This puffy, golden-brown, cheese-flavoured case filled with lovely fresh vegetables is a wonderful dinner party dish.
115 g/4 oz/8 tbsp butter
150 g/5 oz/ 1 1/4cups plain flour
115 g/4 oz Gruyere or Cheddar cheese, finely diced
5 ml/1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the filling
1 small cauliflower
1 x 200 g/7 oz can tomatoes
15 ml/ 1 tbsp sunflower oil
15 g/l/2 oz/1 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
115 g/4 oz button mushrooms, halved if large
sprig of fresh thyme
Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas 6. Butter a large ovenproof dish. Place 300 ml/ 1/2 pint/ 1 1/4 cups water and butter together in a large saucepan and heat until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and add all the flour at once. Beat well with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds, until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and continue beating until the mixture is thick and glossy. Stir in the cheese and mustard and season with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture around the sides of the ovenproof dish, leaving a hollow in the centre for the filling.
Cut the cauliflower into florets, discarding the woody, hard stalk.
To make the filling, puree the tomatoes in a blender or food processor and then pour into a measuring jug. Add enough water to make up to 300 ml/1/2 pint/ 1 1/4 cups of liquid.
Heat the oil and butter in a flameproof casserole. Fry the onion for 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the cauliflower and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the tomato liquid and thyme. Season. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
Spoon into the hollow in the ovenproof dish. Bake for 40 minutes, until the pastry is risen. SPECIAL OCCASIONS