Butternut Squash & Sage Pies

Pies remind me of home.  Here is a recipe for very tasty muffin sized pies which uses purple sage to enhance the flavours of butternut squash, sweetcorn and chicken.  They taste great hot or cold and make a handy packed lunch food.

I use homemade yoghurt pastry dough for my pies and quiches, I will post the recipe for that later.  Alternatively you could use an all butter short crust pastry or puff pastry for the crust.  The recipe includes a very small amount of fresh chicken,  I just added some leftovers to my pie filling, but this can easily be omitted for vegetarians.  You may also like to add a little chopped fennel to the filling.  Pies are a good way to use up fresh left overs as from a little filling you can create a lot of tasty little pies!

Butternut Squash & Sage Pies – makes 12 (muffin size)

Pastry (see above) –  enough for a quiche base
Knob of butter, ghee or olive oil
5cm slice Butter nut squash, peeled, deseeded and finely cubed
1/2 small can of sweetcorn or a handful of frozen kernels
1 medium-large onion, finely chopped
1 chicken or vegetable stock cube, or 1 dessert spoon of bouillon powder or 1/2 cup fresh stock
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
6 large fresh  purple sage leaves, finely chopped (or 1/2 tsp chopped dried sage)
1 dessert spoon creme fraiche
1 dessert spoon finely chopped lean fresh chicken
Handful grated goats’ cheese or cheddar type cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
12 hole non stick muffin tray, greased with butter or ghee

  1. Preheat oven to 190° C (375° F) and prepare muffin tray.
  2. In a pan with well fitting lid, heat the ghee/butter or oil and gently cook onion, with lid on pan, until sweet and clear.
  3. Add the garlic and sage to the onions and cook for a further minute, stirring all the while to prevent the garlic from burning.
  4. Add the cubed butternut squash, chicken and sweetcorn and quickly mix into the oily onion/herb mixture.
  5. Add about 1/2 cup of water and the stock cube or fresh stock and bring to the boil.
  6. Cover with a tightly fitting lid and simmer for about 7 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender.  Check now and then that the water has not evaporated or been soaked up completely.  You should end up with a well cooked mixture which is moist but not sloppy.  If the mixture is too wet, cook a little longer with the lid off.
  7. Remove from heat, add the cheese and creme fraiche.
  8. Stir into the mixture, adjust seasoning to taste and set aside to cool whilst you line the muffin holes with pastry
  9. Roll out pastry quite thinly (probably about 1/5cm thickness).
  10. Use a round pastry cutter or similar to cut out 12 circles, large enough to just line each muffin hole.  Push the pastry into the holes carefully so that the filling will not break through it when added.
  11. Add a desert spoonful of filling to each hole.  It should come close to the top of the pastry lining but not above it.
  12. Cut 12 smaller circles of pastry, just large enough to top each pie.
  13. Gently press the edge of each pastry top into the pastry which lines each hole.  You don’t need to be too exact with this but if you are too rough your pie contents may bubble out.
  14. Cook at 190° C (375° F) for about 25 – 30 minutes.  Keep an eye on your pies to ensure they don’t burn.
  15. Remove muffin tray from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, until the pies can be easily extracted.  You may need to loosen them carefully with a knife.  Check they can spin in the muffin hole before removing.
  16. Eet smakelijk!These pies can be frozen BEFORE they are cooked in the oven.  I much prefer to cook the whole batch, eat half hot on the day I make them, store the rest in the refridgerator and eat those cold the next day.

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