Butternut Squash, Shiitake and Goat Cheese Turnovers

Tuesday, 24 Feb 2009


More party food I’m trying out.  These are a little labor-intensive, but I think they’ll make the cut if they freeze well.  This is yet another recipe from Food and Wine:  Butternut Squash Turnovers.


This is what the turnovers looked like when they were done.  A variety of shapes, you could say!


I followed the recipe pretty much exactly on this one.  But I did notice that the order of the recipe seems a little illogical.  They have you start out with the mushrooms and leeks, whereas if you got the butternut squash in the oven first, you could do the mushrooms, leeks, garlic and thyme while the squash roasted.  So that’s what I did.


When I combined the leek/mushroom mixture with the squash to make the filling, it all seemed to need more seasoning, so I added some more salt and pepper.


Working with puff pastry can be tricky, and even using the frozen kind has it’s own pitfalls.  You have to make sure it thaws evenly or it sticks together in a huge lump and is hard to roll out evenly.  Bad things happen when the thawing process is rushed.  However, this hasn’t prevented me a time or two from letting the dough thaw on top of the stove under the vent where the hot air from the preheating oven is coming out.  Use this method at your own risk — it may turn your dough into a semi-frozen/ semi-runny mess.


Getting the turnovers to be the size I wanted and still be a discernable shape took some trial and error.  The easiest method proved to be rolling the puff pastry out onto a piece of parchment paper the same size as the baking sheet.  I then cut the pastry into 9 equally shaped squares.  The recipe has you make each sheet into six squares, but this makes larger turnovers.  I was looking for bite-sized.  I did one batch where I cut the sheet of pastry into 12 triangles, and they were closer to the size I was looking for, but folding the tiny triangles into turnovers was very challenging and they didn’t come out as well.  So nine squares, as you can see in the above picture, was the compromise.


Filling the turnovers on the sheet of parchment paper made a mess of the paper, so I didn’t just transfer the same piece of paper over to the baking sheet.  I used a new sheet of parchment and transferred each turnover over to the baking sheet after putting on the egg wash.  The egg wash creates some beautiful browning action on the outside of the turnovers.


I came out with turnovers in lots of wacky shapes during this process.  I guess you could say they definitely look homemade.  After letting the turnovers cool completely on a wire rack, I layered them into a freezer container and am going to see how they weather being frozen and reheated.


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