Fragrant and savory, these Butternut Squash Hand Pies with Taleggio Cheese have just the right ratio of crust to filling. They define that magic moment when tender crust meets sumptuous filling.
You can make the filling up to two days ahead of time. Keep covered and refrigerated.
- all-butter pie pastry of your choice (enough to to make 1 double-crust 10-Inch pie)
- 3/4 pound peeled butternut squash (cut into 3/4‑inch dice)
- 2 carrots sliced into ½‑inch rounds)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper (as needed)
- 3 clove garlic (peeled)
- ¼ cup loosely packed, finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoon lightly toasted pine nuts
- 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 3 ounce taleggio cheese (cut into twelve ¼ oz slices) or more to taste
- egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon water (as egg wash)
Prepare Pie Pastry recipe of your choice. Divide dough in half, shape into 2 discs about 5‑inches in diameter and 3/4‑inch thick. Wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 1 hour (or up to 2 days), or freeze up to 1 month.
Make the squash filling: Preheat oven to 400 F.
Toss squash, carrots, garlic, olive oil and a generous pinch each salt and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Spread vegetables out on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet in as close to a single layer as possible. Roast, stirring halfway through, until squash mixture is very tender and beginning to color on the edges, 35–40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool somewhat then scrape the squash mixture along with any accumulated liquids into a food processor, add Parmesan cheese and process until smooth. Scrape the mixture into a medium bowl, stir in the pine nuts, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and additional salt and pepper if necessary; set aside.
Make the hand pies: On a lightly floured surface use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out one disc of chilled dough to a 12 or 13-inch round, a generous 1/8‑inch thick. Cut out six 4‑inch rounds, using a round cutter or appropriately-sized saucer and knife. Gather scraps and re-roll as needed so you can get six rounds. Repeat with second disc of dough. Lay the 12 rounds out evenly spaced onto 1 or 2 parchment-lined baking sheets (as needed depending on size).
Bring the oven temperature to 425 F.
Dollop about 2 tablespoons squash filling onto each round mounding in the center, leaving a 3/4‑inch border all around. Don’t overfill or they will be difficult to seal. Lay 1 slice of cheese on top of filling, nestling it into mixture. Brush edges lightly with egg wash. Carefully bring both sides up and towards center so they meet at top forming a football shape. Pinch edges together to seal. Then decoratively crimp or scallop edges as you like. Leave hand pie sitting with decorative edge facing up or lay it on its side, whichever you prefer. Brush with more egg wash. Sprinkle with salt. Make 2 tiny slashes in crust with the point of a sharp knife. Repeat with remaining dough rounds. Refrigerate on baking sheets until chilled, about 20 minutes.
Bake in the 425 degree F oven, rotating sheets halfway through, until pies are golden brown; about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.