Friday, November 15, 2013

Sage and Butternut Squash Pithiviers (Savory Hand Pies)

Sage and Butternut Squash Pithiviers

As popular as pumpkin is in our house at this time of year, I think butternut squash shows up even more often.  It's a little sweeter and has a mild enough flavor to blend with lots of different recipes.  You can boil or microwave it but roasting brings out the best flavor and it's totally worth the time to do.  Know what isn't worth the time?  Cutting the dang thing.  I mean, if you have to then, you have to, but many markets sell it already peeled and cut up and I'm happily paying the extra few pennies for all that labor.  Even more happily, this recipe requires no pre-cooking but, since you'll likely have leftover squash, below are some recipe ideas.

Sage and Butternut Squash Pithiviers
So now some of you are asking what in the world is a pithivier?  I know I was, the first time I heard the term.  Basically, it's a little round hand pie with a mound of filling between two disks of pastry.  It's also a fun little word! :)  You can certainly use store-bought puff pastry and, that's probably more accurate for a pithivier.  (There's that fun little word again!)  But I didn't have any in the house.  I did have butter and flour, though, so I just whipped up a quick savory dough.

Sage and Butternut Squash Pithiviers
I actually made this same dough and filling a couple of weeks ago but in the form of a galette.  Oh, my, another fancy French term.  We're just lousy with them today, aren't we.  So, a galette is a rustic pie (translation: I was too lazy to form an actual pie).  I just rolled out the dough into a large circle, dumped the filling in the middle and rolled up the edges of the dough to hold it all in.  Brian's brother was coming over and the three of us were headed to a Halloween party later that evening.  I figured the galette would make a quick snack to tide us over until party food and the three of us polished it off in no time.  So, big rustic pie or individual hand pies, this is a great snack or appetizer to have around during the holiday season.  Enjoy!


1 Cup all purpose flour
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
1 Stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1" pieces
1/4 Cup ice water

1 Cup butternut squash, peeled and cut into small, bite-size pieces
1/4 lb. Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh sage
Salt & pepper to taste

Sage and Butternut Squash Pithiviers
To make the pastry, combine the flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.  Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles course crumbs.  With the food processor running, slowly add the ice water through the feed tube and run just until a dough ball forms.  Pat it out on a floured surface, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

When the dough has chilled, roll it out on a floured surface until it's approximately 10" around.  Use a circular cutter to cut out dough rounds.  Re-roll the scraps to get more rounds.  I used a 4 1/2" cutter and got 8 rounds but you can make them smaller to be more appetizer sized.  Combine the squash pieces, cheese and sage in a bowl and season.  Place a heaping mound of the squash filling, about 2 tablespoons, on each of 4 dough rounds.  Top each with the remaining dough rounds and press the sides together with your fingers or a fork.  Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and score the tops.  Pithiviers typically have spiral designs on top but I just made a few horizontal and vertical lines with the tip of a sharp knife.  Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes or until the rounds are a light golden brown.  Makes 4 servings.

Other ideas for roasted butternut squash:

Butternut Squash Salad

Wheat Berry, Wild Rice and Butternut Squash Salad

Butternut Squash Pasta Bake


  1. I'm so used to hand pies being sweet (peach ones here in the South) it is nice to see a savory one. Butternut and sage is such a wonderful combination and tucked inside pastry is even better.

  2. Oh my! I have never tried this squash but you have made it looks so delicious!


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