Butternut Squash, Brie, and Pancetta Turnovers

So you probably aren't having your typical Thanksgiving this year...

I mean, what even is typical anymore? But whether you’re having a quarantine bubble feast, keeping it to just your household, or doing a solo meal, you still deserve great food! These butternut squash, brie, and pancetta turnovers are great food. They are perfectly autumnal, salty, sweet, and savory. And their small size makes them great for any size holiday! 

I’m keeping this one brief because I am a restaurant worker lucky enough to still be working through this, and pandemic or not, Thanksgiving is still the busiest time of year for a pie shop. I will leave you with just a few options and tips:

 

  • These would also be delicious with sweet potato! Prick a few large sweet potatoes with a fork, and roast until tender. Proceed just like the rest of the recipe.
  • Vegetarian? Go ahead and leave out the meat. Add a pinch or two of salt to the squash. 
  • You can also use store bought pie crust. You will lose the sage in the crust, but you will gain some time.
  • Get creative with the shapes! You can turn these over corner to corner into triangles, cut in circles and make empanada style, or do 2 circles like hand pies. 

Butternut Squash, Brie, and Pancetta Turnovers

Sweet, salty, and savory unite in these perfect pastry-wrapped fall appetizers!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 12 pieces

Equipment

  • Rolling Pin

Ingredients
  

Crust

  • 1 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
  • 10 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Sage Finely Chopped
  • 5 tbsp Cold Water

Filling

  • 1 small Butternut squash
  • 1 small Onion
  • 5 oz Pancetta Cubes
  • 4 oz Brie or other double cream soft rind cheese
  • 1 tbs Brown Sugar
  • 1 pinch Black Pepper
  • 1 pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tbs Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tbs Sage Finely Chopped
  • 1 tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 Egg White or Water for brushing

Instructions
 

To Make the Crust

  • In the bowl of a food processor1 combine flour, sugar, salt, sage, and butter. Pulse until pea-sized pieces form.
  • Add 3 tbs of water and pulse, adding more water 1 tbs at a time until dough forms a ball when squeezed.
  • Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and rest in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

To Make the Filling

  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Peel the onion and cut in large chunks.
  • Toss vegetables in olive oil and place on a rimmed sheet pan. Roast for 40 to 60 minutes until squash is tender.
  • Once cool enough to handle, scoop out squash flesh and discard skin. Place squash, onion, and butter in the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth (or mash with a potato masher). Add sugar, sage, and spices and pulse to combine.
  • Optional step: place pancetta cubes in a pan (no oil necessary, its fatty enough) and lightly fry on medium-high heat. It makes the extra salty and a little crispy.

To Assemble and Bake

  • Turn down oven to 350°F
  • Roll out dough to quarter inch thickness. Cut into 4 X 4 inch squares, re-rolling scrap as necessary. Brush lightly with egg white.
  • Scoop 1 tbsp of squash filling into the center of the square, top with a small slice of brie, and 1 tsp of pancetta cubes.
  • Bring the corners of the pastry together in the center and pinch together edges to form a little square pouch.
  • Place turnovers on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20- 25 minutes until lightly brown.
  • Serve warm and consume with abandon! Option to very lightly drizzle with maple syrup.

Notes

  1. If you do not have a food processor, you can use a pastry cutter, or two knives, or rub in the butter with your fingers. 
Keyword autumn, butternut squash, holiday appetizers, pastry, squash, thanksgiving, turnovers

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