Butternut Squash, Pear and Gorgonzola Flatbread Tart
This is basically a pizza made from a substantial dough base with a wonderful topping of squash and cheese - plus pears for sweetness. It’s a great way of introducing children to new ingredients, and of offering them the opportunity to contribute to that experience. Even children who are not generally into blue cheese can enjoy this, as the pears balance out the strong taste of the Gorgonzola.
The tart can even be made in advance and taken on a picnic - served hot or cold it’s a winner!
|For the bread base:|
|250g||strong white bread flour|
|1 tsp||sea salt|
|1 tsp||caster sugar|
|A few drops||of good-quality olive oil|
|For the topping:|
|3||firm pears (my preference is Cornice or Conference)|
|Good-quality olive oil|
|Plain flour, for dusting|
|A few sprigs||of thyme|
|1 x 100g||bag rocket salad (mixed leaves with rocket)|
Line a large bowl with clingfilm.
Tip the flour on to a work surface or into a large bowl and add the yeast, salt and sugar. Crumble the ingredients through your fingers to mix everything together and to warm up the flour. When all is incorporated, make a well in the centre and slowly add the water and a splash of olive oil, kneading the dough until it comes together.
Place the dough in the lined bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave the dough to rise in a warm environment (an airing cupboard or a warm stovetop, or even on a table or shelf next to a warm radiator) for up to 2 hours, until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 240c/220c fan/gas 9.
Once the dough has risen, transfer to a floured surface, then knock it back and knead well to remove all the air. Set to one side.
Peel and thinly slice the butternut squash, discarding the seeds and stringy pulp from the centre.
Dice 2 of the pears and thinly slice the third, discarding the cores. Thinly slice the cheese.
Lightly grease a 30cm ovenproof frying pan with olive oil. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7.
Roll out the bread dough on a floured surface to a rough disc about 1cm thick (this will take some time, but persistence will give results).
Lay a small amount of the cheese all around the dough, just inside the edge, then fold the edge over to create a border with the cheese inside.
Lay the dough in the frying pan. Arrange the squash, diced and sliced pears and the remaining cheese all over the dough, then dust with flour and drizzle with olive oil. Push the thyme sprigs into the dough, just around the edge.
Now leave the tart to stand in a warm place for 20 minutes to allow the dough to prove slightly. I leave it on top of the stove, and the heat from the oven underneath creates the required warmth.
Bake the tart for 35 minutes, or until the middle is cooked. You can tell it’s done when it comes away easily from the centre of the pan.
Leave the tart to cool slightly, then drizzle the salad with olive oil and scatter over the tart. Cut into pieces to serve.