Saturday, 22 October 2011

Butternut Squash, Chestnut & Gruyere Jalousie

Forgive me. This could be quite a large blog entry and photo heavy as I've got loads of photos etc this time to share. Unfortunately, the photos of my Jalousie do it no justice at all - but time and light were not in my favour....

Jalousie is a fancy name for an otherwise basic slatted / latticed tart or freeform pie. It can be as simple or as fancy as you wish. With so many lovely autumnal vegetables freshly available, it seemed silly not to put them to good use. I've come up with this amazingly delicious combination. It doesn't look overly special, but hey ho - we all have bad photo days. You'll struggle to go wrong if you choose to create your own. Whether sweet or savoury - shove all your favourite things in.....

jalousie [ˈʒælʊˌziː]
1. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Furniture) a window blind or shutter constructed from angled slats of wood, plastic, etc.
2. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Furniture) a window made of similarly angled slats of glass
[from Old French gelosie latticework screen, literally: jealousy, perhaps because one can look through the screen without being seen]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

Jalousie shown above was served with fresh beetroot steamed in a foil packet with cumin

Recipe (serves approx 4 > 5)

I prepared this the night previous to cooking and refrigerated overnight - simply for convenience.

1 x 500g block pre-made puff pastry
2 > 3 good quality butchers sausages (omit for vegetarian option)
3 medium sized chestnut mushrooms (optional)
8 > 10 cooked chestnuts
1 small butternut squash
50g grated gruyere
some finely chopped fresh sage (if available)

Peel, de-seed and cube the butternut squash into approx 2cm chunks. I think I had around 350g of prepared raw weight. I drizzled these with olive oil and quickly roasted them on the top grill of my halogen oven at about 220deg until starting to brown. You could put them in your jalousie raw, but I wanted faster cooking time and something that could be shoved in the oven after work the next day...

Next. prepare the chestnuts. I used fresh sweet chestnuts and roasted them quickly on the top shelf of my halogen oven. I find that after cooking, cover them with a damp cloth to keep them hot and moist makes them easier to shell. I've made a rubbish little video of this... You may prefer to use canned or vaccum packed chestnuts for convenience !

Next, roll the puff pastry out on a silicone pastry rolling mat to approx 12" x 14". Using a blunt table knife, cut this down the middle into two equal pieces 6" x 14" (approx).

Start layering the ingredients - starting with thinly sliced mushrooms and chopped chestnuts. You can see I've then added the squash on top, sausages (removed from skins and rolled into balls approx 1cm dia.) before finally topping with the gruyere.

Top with the second piece of pastry and crimp round the edges. I use a fork handle and pull it up and over. This jalousie was so full, I really thought it may well burst out the seams !

If refrigerating overnight before baking, do cover with cling film to stop it drying out.

Glaze with a beaten egg before baking. I baked this at 210deg C Fan oven for about 25 mins.


It's Autumn here in the UK, and it's been bright, sunny, warmer and drier than is generally normal for this time of year. We live in East Anglia - which is also known as the "Bread Basket" of Britain. It's prime agricultural land that offers the best of UK growing conditions. 

Being lucky enough to live in a rural area like this has lots of advantages. In the (almost) 10 years I've lived here, I have NEVER bought eggs from a shop. Ok, so we have chickens now, but prior to that or in winter months when they don't lay so many - it's so easy to stop by a farm or house with a stall and honesty jar by the side of the road. Simply take what you need, put your money in the jar or tin and off you go. Easy as that. Good, locally produced, seasonal fruit and vegetables on our doorsteps.

I stopped just down the road earlier this week to buy a pumpkin and also saw those pears for sale. I love the photo above - they look so appealing. What an absolute shame I cannot stand pears ! I love the fact that this way of life often allows me to get hold of some produce I'd never find in the supermarket and unbeatably fresh (as well as inexpensive).

The other direction from home, I can currently get wet walnuts, honey and duck eggs - oh - not forgetting cider vinegar and more varieties of pressed apple juice than you can dream of.

There are lots of local farmers markets. These are generally run on Saturday mornings at local villages. Most alternate, so you know which Saturday where the market is. Wymondam Farmers Market is probably my favourite and on the 3rd Saturday of the month. This time of year, I generally work Saturday mornings - so getting to one of the markets is a rare occurrence.

I was at work today, but took last Saturday morning off due to being very poorly the day before. Oliver and I took a quick trip to Wymondham market to grab some goodies on offer.... 

Here is Oliver - munching on a cracker given to him by the lady on the fish stall. I don't know whether it because he was looking cute or half starved that he managed to wangle a cracker, but it certainly raised a huge smile ! Of course, he had to carry his own bag. He likes to choose things. He carries the light ones and I get the heavy stuff. First stop was for vegetables (loads of teeny weeny onions, butternut squash and broccoli. 

