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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Pastries

Each year I go crazy buying canned pumpkin in November. I think it has to do with the fact we hear there is going to be a shortage every year, so when it finally shows up I just go crazy with it. So, I always find myself with extra cans in the cupboard this time of year. I also seem to have a lot of pumpkin recipes that I never got around to making in November as well. I love pumpkin, but you get a little burned out on it during the holiday season. Around this time every year I find myself adding canned pumpkin to quesadillas and other places I wouldn't normally use it. This year I saved a can especially to make this recipe. I have been thinking about these pastries for a while now. I almost brought them to several potlucks, but then changed my mind. It is the pastry dough that scared me away. I don't make a lot of it, so I don't get a lot of practice. This one was actually really easy and came together quite nicely. I rolled out the first batch a little too thick, but the second batch was really quite delicious. I also made the first batch much smaller, but you really can't fit much filling in them, so in the second batch I returned to the size recommended in the original recipe. We had these for lunch one Saturday afternoon, but I recommend taking them to a party as appetizers. When I tried them at room temperature later in the day, I actually liked them better. If you cut them in half on a diagonal, they make great finger food.

Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Pastries
adapted from Give Me Flour

1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 (15 oz.) can pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling which has added ingredients)
2 tsp. fresh sage, chopped
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
2 oz. goat cheese

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 stick (5.3 ounces) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 egg
3 tbsp heavy cream

1 egg, beaten
sesame and onion seeds (optional)

Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil over medium high heat until onions become soft, about 4 minutes. In a medium size bowl mix together all filling ingredients, except goat cheese. Set aside to cool while making dough.

Place flour, salt and butter in a large bowl. Use a pastry blender to combine ingredients until mixture resembles a coarse meal. You will want a few pea size pieces of butter remaining.
Whisk together egg and 3 tbsp of cream. Add the mixture into the dry ingredients.
Work the mixture into the dough with the pastry blender.
The dough will form quickly, if it does not come together add 1 tsp of cream at a time until it does.
Press together  to form a ball, cover with plastic film and keep on the fridge for at least 15 minutes. (I actually skipped this step and it worked out just fine.)

Preheat oven to 350F˚. Place dough on a well floured surface and roll it out into a 1/8 inch thin layer. Using a 4 inch biscuit cutter cut the dough and place half the pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place a scant teaspoon of pumpkin filling in the center of the pieces on the baking sheet, place a small piece of cheese on top. Wet the edges of the dough using your finger and a little water. Top with a second piece of dough. Crimp down the edges. Re-roll the remaining scraps of dough and continue until all the dough is used.
Brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with sesame and onion seeds (optional) and bake for 30 minutes or until golden in color.

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