Fruit pie. Meat Pie. Veg Pie. It’s easy to love pie and it’s pastry that makes pie so lovable. Sure, pastry is good when pressed neatly into a fluted tart pan. In fact a tart is the most elegant form of pie I know. However, pastry is just as delicious when treated casually – draped over a pot pie and gently crimped, glazed and scored. But, in my opinion, the best pastries are the little hand pies that verge on messiness. The kind of pie that toys with falling apart in your hands. These Butternut Squash Hand Pies have just the right crumble to defy the knife and fork.
So pick one up and see why the best pies are the handheld sort. You can buy them on a street corner wrapped in brown paper and eat them on the run, or make them at home to serve with a special wine. Either way hand pies are a treat. Fragrant and savory, these Butternut Squash Hand Pies have just the right ratio of crust to filling. They define that magic moment when tender crust meets sumptuous filling. The kind of pie that automatically leaves buttery fingers reaching for napkins and slick lips begging for more. Butternut Squash Hand Pies.
Butternut Squash Hand Pies
Hilliard Bruce Moon 2012
Pairs well with lamb, lentil soup, all root vegetables, mushroom risotto, most vegan dishes, spicy dark chocolate truffles, or all on its own.
Of course a savory hand pie can be filled with almost anything. I’m taking my cues from the season and choosing a mash of simply seasoned butternut squash. Butternut squash can be steamed, sautéed, or microwaved. All these methods will result in a perfectly fine mash. However, I prefer to roast butternut squash whenever possible. Roasting will reduce the moisture (winter squash is 89% water) and intensify the flavor. You don’t want a wet, bland mash when you’re making a hand pie. Besides, roasting is also one of the easiest cooking methods I know.
So why are you still reading? What’s stopping you from making these Butternut Squash Hand Pies? I’ve pulled out as many rhetorical flourishes as I can in order to whet your appetite. I’ve invoked buttery lips and aural delights. I’ve kept the filling as simple as possible. My good friend Helen has even provided a wine of inspirational greatness and still you hesitate. I just have to assume that the culinary logjam is created by the pastry itself. I am told that pastry sometimes prevents folks from making pie at home. But I have to ask, what’s so difficult about rubbing butter and flour through your fingertips or pulsing these ingredients together in a food processor until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs? After that good pastry is as simple as adding a little (teeny, tiny) bit of water to bring the mixture into jagged ball of softly sumptuous dough? You can use my recipe or any other recipe you fancy, though I prefer you use an all butter recipe. After all, it’s hard to get buttery lips eating Crisco. GREG
PS Did you know I wrote a whole book on Savory Pies?