Pumpkin Savory Mini Pies

We used to grow pumpkins in our village, those big orange giants were always the last ones to be picked up from the fields. They were the sign that the field work was over and that it was time to get ready for facing winter which is always long and boring in Ukraine. Pumpkins were sliced, seeds were gently placed on the paper, hidden on the top of the top of the stove waiting it’s time to be consumed. No one cooked anything from pumpkins, they were a part of animals’ food, at least in my family. As no one taught me anything great about this humble vegetable, my enthusiasm for incorporating it in baking hit me in Istanbul where it is much more respected. My first pumpkin loaf made me fall in love with pumpkins! Having moved to California, my food horizon got more widened, pumpkin is a big thing here, it is everywhere and it can’t be ignored. As soon the first leaves turn into all those magical colors, the shelves of the stores are seducing customers with all possible pumpkin food from pumpkin cookies to pumpkin butter. While I have been resisting all those beautiful products (too much sugar some of them contain!) pumpkin ravioli with sage and butter won my heart! Forever! Creating this pumpkin filling for my mini pies is my first step towards making ravioli one day! Meanwhile I am enjoying my pies, my hands are rolling dough for ravioli in other dimension.

 

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour (+ some extra for dusting)

1/2 tsp instant yeast

1/2 ts sugar

1/2 tsp salt

150ml warm milk

3  tbps vegetable oil

1 egg lightly beaten for brushing

 

 for the filling

250 gr sliced pumpkin           

sage, 6 leaves

a pinch of nutmeg

 a good pinch of salt and pepper

some oil for drizzling

2 tbsp of french cream (optional)

some chopped parsley

 

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C  degree. Slice the pumpkin into chunks and place on the baking tray. Drizzle olive oil over them, place sage, season generously with salt and pepper. Cover the tray with foil and roast it around 30 mins, until the chunks are soft.

Meanwhile the filling is getting ready, prepare the dough.

In a big bowl sieve flour and add salt.  In a smaller bowl mix warm milk with sugar and instant yeast and let the yeast get activated (leave it for 10-15 mins). Add the mixture of smaller bowl to a bigger one. Add oil and form a dough, dust the table with a bit of flour and knead it well. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl in a warm place until it doubles in size.

 Time to come back to our filling.  Blend all the ingredients in a blender. If your family members don’t like pumpkin so much adding some cream cheese can make a good trick. Check the filling if it needs extra seasoning. Add chopped parsley

Roll the dough out so that it is about 3mm thick and using glass or cutter, cut out circles. Place the filling and seal with your fingertips. Repeat until all the stuffing and dough is used up. Place the pie on the baking tray, brush with beaten egg and bake for 10- 15 mins, until golden.

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Almond cookies for your morning cup of tea or coffee

We all love cookies, right:)))))) What about the recipe which can be
completed within 30 mins and you are rewarded with two trays of soft,
full of almond and raisin flavor cookies? Let’s bake them together:)

Ingredients:

1 cup room temperature butter
1 and a 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 and a 1/2 cups of sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups blended almonds
1 cup blended oatmeal
1 cup soft raisins
two handfuls of almonds for decoration

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
2. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add an egg,
one at a time, beating well after each addition
3. Stir flour, baking soda (sprinkle lemon juice over soda to avoid
bitterness) and salt together. Add to butter mixture and beat until
blended. Add milk, vanilla extract, almonds, oatmeal and raisins. Mix well
with a spatula.
4. Spoon the mixture onto baking sheets, place 3 almonds on each
cookies for decoration and bake around 10-12 mins (they might look like
they need more time but 12 mins are the exact time for getting soft
cookies, if you add more time the result will be crunchy cookies)

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