In Photos: Spiced Butternut Squash Hand Pies

Hand Pies 101

  • Keep it small. Not just the size (think poptarts) but also the number of pies you plan to make. Baking three pies for twenty-five people is much more practical than fashioning individual hand pies for each person. Save this project for a weekend treat to share with a few well deserving friends.
  • Keep that pastry cold. Always work with a well chilled pastry to ensure that the pies will hold their shape and bake up nice and flaky. Store the cut circles in the fridge and assemble them one at a time, and once they are sealed place the pastries in the freezer for 5 minutes just before baking.
  • Right before they go into the oven, brush the pies with a light eggs wash to promote a golden finish, cut two small slits in the top pastry for ventilation, and sprinkle with course sanding sugar for crunch and sparkle.
  • Eat with vanilla bean ice cream.

Up Next: An ‘original’ recipe for squash cake. Squash cake… squash… cake. Or shall I say, how would you like a lovely Acorn Tea Loaf, or a perhaps a streuseled Butternut-Pecan Coffee Cake?

the finished product


Ingredient Spotlight: Winter Squash

Homemade Butternut Squash Pie Filling

Winter is an interesting time of year for a baker trying her darndest to use as much fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients as possible. Luckily I am surrounded by farms for miles and can trade friends for many goods, like maple syrup, eggs, or some of the best apples in the world, but in the snowy depths of winter the only pears I’ll find were grown on the other side of the globe.

Solution? Squash! With their thick, hard shells winter squash can keep for months in cool storage and are as delicious in savory dishes as they are in sweet. Choose squashes that are heavy for their size with skin that is smooth and dull, and make sure to check that the stem is intact and dry as well.

First up: Ontario Butternut Squash