Pasties! (Get your mind out of the gutter, food pervs)

As part of my Lenten Vegetarian Adventure, I was determined to try out some vegetarian recipes that I’d had bookmarked for quite some time. This one, from The Kitchn, is full of things that I love– yes, there’s a good amount of butter (I’m no Paula Deen, but clearly there is a reason for the current size of my ass), but these little hand pies are stuffed with butternut squash, one of my favorite fall/winter veggies. And for the carnivore in the house? Adjustments were made, and he ended up with the hand-pie version of a chicken pot pie (in short, some finagled bechamel, chicken, thyme, sage, peas, salt and pepper). I imagine that one of the best things about this recipe is that it presents so many variations within a single crust. The buttery, flaky crust is easily brought together in a food processor or with a pastry cutter (or, hell, even a couple of knives), and can house any manner of savory or sweet fillings.

Butternut Squash, Sage, and Parmesan Pasties
Makes 2 large or 4 small pasties
Original recipe posted by The Kitchn, October 16, 2009

Ingredients
Dough
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
6-8 tablespoons ice water

Filling
8 ounces butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes
1 medium red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon finely chopped sage
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

Sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper (or black)
1 egg, beaten

Method
To make dough
Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Using a pastry blender or knife, cut butter into flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 1 tablespoon of ice water at a time, gently tossing between additions, until the dough just holds together. [All of this can be done with a food processor. Follow the same steps for adding ingredients, and pulse to combine and bring to the proper consistency.] Shape dough into a ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before rolling out.

Before rolling out the dough, let it soften slightly so that it is malleable but still cold. On a lightly floured surface, roll it out to 1/8-inch thick. Cut out two circles using a plate or bowl as a guide.

To make pasties
Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large bowl, combine butternut squash, onion, garlic, sage, parsley, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.

Spoon mixture over half of each dough round, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Sprinkle well with salt and pepper.

Moisten the edges of the dough with beaten egg. With cool hands, fold the pastry over and crimp the edges. Cut a small slit in the top of each pasty. Brush all over with beaten egg.

Bake until golden and cooked through, about 40 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

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