That wonderful time of year is upon us again! While the days might be getting shorter and colder, that’s no reason to despair. There’s a real joy to rediscovering those coats you haven’t seen in months, embracing scarves and beginning to smell the smoke of chimneys around once more. It’s also a time to enjoy the wonderful seasonal produce of Autumn, and as usual, I will be kicking things off with a pumpkin recipe.
These pastries make lovely little snacks, hot or cold. The sweet pumpkin, intensely savoury goat’s cheese and gently acidic, caramelised onion are all contained beautifully within the delicate, crisp crust of filo pastry. You also have plenty of textural options – I’ve used whole pumpkins, cubed for the bite and texture. However, there’s no reason you couldn’t season up some pure pumpkin puree (fun three words to say together) and use that for a more liquid filling. Likewise, I’ve used soft, spreadable cheese but you could go for a harder variety.
Ingredients – Makes 6 large or 10-12 small.
- Pumpkin/Squash – peeled and cut into 1.5cm cubes. (Butternut Squash will do in a pinch)
- Small packet goats cheese
- 1 red onion diced/sliced to your liking.
- Dried sage
- Sunflower/vegetable oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Filo Pastry
- 1 Egg, beaten
- Salt and pepper
- Toss the pumpkin in a tablespoon or 2 of oil and season liberally with some salt, pepper and a few teaspoons of dried sage. Spread into an even layer in a roasting tin, cover with foil and roast at 200C for 30-40 minutes, until softened but still holding its shape.
- Meanwhile, fry the onion over the lowest heat with a little butter and salt. Stir frequently so it softens but doesn’t catch. Once it is very soft and sticky, pour in a splash of balsamic vinegar. Allow it to evaporate and flavour the onion.
- When the pumpkin and onion are ready, you can assemble. Roll out 2 layers of filo pastry on top of each other. Slice into strips approximately 6cm wide for smaller pastries, 10cm wide for larger ones. In the top right corner (leaving a slight edge so it doesn’t leak out, spread a small dollop of goats cheese, followed by a layer of onion and then a spoonful of the pumpkin. Fold the corner over itself to make a small triangle at the top of the strip, encasing the filling. Continue to fold this filled triangle over itself until there is none left in the strip and it is well wrapped.
- When all are filled, place on a foiled, lightly oiled baking stray and brush the top with some egg wash. Bake for around 15 minutes, until golden. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.