The invitation we received said "Friends, Food and Fun". And fun it was!! Last evening we arrived at our friend's home for a pumpkin themed dinner party, and started the evening with pumpkin carving and hot mulled cider. I was feeling a wee bit tropical, so I carved a flamingo with palm trees. If you're wondering about the second pumpkin, ummmm it is a "work of art" carved by Wendy. The bat came out really nice, and was carved by our hostess.
I was assigned "Savory Autumn Leaf Pies" for the dinner party, and the hostess selected a recipe from Martha Stewart Living 2009. These tasty hand pies are filled with a mixture of roasted parsnips, garlic, carrots and swiss chard. I used both 2" and 4" cookie cutters, and also made a second batch using apple shallot filling which was very tasty.
FOR THE DOUGH
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water
FOR THE VEGETABLE FILLING
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 head of garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
8 ounces Swiss or red chard (leaves and stems), washed and chopped
Make the dough: Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and shortening, and process just until mixture resembles coarse meal. Pour in ice water, pulsing just until dough comes together. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
Make the vegetable filling. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss together carrot, parsnip, garlic, oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper in a small roasting pan or baking dish. Roast until golden and tender, about 30 minutes. Squeeze garlic from skins, and toss with vegetable mixture; discard skins.
Heat butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook until translucent, about 1 minute. Add chard and remaining teaspoon salt, and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Drain, and toss with vegetable mixture. Remove from heat, and let cool.
Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one disk of dough to 1/8 inch thick. Using a 4-inch leaf-cutter, cut out 12 leaves. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Place a heaping tablespoon of vegetable filling on each leaf.
Whisk together egg yolk and cream. Roll out remaining dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out 12 more leaves. Using a small paring knife, etch veins on leaves. Brush edges of each filled leaf with egg wash; top with a veined leaf. Press edges together to seal. Brush tops with egg wash, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Bake pies until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve warm.
I also made a sweet and savory pie filling.
APPLE SHALLOT FILLING
1 TB unsalted butter
5 medium shallots, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 TB sugar
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1. Heat butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and 1 TB sugar, and saute until soft
(about 3 minutes). Add remaining TB of sugar and stir until the shallots begin to brown (4 minutes).
2. Increase heat to high, add 1/4 cup of cider, and cook until all the cider has been absorbed. (2 minutes)
3. Add remaining 1/4 cup of cider, apples and simmer until liquid is absorbed completely (5 minutes).
4. Stir in salt and thyme, remove from heat, and set aside to cool.
5. Place a heaping TB of apple shallot filling in center of leaf pastry. Wet the edges of the leaf pastry with egg wash and place the top leaf pastry over the filling.
6. Brush egg wash over the top leaf. (you can add dye to the egg wash to make different color leaves)
7. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
These pies can be made in advance and frozen. Thaw, then reheat before serving.
The wonderful menu chosen by the hostess is as follows:
Antipasto Plate with a red bell pepper dip and sweet-savory caponata spread
Savory Autumn Leaf Pies
Crunchy Green Bean Salad
White Bean and Sausage Stew in Pumpkin Shells
Toasted Pumpkin Seed Biscuits
Cinnamon Clove Apple Butter
Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Pastry Crust
Thanks so much for stopping by!!