam – it must have rubbed off on me.
The overhanging filo pastry needs to be scrunched up and tucked in around the sides, leaving most of the filling exposed and adorned with jalapeño slices. Baking takes about forty minutes and, even though you’ll be itching to tuck in, let the pie stand a while. Cutting freshly baked filo leads to a shower of shards all over the place.