Savoury Winter Squash and Caramelized Onion Pie

November 18, 2014

This is pumpkin pie on steroids. This is a healthy pie filled with roasted winter squash, caramelized onions, goat cheese, and autumnal herbs. It smells like oniony bliss and looks impressively seasonal. It's a great holiday dish, either as the main if you're vegetarian, or as a side if you're a meat eater. We're well into November now and although it's chilly out all the time, we still don't have much snow. I think the lack of snow makes it seem much colder. Healthy comfort food to the rescue. You won't have to undo the top button of your pants after eating a slice of this pie. I can't promise anything if you eat the whole thing.



This is a slightly time-intensive recipe, but it benefits from sitting for a day, so feel free to make it ahead of time if you're serving it at a holiday get together. I leave most food on the counter but if you're concerned about bacteria then certainly refrigerate it. Just heat it up in the oven before serving. It'd be nice with sour cream if you're into that kind of thing.


Ingredients:

Dough:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose white flour*
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
2 tablespoons ground flax
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/4-1/3 cup cold milk*

Add your flours, coconut sugar, flax, salt, and butter to a food processor and pulse until it starts to look sandy with some small balls throughout. Don't over mix, those little balls of butter are important for a flaky pastry. Add milk in a slow stream while processing until it starts to come together. If you can roll some between your fingers and it holds, it's ready. Wrap in plastic, form a disc, and chill for one hour. Once it's ready, grease a pie dish, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick, and place in the dish. Press down into the edges to make sure it's all in contact with the dish. Poke the bottom with a fork and bake for 8 minutes at 425F, uncovered.

Notes:
1. It needs the white flour. It just doesn't work with 100% whole wheat. Sorry. You might be able to make it gluten free, but I'm not sure what a good flour combination would be.
2. I used almond milk, but homogenized dairy milk would make it richer.

Caramelized onions:
5 small white onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon each butter and olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Heat oil and butter in a large pan, preferably one that isn't non-stick. Add the onions. Add the honey and cook over low heat, stirring frequently* for about forty minutes, or until reduced and darker in colour (see photo below). Season about halfway through with salt and pepper. When they're done, turn off the heat and add the apple cider vinegar. This deglazes the bottom of the pan and gets all the good stuff back into the onions.

Notes:
1. By stirring frequently, I mean not as much as caramel, but a lot more than pasta. Stir it enough that it doesn't burn.

This is what your onions should look like.


Squash filling:
3 cups roasted winter squash*
1 egg
2 tablespoons melted butter
Small package of soft goat cheese (113 grams)
Salt and pepper to taste*
1 tablespoon each sage, thyme, and marjoram
1 teaspoon rosemary

Add the squash, egg, butter, goat cheese, seasoning, and herbs to a bowl and mash with a potato masher until smooth.

Notes:
1. I used a small Buttercup squash and a small Australian blue. Use whatever you have on hand, barring spaghetti squash.
2. Go easy on the salt, you have cheese hiding in there.

Fold the caramelized onions into the squash mixture and then scoop that into the pre-baked pie crust. Smooth it out and add any decoration you want on the top. Bake at 350F for one hour. The filling will feel pretty solid but definitely not hard. Sliceable but pleasant. Let it cool for at least ten minutes before cutting and serving.


Hey hey hey, one last thing. Next weekend is an exciting one, so check back for a fun recipe.
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