If I could choose one thing from the Northern hemisphere to take with me it would be the changing of seasons. I’m really, really jealous about each tiny aspect of it. The breeze that announces summer is over and berries that announce summer just began again; melting and muddy snow telling winter’s gone and its same hard flakes predicting a cold and grey winter came to stay.
Spring, well, it’s an entire new concept to me now. It’s not all about flowers – we do have flowers in Brazil, and they adorn my precious land all year around – but the expectation of it, the little tiny springs beginning to show up to color the trees, the hidden sun starting to shine, warming us up and giving the real meaning winter is over.
And last but not least, there’s fall. It is not the grey season anymore, stopping summer to play around, showing we have responsibilities and life can’t be a timeless picnic – or carnival, depending on where you are. Instead fall is an unusual (to me) palette of colors that combined with a chilly air and the sound of crunch leaves makes me a hungry girl!!
So, these little pumpkin and goat cheese pocket pies are just the beginning, an appetizer to welcome the tastiest season of all!!
I think we had a conversation about this dough but it doesn’t hurt to warn you one more time: that’s THE DOUGH RECIPE YOU WANNA KEEP!!! It’s totally the apple of my eyes, I use it for making quiches but it’s also very malleable and easy to work with, especially if the matter is little and individual things like these pies.
In hot days, measure all ingredients and put them on the fridge for about an hour. Temperature is the key to succeed here.
1. Place flour, salt and butter in a big bowl. Work with your fingertips or with a pastry blender ‘til the mixture resembles coarse meal. You want to keep some visible pieces of butter
2. Beat together egg and 3 tbsp of cream. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients.
3. Using your fingertips, mix them smoothly by making circular movements. Don’t knead the dough.
4. Keep mixing. The dough should get together quickly and if it doesn’t happen, add one more tbsp of cream.
5. Don’t worry about spots, visible pieces of butter and stripes of cream; they are a good sign. Press to form a ball, cover with plastic film and keep on the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
IMPORTANT: You can keep this dough on freezer for about a month. Just place it on the fridge and let it defrost overnight before using.
*I used Bucheron for this recipe but I highly recommend you to taste it before buying. It’s a bit strong and if you don’t like those kinds of cheese, opt for fresh goat cheese instead.
Preparing the filling:
1. If using pumpkin puree:
Sauté chopped onions and garlic in olive oil. Add all ingredients, mix well and let it cool completely before using.
2.If you are using fresh pumpkin:
Cut pumpkin in quarters, scoop seeds out and cut each quarter in half. In a big bowl, mix pumpkin slices with other ingredients. Arrange everything in a baking sheet and bake it for 30 min. or ‘til pumpkin is tender and skin comes out easily. Puree pulp and let it cool completely before using.
Preheat oven to 350F˚. Cut the cheese in approximately 24 pieces.
Place dough in a floured surface and roll it out into a 1/8 inch thin layer. Using a 4 inch round cookie cutter cut the dough into circles. Place the pumpkin filling in the center of the circle, place a piece of cheese on top and fold the dough over into a semicircle. Crimp down the edges and arrange in a baking sheet. Keep doing the same process until the whole dough is gone. It makes approximately 24 pies.
Brush with eggwash, sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 30 minutes or until golden in color.