From the fish lady, we got some lovely oak hot smoked salmon and a fresh dressed crab as well as a little pot of peeled brown shrimps. An expensive treat - but made a lovely Sunday evening meal with some thinly sliced toasted sour dough.

This guy is from . I used to mail order from them a long long time ago. They make some awesome chilli sauces, jams and jellies. My dad particularly likes their limited addition Lemon Drop Chilli Jelly and I managed to bag 3 jars for him last weekend...

Beautiful selection of Artisan Breads. I generally don't tend to buy this sort of bread as I adore making it myself given any excuse.... So much of it is such an irresistible smell though at the market ! Oliver picked a huge Rosemary and Olive oil Focaccia and a good 1/4 of had GONE in his tummy before we even got it home ! I chose a couple of little savoury tarts for tea - goats cheese and red onion and I think the other was pea, spinach and feta ? Sorry - I've forgotten. They were eaten a week ago...

The cake at the front is a new creation from Dr Tim Kinnaird (pastry chef and runner up of Masterchef 2010). I brought it home for my husband - but did have a little taste. I cannot find what it is online, but it was some sort of creamy brulee type top with a chocolatey middle and alcohol soaked sponge base. I'll tweet him and maybe we'll be lucky enough to find out. 

This is some of the stuff we came back with. Notice I trimmed the focaccia up at the back since Oliver had eaten huge chunks on the way home !

Oliver ADORES macarons and picked a Salt Caramel macaron from Tim which was demolished in no time at all. After spending a small fortune at the market, we went into the library down the road for a little while. I'm ashamed to say we left about 20mins later without me even having a chance to read to Oliver - attempting to do so just resulted in continuous coughing fits and an inability to breathe. He had to put up with just having a browse on his own ! I'm a bit better now since the doctors started me on some steroids at the beginning of the week.....

On getting back to the car, Oliver found some massive piles of leaves and had such a ball jumping in them and kicking them in the air. If his back had not been facing me most of the time, I'm sure I could have got some super shots ! After that was over, Oliver was BEGGING for another macaron (rolls eyes). We walked back up to the market and he snagged the very last salted caramel macaron. I did ask nicely for a bite - but was told "NO WAY MUMMY !"  I'd have bought my own macaron, but believe it or not, the diet is still going strong and I'm now 2st down..

That wasn't the end of the day.... from there we ended up at Goodies Farm Shop for locally stone milled flours and some locally reared meat from their in-house butchery. A coffee in the cafe was very welcome and Oliver munched his way through a lunch of some rather nice looking sausages and chips.

Coming home, we made some of those Rye Crackers I showed you from the sour dough bread course.. Well - I put the ingredients out to sit overnight and we made the crackers the following day. Good rolling Oliver  (ok - you had a LITTLE help !) These were MASSIVE !

 I'm popping the recipe in here for my convenience - since I often use my own blog recipes on the Ipad in the kitchen !


500g full fat milk
40g honey
30g rye sourdough starter
500g rye flour
250g white bread flour
20g salt
5g bicarbonate of soda
10g spice of choice - ie ginger, cardamom, cumin, caraway, fennel

Knead for 10 > 15 mins in Kitchenaid. Cover and leave overnight.

Next day, roll out balls of approx 50g as thinly as possible on to a silicone mat floured with rye flour. Prick with a fork. Brush with water and top with flaked sea salt and seeds / spices etc ( we used fennel on some and cummin on others). 

Bake at 200deg C for approx 10mins

Couple of girls out riding on a stubble field one morning this week....

Some of my ponies in the field.... growing winter woolly coats. The one in the middle is Digger who you may remember was born in January this year.

Henrietta and scruffy looking Chicky (the chick we hatched a few weeks back).

Oliver (still sporting a chocolate face) and I - taking photos of yourself with a camera is never a great idea.... But here we are !

Sarah-Jane (and Oliver) Nash - October 2011


  1. What a fab post - you are so lucky to have that brilliant market close by. And the Jalouise looks yummy - must try soon, though I'm addicted to chestnuts roasted on my open fire - a relgular autumn treat. And so nice to put a face to the blogger too!

  2. That is my kind of market, I'm lucky to live in a more rural area too and have access to better produce. Your Jalousie sounds wonderful, I love all the Autumn flavors. I used your mice mould and they worked so great, I finally got the post up. Thank you again, I can't wait to use the rest.

  3. Love your photos and the jalousie looks amazing! I love butternut squash and gruyere - brilliant combination!

  4. Jalousie is new to me and it looks incredibly delicious. That's an awesome pic of you and Oliver!!!

  5. Jalousie look delicious! and what niuce market! nice pics! gloria

  6. I wish our farmer's market would be as much fun as yours.
    Your Jalousie looks great, love the fall flavors you put in and the rye crackers some like a great snack idea!

    p.s. happy belated birthday to Oliver!


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