27 August 2015

Bastelles a la Courge - Squash Handpies

The squash is getting ripe in the gardens. I guess this means Fall is at the corner! I spent the morning slicing and dicing butternut squash, onions, and garlic and rolling out a spelt flour handpie crust. It's always fun to start making those first few recipes that hale a change of season, isn't it?

These pies begin with minced onion and garlic getting a good saute, followed by small dice squash. Once everything is softened up, chopped rosemary and plenty of black pepper get added and the filling is cooled down. A spelt crust get divided four ways and rolled into ovals that get a generous cup of vegetable mix, a small handful of cubed cheese, and an 'envelope fold' to seal everything in place. Then, the handpies are brushed with egg wash and baked for about 30 minutes in a hot oven.

Warm from the oven, lunch was an easy affair - just pour a glass of wine and grab a knife and fork.

Simple, rustic, and really tasty. The spelt crust is crunchy. The vegetables are full of the herbal flavor of the rosemary. The cheese adds just the right amount of slippery juiciness. These would be great on a picnic with an easy salad on the side. I got the recipe from Clotilde Dusoulier's cookbook called The French Market Cookbook. She claims this is a traditional Corsican recipe. They are made and filled with summer greens, ricotta cheese and onions during the warmer months and with the squash and onion filling during the cooler months ... a versatile little handpie, I say!

Here's the recipe.

Squash Handpies
with a little butter added 

Filling Ingredients:

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced small
2 large sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and minced - 2 tsp. of mince
a generous sprinkling of black pepper
more Kosher salt , to taste

1. Place the olive oil in a large skillet and add the onion and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes, until the onions are softened.

2. Add the squash and the salt. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring now and then. Add the butter pat, rosemary, and black pepper once the squash begins to soften. Remove the vegetable mix from the heat when the squash is fork tender. Set aside to cool down while you make the crust.

Note: You should have a good four cups of vegetable filling ... correct the seasonings before you start filling the handpies.

Rustic Olive Oil Spelt Dough

Crust Ingredients:

2 c. spelt flour
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 c. olive oil
1 large egg plus one large egg white, beaten lightly
1/4 c. cold water

1. Whisk together the spelt flour and salt. Make a well and add the wet ingredients. Mix with a fork to get a shaggy dough.

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead several times to get a ball of dough that holds together. 

3. Divide the dough into four equal amounts. 

4. Roll the dough balls on a lightly floured surface into ovals that are about 8 x 8 inches. Transfer the rolled dough to a large parchment paper-lined cookie sheet before filling. That way, you don't have to try moving the filled handpies. For each handle, place one cup of the vegetable mix in the center of the dough. Dot with a small handful of cheese cubes (cut very small and tucked into the warm veg). Dampen the outer edges of the dough oval and gather opposite sides up, pinching together to seal. Repeat with the two other opposite sides. Pat the seals, brush the handpies with egg wash. Bake for 30 minutes in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven.

5. Remove when the crust is golden and crunchy-looking. Cool for about ten minutes before serving warm.

Note: This is simple fare. The crust is super crunchy and the filling is also basic ... if you like fancy tarts this might not be your thing. If, however, you like true vegetable flavors with herbal overtones, go for it! This crust holds up to the juicy vegetable filling without getting soggy and the handpies can be eaten by hand or on a plate. They'd be great 're-enactment food' for your Renaissance fair or Game of Thrones party or Revolutionary War rally day - just saying.

AFTER NOTE: Okay ... so they were great right out of the oven, but the next day that spelt crust was too crunchy ... back to the drawing board on the spelt crust. Next time, I'd try making the handpies with a traditional white flour crust. 

1 comment:

  1. Oooh these look so autumnal and warming. I love your pastry too. Delicious.


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